To start an engineering consulting firm or not…that is the question.
Q: Starting an engineering consulting firm vs. working for an engineering consulting firm, which is best?
Welcome to episode #29 of Engineering Career TV. The topic for this episode is starting an engineering consulting firm vs. working for an engineering consulting firm.
I spend almost all of the Engineering Career TV episodes answering questions that have been submitted from engineers around the world. The questions are typically focused on professional development for engineering professionals, especially relevant to practicing engineers.
You can submit questions for the show by clicking here.
Let’s jump into today’s topic: starting an engineering firm vs. working for an engineering consulting firm. This topic is based on a question from Sebastien, who asks the following:
Q: I am currently studying engineering and in my first year. I hope to one day operate my own engineering consulting firm, whether it is just consulting, surveying, etc. Would it be wise to first work for an engineering consulting firm first and gain experience, or instead go the business route immediately?
Do you necessarily need to be a licensed engineer to operate an engineering business? I have heard two sides of the story.
A: The full answer can be seen in the Engineering Career TV video above, but here are a few of the main points:
- Work for an engineering company first. The odds of you succeeding in owning your own engineering consulting company, without working for someone else first, are slim.
- You need to build up your network, credibility and your expertise before people are actually going to pay you money.
- You’ll need financial resources to start an engineering company and working for an employer will help you build up those resources.
- Finally, figure out where you want to operate your own business eventually and then start to get all those rules figured out when the time comes.
Resources mentioned in today’s Engineering Career TV:
What questions do you have about starting an engineering consulting firm vs. working for one?
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success