Consulting Engineer

Work for a variety of clients to help them solve engineering problems.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Consulting Engineers do?

Engineers know how to run tests, design machines, test products, and integrate components, among many other things. They’re valuable additions to specific projects, but some companies don’t have enough work to keep an Engineer busy for an entire 40-hour workweek. These companies hire Consulting Engineers instead. This allows the Consulting Engineer to do the needed work, and then scurry away to another project when the work is complete.

As a Consulting Engineer, you work in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, biomedicine, and energy production. In most cases, you specialize in just one type of engineering. This cuts down on the amount of information you must carry around in your head.

At the beginning of a project, you meet with your clients and hammer out what you’re expected to do. These clients might be Architects, City Planners, or Factory Managers, depending on the work you do. Once you know exactly what the work entails, you provide a fee for your service. If the client agrees to pay you, then you start.

Studies take up the majority of your time at the beginning of a project. You might use computers to run simulations, and you might also take measurements and do complicated math to help you determine how the system you’re building should work. Then, you map out your thoughts in a series of reports and drawings.

Your clients use these tools to build your system, so you must be precise. Drafters might help you in this work. When the product is built, you run a series of tests to ensure that your instructions were followed.

Should I be a Consulting Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Certified Green Building Engineer

    How to become a Consulting Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Consulting Engineer-related education!
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