Embarking on a career in engineering can be an exciting and fulfilling journey, filled with opportunities for professional growth and the chance to make a meaningful impact in various industries.
For aspiring engineers, starting at an entry-level position can be a crucial stepping stone to gaining practical experience, developing technical skills, and paving the way for a successful engineering career.
In this article, we will explore five entry-level engineering jobs that serve as excellent starting points for beginners. These positions offer valuable hands-on experience, mentorship opportunities, and a foundation for growth in a diverse engineering career.
#1 – Engineering Technician
Engineering technicians are professionals at the entry-level who possess specialized skills and techniques in a specific engineering field. They typically aspire to become licensed or certified engineers in their chosen branch of engineering. Their primary responsibilities involve the development, design, production, and implementation of systems or machines. Engineering technicians also collaborate with supervising engineers in research and analysis, contributing valuable support and expertise to engineering projects.
The average Engineering Technician salary in the United States is $58,308 but the salary range typically falls between $55,522 and $61,906.
#2 – Engineering Assistant
An engineering assistant is a valuable entry-level position that can propel your career forward in the engineering field. Assistant engineers often hold certifications such as EIT (Engineer-in-Training) or Engineering Intern (EI) and provide crucial support to senior engineers in planning and developing a range of systems, depending on their area of specialization. They collaborate closely with designers, technicians, and junior engineers, actively assessing and ensuring the quality of the system they help build. As an engineering assistant, you will gain hands-on experience, refine your technical skills, and contribute to the successful execution of engineering projects.
The average salary for an engineering assistant in the United States is $64,402.
#3 – Software Engineer
Junior software engineers collaborate with mid- and senior-level engineers to contribute to designing, developing, and integrating software programs and applications. Their role primarily involves undertaking routine projects and tasks that allow them to enhance their skills in specific programming languages, codebases, and company systems. As entry-level engineers accumulate experience and take on additional responsibilities, they can progress into more senior positions within the field.
The average salary for an entry-level software engineer is $64,862 per year in the United States.
#4 – Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers play a crucial role in the design, development, assessment, and integration of mechanical equipment, components, systems, and devices. They collaborate closely with senior engineers in the planning and construction of machinery, while also assisting in quality assurance measures to ensure operational efficiency. Additionally, entry-level engineers are responsible for evaluating and addressing process-related challenges to optimize performance and mitigate potential issues. This multifaceted role allows them to contribute to the successful implementation of mechanical projects and gain valuable experience in the field.
The average salary for an entry-level mechanical engineer is $63,809 per year in the United States.
#5 – Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers are actively involved in a diverse range of projects, focusing on the design, development, and testing of electrical systems and electronics. They collaborate with senior engineers in creating cutting-edge electronic communications, navigation, and database systems.
The average salary for an entry-level electrical engineer is $51,256 per year in the United States.
#6 – Data Engineer
Data engineers integrate, transform, and consolidate data from various structured and unstructured data systems into structures that are suitable for building analytics solutions. The data engineer also helps design and support data pipelines and data stores that are high-performing, efficient, organized, and reliable, given a specific set of business requirements and constraints.
The salary range for an entry-level Data Engineer is from $104,365 to $131,817 per year in the United States.
#7 – AI Engineer
Artificial intelligence (AI) engineers are responsible for developing, programming and training the complex networks of algorithms that make up AI so that they can function like a human brain. This role requires combined expertise in software development, programming, data science and data engineering. Though this career is related to data engineering, AI engineers are rarely required to write the code that develops scalable data sharing. Instead, artificial intelligence developers locate and pull data from a variety of sources, create, develop and test machine learning models and then utilize application program interface (API) calls or embedded code to build and implement AI applications.
The estimated total pay for an entry-level AI Engineer is $67,565 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $54,802 per year.
These entry-level engineering positions provide practical experience, exposure to real-world engineering challenges, and opportunities to collaborate with experienced professionals.
By gaining technical expertise, refining skills, and receiving mentorship, beginners can pave the way for a successful engineering career. With dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to excellence, aspiring engineers can embark on a fulfilling journey in the dynamic field of engineering.