Career Change After Engineering

Are you an engineer interested in a career change? We take a look at career change jobs for engineers who want to go in a different direction.

As an engineer, you had no choice but to study hard in order to obtain your qualifications. From A-levels to university and beyond, engineers must receive high marks in areas like maths, physics or chemistry so that they can continue in this field. However, it’s not uncommon to fall out of love with your career over the years.

It may seem like a daunting task at first, but making a career change can be an incredibly rewarding experience. We’ll delve into the transferable skills you possess as an engineer and suggest some alternative jobs for former engineers. This will help to get you started by giving you an idea of what’s out there.

Your Skills as an Engineer

Working as an engineer has allowed you to gain a wealth of hard skills specific to your job. However, you’ve also acquired an array of transferable skills. These skills are not job-specific and will be of great benefit to you and your new employer if you decide to make a career change. Engineers tend to possess the following transferable skills:

  • Excellent communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Handling pressure
  • Natural curiosity
  • Attention to detail
  • Being organised

These skills are highly sought after in any industry, not just engineering. Even so, it is important to know how to emphasise these transferable skills when interviewing for career change jobs.

Popular Career Change Jobs For Engineers

Now that we’ve looked at the soft skills you possess, let’s go over some job ideas where they could come in handy. We’ve put together a list of some popular career change job opportunities for ex-engineers so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Product Manager

You may have to refresh your skills or do some retraining but your previous knowledge in engineering will definitely set you apart from the rest. A product manager conceives, designs, develops, launches and distributes new products. Your engineering experience will be useful when understanding a product’s features and its viability as a usable item. It’s common for this type of work to include team management, feedback analysis, managing production and distribution.

Technical Writer

Technical writers create operational manuals and handbooks, localising and editing print and digital documents for the industry. As career changes go, switching to technical writing from engineering is one of the smoothest and most straightforward. Engineers are familiar with the format and tone of these books and possess the specific knowledge necessary to write them.

Patent Attorney

If you’d like to remain within the realm of engineering, a job as a patent attorney could be right up your alley. Your job will involve assessing whether inventions are new and innovative, in which case they’re eligible to be patented. Your familiarity with technical drawings and sketches will come in handy. Having an engineering degree will allow you to enter directly into this field along with various separate patent body exams. Some extra on-the-job training will be necessary. Once this is completed, you’ll be accepted into the UK Register of Patent Attorneys.


Ever thought about passing on your knowledge to budding engineers? If you still have a passion for engineering but are tired of the day-to-day, then maybe a career change to teaching could be the change you need. There is currently an incredibly high demand for teachers of all engineering backgrounds in colleges and training facilities. In fact, the demand is so high that many schools will take on engineering who have experience but no relevant teaching qualifications. Do your research and check with local authorities and teaching centres to find out more. It may be necessary to retrain by attending part-time college or night courses.

Finding Jobs For Ex-Engineers

Engineers are highly skilled, not just in their specific roles but also in terms of transferable skills. This means that there are plenty of jobs for ex-engineers who fancy a career change.

Refreshing a Career has a ton of help and advice for career changers. Check out our live jobs board for regularly-posted positions. We have dedicated pages on topics like choosing the right career for you and settling into a new career later in life.

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