Engineering is an integral part of the world today, with these professionals creating most of the inventions and technology that people rely on for daily use. It is one of the most rewarding and in-demand careers in the world today, and you may be surprised to learn that you can get engineering jobs without a degree.
While that might seem impossible due to the technicality of the field, it is achievable if you develop the hard and soft skills companies are searching for in their employees. Engineering consists of multiple fields that cover different areas and, in this guide, you will learn what engineering jobs you can get without a degree.
Throughout this article, you will learn all the skills and steps necessary to become an engineer without a degree. You will also learn about the possible engineering jobs that you can get without a degree and some companies that might hire you. By the end of the article, you will be a step closer to starting the career of your dreams without attending college.
The 10 Best Engineering Jobs Without a Degree
Software engineers apply engineering principles to design, create, test, and maintain computer software and solve problems. Software engineers also work to improve the quality of applications, collaborate with other professionals to develop new and relevant software designs, investigate and use new technology, and write reports.
You typically would need a college degree in computer science or related fields. However, with the existence of bootcamps, you can get software engineer jobs without a degree. You can join a bootcamp to learn software engineering skills or join a software engineering apprenticeship program to learn the skills on the job. These programs also make it easy to make a midlife career change to software engineering.
Sales engineers make engineering services and products appealing to customers by presenting the products in the best possible light. They aim to attract new and existing customers using their technical knowledge to profit the company or organization. They also have to attend to customers’ queries about the product.
To pursue a career as a sales engineer, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. However, anyone with sales experience and technical skills can work in a sales engineering job without a degree. This means you can build up your skills and knowledge to the level required of a sales engineer and apply for entry-level roles.
An electrical engineer works to research, develop, install, and test electronic systems and products for projects of every scale. They improve electrical products and systems, establish manufacturing processes, and evaluate quality and performance. They also supervise the manufacturing of these systems.
While most electrical engineers have a bachelor’s degree, electrical engineering is one of the most accessible engineering fields to join without a college degree. Electrical engineers also have some of the highest-paying jobs in engineering. With the proper training and practice, you could become an electrical engineer without a degree. With the additional boost of joining an apprenticeship program, you are likely to get off to an even better start.
Network engineers build and maintain computer networks like local area networks, intranet, and extranet for tech companies and organizations. They establish and maintain network performance, install and maintain networking equipment, troubleshoot network problems, and write reports for company stakeholders.
To be a network engineer, you can either earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering or join an apprenticeship program. In an apprenticeship program, you will learn from a professional over a specific period and build your skills in the engineering discipline. Upon completion of the program, you should be able to perform the skills of an entry-level network engineer.
Mechanical engineers design, develop, evaluate, install, and inspect mechanical devices and systems. Some of these devices include industrial machines, transportation systems, and engines. They work in engineering companies or companies that manufacture, research, and develop engineering tools.
Mechanical engineering is an engineering field that often requires a bachelor’s degree. Still, you can become a mechanical engineer without a degree, as it is a path you can pursue with dedication, training, and experimentation. Anyone with good knowledge of math, calculus, and statistics with an interest in engineering can apply for an apprenticeship to get firsthand training and experience in mechanical engineering, then land an entry-level job.
A civil engineer is a professional in charge of constructing and maintaining infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, from planning to construction and maintenance. They conduct investigations and assess a project to ensure that it doesn’t violate any codes and is safe for use. They are also in charge of the costs, deadlines, risks, and project materials.
To become a civil engineering professional, most people gain a degree and a license to practice. If you do not have any of these, you can still pursue a career in the field by starting an apprenticeship program where you learn under an experienced professional for a stipulated time. Although you can work as a civil engineer without a degree, you may need to earn a degree and license to advance far in the field.
Electrical designers design and create electrical systems and circuit layouts for electrical distribution. They use their knowledge and expertise in electric systems to develop the best methods of distributing electrical power for a project. They achieve this by inspecting the project’s site to determine the electrical needs and performance capacity.
To become an advanced electrical designer, you need to have an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. However, those who don’t have a degree can look to get essential training through an apprenticeship program where they will work under a professional to learn all the relevant skills needed for a career as an electrical engineer.
Electrical technicians design, inspect, build, and repair electrical systems either as a supervisor or as part of a team. They are responsible for repairing and replacing faulty components in an electrical system. They install, maintain, and repair equipment’s electrical, electronic, and electromechanical components. They also read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and wiring diagrams.
