I/E Tech to Field Engineer...typical transition?

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Consultant1994

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I'm currently a 2 yr I/E Tech and waiting to hear back from a DCS Field Engineer job I interviewed for. It was no secret I have minimal experience programming or even having much knowledge of DCS systems. I asked the engineer interviewing me about this and I'm guessing it went well because he assured me he can teach technical skills but can't teach people how to communicate good and treat customers right (they've been at one location for 13 years now). If I'm offered the job should I take it no matter the salary he says? To me this is like a whole new door opening to me and I think a good chance to start advancing my career. I have been wanting to get into a more automation type role. What should I expect going into a job like this? He said my knowledge of field instrumentation will help complete the overall picture and one of the reasons he is considering me. Also have a Bachelors in General Business which may help, job description asked for EE, ME, or Engineering Technology undergrad. Thoughts? Does this type of job transition usually happen?

 

jean15paul_PE

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Many people transition from technician jobs to engineering jobs. It's very common. But many people won't consider you a "real engineer" if you don't have an engineering degree. How acceptable it is will vary from company to company. I've known a couple people without engineering degrees who moved up from production/technician/drafting jobs to engineering jobs based on experience only. But both of them were stuck at their current company because other companies wouldn't consider them for an engineering position.

So yeah, this sounds like a great opportunity for you. I assume it's a better job, more money, etc. If it's what you want, you should definitely go for it. But I say the other stuff just for you to realize that even though you're now an "engineer" your options may be limited if you don't go back to school and get a bachelors degree in engineering.

My recommendation, take the job and find a program where you can get a BS in engineering either online or through night classes and start pursuing that, ESPECIALLY if you company will pay for it.

Also from what I understand very few states will allow you to get a Professional Engineering license without a bachelor's in engineering. But it doesn't sound like that's something you're looking for now. Just something to keep in mind.
 

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