Pavel Shlykov/Dreamstime
Engineers standing in front of gears sketch

Engineering Your Career: An Introduction

Sept. 23, 2021
In this series, Tricia Hatley, recent president of the National Society of Professional Engineers, offers some advice on how engineers can excel in their careers.

In this four-part series, Tricia Hatley, immediate past president of NSPE and a life-long engineer, outlines a proactive approach for engineers trying to get the most satisfaction from their careers.

Part I

In the first installment, Challenges Facing the Profession, Hatley examines some of the new problems and challenges engineers face, including population growth and increasing urbanization, changing demographics that put a higher percentage of people in the senior citizen category, the recent pandemic and its short and long-term effects on society, the need for diversity to increase the ranks of engineers, and advances in technology engineers must stay up-to-date on. Hatley also discusses professional engineering licensing and how it can play a positive role in shaping an engineer’s career.

Part II

In the second article in the series, PE Licensing, Hatley gives a short history of the PE license, then explains how obtaining one expands an engineer’s career options and likely leads to higher paychecks. She also looks at some of the challenges inherent to the licensing process.

Part III

In the third installment, Professional Societies and Community Groups, Hatley explains how these groups can help engineers build networks of design professionals and aid in keeping them technically relevant. Both of these can be critical to an engineer’s career success. But engineers must actively participate in these groups to get the most out of them.

Part IV

In the last installment, Networking and Being Mentored,  Hatley urges engineers to define success and offers advice on how to achieve it. She stresses the importance of learning from other engineers and finding a mentor to work with. She also explains how to construct and use a network diagram, the importance of assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses and tips for doing so, and why it is a good idea to seek out varied assignments and opportunities.

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