Electrical technician jobs typically require a high school diploma or an associate degree, making it one of the easiest engineering jobs to get without a degree. Those who would like to go further in their career paths and work for industry-leading companies can obtain a four-year degree after a period of time in the field.
CAD stands for computer-aided design technician. These are professionals who work to create plans and schematics using computer software. They make electronic design plans for buildings and machinery. These professionals work with architects and designers to create high-quality and detailed designs based on the demands of the project.
Becoming a CAD technician typically requires an associate degree. However, with on-the-job training as an apprentice, you can gain the skills necessary to become a professional in this field. You can also take the self-taught route, research the required skills, and work to build knowledge on your own. With consistent practice, you will be able to apply for entry-level roles.
A machinist builds and repairs precision tools to operate machines and equipment using technical drawings and instructions. They drive and maintain lathes and milling machines, check drawing instructions and blueprints to ensure accurate production and take precise measurements for cutting and shaping.
You can become a machinist without a degree by studying independently, getting consistent training, experimentation, and, if possible, getting on-the-job training. You can also start a career in this field by earning an associate degree to help put your foot in the industry. You can choose to pursue a four-year degree at some point in your career, which can help you gain career advancement.
What Skills Do You Need to Land an Engineering Job?
Structural analysis is an integral part of engineering and should be a skill every engineer possesses. It involves calculating the effect of strains on physical structures or designs and their components. This is an essential engineering job skill because engineers need to calculate the ability of a system to withstand the load or mechanical demand placed on it.
Data modeling is an essential part of data storage and is used to model relationships within the data. As an engineer, employers will want to make sure that you can create a visual data map that accurately describes the data structure and how data will flow through the system. Put this skill on your engineering resume to impress potential employers.
Pressure management is an important skill for engineering jobs. If you do not manage the pressure your projects will be put under adequately, they may become unsafe or not useful. Above all, an engineer must be able to make structurally sound products that withstand the test of time.
As an engineer, you will regularly work with multiple teams and other professionals. You need to communicate appropriately with other professionals to deliver results and effectively complete the job as a team. Communication is an important soft skill for engineering because you need to break down technical information so that other workers can understand you and carry out any task given to them.
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Regardless of the size of a project, you will have to collaborate and work with other professionals in the field like architects, builders, and other artisans. As a professional, you should work effectively with others and deliver high-quality work. By developing strong teamwork skills, you can put your best foot forward in all your professional projects.
What Education Do You Need to Get an Engineering Job?
You typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to get an engineering job. Some high-level jobs require a license and at least a graduate degree. However, you do not always need a degree to be an engineer. There are some engineering fields that you can enter without a degree.
The journey might not be as easy without an engineering degree, but you can start an engineering career with the proper dedication, effort, and skills. Some alternative options instead of college are trade schools, vocational schools, coding bootcamps, or apprenticeships.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
There are various reasons why a traditional college experience isn’t ideal for everyone. Whether it is due to the environment itself or the financial burdens college tends to bring, there are many reasons why students opt out of traditional universities and prefer an alternative educational experience.
Occasionally, college degrees can limit your job search after college. If you hold a degree as a civil engineer, you may not be able to apply for a job as a computer hardware engineer. Or say you get the degree, but the job you’re applying for offers lower pay than you anticipated. If you aren’t confident in your career path, investing time and money into a degree may not be worth it. Thankfully, you can also become an engineer without a degree.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get an Engineering Job?
A coding bootcamp can help you get an engineering job depending on your desired field. For example, a coding bootcamp may not be helpful in securing an electrical engineering job, but it can certainly help you get a software engineering job.
Software engineering bootcamp graduates gain relevant skills for their careers in the tech industry, which some subfields of engineering don’t always need. However, if you’re looking to bridge the gap between traditional engineering and modern technical skills, then an engineering bootcamp may be right for you.
How to Get an Engineering Job With No Degree
Research Engineering Jobs
The first step is to look into engineering jobs that don’t require a degree and see which ones match your interests and skills. Don’t forget to include both hard and soft engineering skills, as both are necessary for success. When searching for jobs, make sure that your skills are suitable for the role at that particular company.
Develop and Improve Your Engineering Knowledge and Skills
Starting a career requires hands-on engineering skills, which a degree alone may not always provide you. When you decide on the field of engineering you are interested in, you should gain extensive knowledge of the skills necessary to succeed in that career. You can take workshops, enroll in bootcamps, or attend a trade school to help you become an engineer without a degree.
