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CV Library Guest Blog: How to plan a successful career in engineering


There are many different specialisms in the engineering industry and the sector offers a huge number of exciting opportunities. As such, it can be difficult to know where to start. Not to mention these roles are not for the faint hearted – the industry requires a lot of dedication and passion.

If you’re planning a career in engineering, you need to have a good idea of how you’re going to reach your goals. Below, we outline the steps you can take to plan your journey and set yourself on the path to career success.

Do your research

You may already have a clear idea of the specialism or area of engineering you’d like to go into. You may also be completely undecided. Either way, spending some time doing your research, looking at the opportunities, understanding the skill set that is required of you and the opportunities for progression can really help to point you in the right direction.

It can also be helpful to attend engineering specific open days or career fairs. This will give you the chance to meet with potential employers, ask questions and generally get a better understanding of the types of roles available in the industry. This can help you to narrow down your career path.

Look at the requirements

Before you can begin, you need to meet the requirements of an engineer, whether that’s skills, qualifications or experience. So it’s important to find out what will be required of you.

It may be the case that you’ve already completed a degree and you’re ready to join the working world, or you may be starting from scratch. Either way, spend some time working out what you need to do to meet the specifications of the role.

Set yourself career goals

Now you’ve spent some time getting to grips with the industry, you can begin setting your own goals. This might be that you need to gain more qualifications, learn new skills or gain some experience.

However, you need to set yourself some achievable goals that will help you on your career path. For example, do you want to be qualified in a certain amount of years? Do you want to start an apprenticeship in an engineering organisation?

Once you’ve done this, set yourself a time frame in which you hope to complete each step.

Always be curious

Setting yourself up for a successful career doesn’t just happen in the workplace. You need to make sure you’re always learning and staying on top of the latest trends.

This might mean doing some reading in your spare time or even running your own projects on the side. This not only looks great on your CV but can really help you to excel in the industry.

Keep on top of what’s happening in the sector by reading top industry publications. This will also help you to be more informed when it comes to the interview stage.


Networking is important at all stages in your career, but particularly when you’re starting out. Connecting with like-minded professionals can help you to find a mentor.

Alternatively, you never know when a connection could alert you to new and exciting opportunities.  This can be networking in person with colleagues, at events, or online on professional sites such as LinkedIn.

Review your plan

So you’ve begun putting a solid career plan in place – but it doesn’t stop there! You need to make sure that every now and then you reflect on your plan, check if you’re reaching your goals and potentially adapt the plan if your circumstances have changed.

You might find an area of engineering you prefer, or you might find there’s a new skill or qualification you’d like to invest in. By revisiting your plan you can make sure you’re staying on the path to success!

In summary

Attending open days and doing research into the industry is an important first step in planning your career in engineering. This will enable you to set achievable goals and begin your journey to success.

Make sure that you’re always learning, developing your skills and networking. This will stand you in good stead for establishing a successful career in engineering, in the future.


CV-Library is a leading independent job board in the UK and owns a range of other career sites, including Engineering Jobs. For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.