Date Published: 20-03-2018

The engineering industry has a lot to offer, including strong salaries and the opportunity to work for innovative companies. What’s more, it can provide fantastic career progression to those that are willing to put the effort in. So if you’re looking to expand your career in engineering, it’s time to get prepared.

It’s essential to start out with a solid engineering background. You’ll need to be extremely knowledgeable of the industry and also have the right attitude towards work hard and be willing to grab every opportunity that comes your way. Below, we offer some helpful and practical advice to clue you in on how to become a manager in engineering.


Find a mentor

First, you need to find a mentor who can guide you on this journey. Look for an engineering manager in your current company, or even a family friend who can share their wisdom with you. You need to ask this mentor for advice and feedback and let them know that you want to build skills in new areas.

Be prepared to take on constructive criticism, as it’s likely that there will be areas you’ll need to work on. It can be hard to take on feedback, but remember it will help to enhance your skills, so be sure to take notes so you don’t forget anything important.  You should also be asking your mentor questions to help you learn and develop your existing knowledge. Consider asking them how they improved their skills and the previous failures they’ve learnt from.


Push yourself beyond your abilities

To strive high in any industry you need to take every learning opportunity that comes your way. Companies want outstanding candidates, especially in engineering management roles, so you need to work hard to show that you’re cut out to be an engineering manager. This means getting on board with projects that might challenge you, even if they’re out of your comfort zone.

When working on these projects, practice ways of improving important skills, such as time management, which is essential as a manager. Make sure you’re never late to work and every assignment is organised carefully so you’re not pushed for time on deadlines.


Seek out experience in leadership

Look out for opportunities where you can gain experience leading a team. This might be on a volunteering project outside of work or through your hobbies. Alongside this, see if there is a chance to manage smaller projects in your current work place. This can show how effective you would be at managing a larger project.

Try to associate yourself with key projects in your workplace too, even if you’re not managing them. Having your name linked with something important will look good and teach you valuable skills. If these opportunities are hard to come by, look for training experiences that can could help you gain the skills needed.  Some companies have leadership schemes for graduates where you can gain hands on experience.

Follow these steps to help you advance your career in engineering. Remember that hard work and dedication is extremely important for success in this industry. The journey to engineering manager can be tough so you need to be patient and make sure you gain the skills and experience first, before you make the leap into a management position.

Engineering Jobs is a leading job board in the sector and is part of the CV-Library network. For more expert advice on engineering jobs, careers and the workplace, visit CV-Library’s Career Advice pages.