Enhance Your Soft Skills
While engineering skills are essential, soft skills are also relevant. Successful engineers must obtain teamwork and collaboration experience. In addition, to work in engineering without a degree, you should have strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, decision-making skills, and critical thinking skills. Though no particular soft skill stands out among the rest, employers want to see job seekers that have experience with collaborative projects.
Apply for an Apprenticeship Program
When you are confident that you have the technical knowledge required to start an engineering career, you can search for apprenticeship programs to get firsthand engineering experience and learn from experienced professionals.
Apprenticeship programs can help you improve your skills and gain real-life experience that you can include in your resume to land jobs. Though these can still be challenging programs, they are the most direct route to become an engineer without a degree.
Apply for Entry-Level Engineering Roles
The next stage involves applying for a full-time job as an engineer. However, you may want to stick to entry-level roles that require fewer skills and experience to increase your chances of success and build a fulfilling career as an engineer without a degree.
Companies That Offer Entry-Level Engineering Jobs
- IBM: IBM, which stands for International Business Machines Corporation, is well known for being a widely used computer company that provides computer systems and machines to clients for businesses and scientific applications. As a computer company, IBM needs engineers to develop its designs. As such, it offers a range of entry-level engineering jobs.
- General Motors: General Motors is an automotive manufacturing company in the United States. As a car manufacturing company, engineers must help with the design, development, and testing processes. You can find entry-level engineering jobs as mechanical or sales engineers.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation: Lockheed Martin Corporation is a company that is involved in the research, design, development, and manufacturing of aerospace, arms, defense, technology, and information security. Entry-level engineers are needed in various fields as the company has several areas of specialization.
- Lucid Motors: Lucid motors is an electric car manufacturing company in America. As a car manufacturing company, engineers are undoubtedly a vital part of Lucid Motors. You are sure to find a suitable entry-level mechanical engineering job with this company.
- Valdes Engineering Company: Valdes Engineering Company is a minority-owned engineering, architecture, and project management consulting firm in the USA. You can land jobs with this company as a civil engineer or chemical engineer.
Where to Find Engineering Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
Indeed is one of the most widely used job search sites in the country. They post thousands of job openings from various companies daily and also allow job applicants to apply directly from the site. Those who want to apply directly also can visit the company website and apply there. Indeed also sends job opening notifications which you can use to get fast updates on new jobs.
LinkedIn is a professional platform that allows job searchers and companies to connect. The platform allows companies to post job openings and job applicants to apply directly. To use LinkedIn to find engineering jobs that don’t require a degree, you can create a profile that features your skills to attract employers looking for qualified job candidates.
Company websites are one of the best ways to secure engineering jobs without a degree. Most companies have a career page on their website where interested candidates can see firsthand job openings in the company. To best use this to your advantage, you should search for companies known to hire engineers and visit their career pages to see job openings.
Consider an Engineering Degree Later in Your Career
Getting an engineering job without a degree is possible and achievable with dedication and hard work. You can start a career and earn as much as a college graduate with the right experience. To achieve this, you will need to follow the proper steps and have a lot of patience as you get started.
However, you should not wholly dismiss earning a degree later in your career, as it could make a massive difference in your career growth. A college degree in engineering could mean higher pay, more senior job positions, and career advancement. While you can still get a variety of engineering jobs without a degree, attending college will make a difference.
University is a good way to start a career but not the only way. You can try out trade schools, vocational schools, community colleges, or online courses. These alternatives can help you gain the same knowledge and skills required for an engineering profession. If a school system is not an option for you, you can explore apprenticeships to gain skills and real-life experience in the field.
Engineering Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
Yes, you can get started as an engineer without a PE, but you might have to earn one down the line in your career path for career advancement.
How much do engineering jobs pay?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineering jobs are among the highest-paying occupations with an average salary of $79,840 yearly. The amount varies based on the specific occupation, experience, and skill level. As an engineer with no degree, you can expect to earn around the same amount as entry-level engineers at the start of your career.
What is the easiest engineering job?
The easiest engineering job is software engineering because there are many programs out there that help you learn the necessary skills quickly. You can get software engineering jobs without a degree easily as many tech companies will hire you as a bootcamp graduate or self-taught software engineer. You can develop software engineering skills in just a matter of months.
How can I become a software engineer without a degree?
You can become a software engineer without a degree by attending a coding bootcamp or following the self-taught route. Thanks to a wide variety of online programs and resources, you can develop software engineering skills and secure a full-time job in less than a year. However, to become a software engineer without a degree, you should have a strong programming portfolio.
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