PE Exam Prep Guide: How You Can Pass the PE Exam without Having to Study “Everything”

7-22-14 TECC Post Photo FinalThe following PE exam post is a guest post by IECD member Andy Lin, PE, SE. I was so blown away by its depth and detail that I have also added it to our Guides section on the website.  Here it goes:

It’s that “exciting” moment in your engineering career again.

After obtaining your Engineer in Training (EIT) and working for a few years, you are ready to take on the next challenge—the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam).

As you start studying for the PE exam, you’ll probably notice that there are dozens of prep courses out there—most of which teach you “everything you need to know” about the exam. [Read more...]

TECC 023: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – 10 Answers for 10 Questions from 10 Engineers

7-15-14 TECC 23 Photo Final

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I answer 10 questions related to career and personal development, submitted by The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) podcast listeners.

In fact, I received so many questions that this will be the first of two shows in this format.

“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” - Robert Half

14598638716254.dUcfCTcmXr8PKk9BFxDE_height640The career-changing tip at the end of the show will provide you with one actionable step that can help you overcome ANY challenge in your engineering career.

Below are the 10 questions that I answer on this show, each followed by a one-sentence snippet of the answer: [Read more...]

Are You Too Focused on the Wrong Thing in Your Engineering Career?

Staying Afloat in Your Engineering Career

The following post is based on a true story of a walk my son and I took one evening a few weeks ago. It is meant to inspire you to focus more on the things that matter most to you in your career and your life.

Not Your Average Walk 

My five-year-old son has a lot of energy, so every so often after dinner, he and I will take a long walk along a path that we have dubbed “the Secret Passageway.” A few weeks ago, while out for our walk, we saw something that was both scary and eye-opening. [Read more...]

TECC 022: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – How to Identify Burnout in Your Engineering Career Before It Happens and What to Do to Get Back on Track

engineering career coach

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I interview Stephanie Cook, an environmental engineer who now helps professionals avoid burnout in their careers by improving their diet and exercise habits.

Engineering Career CoachStephanie discusses five signs that you’re headed for trouble and gives eight strategies for avoiding burnout or getting back on track if you’ve already gone too far.

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” – Steve Maraboli

The career-changing tip at the end of the show will provide you with one simple thing that you can do every day to reduce your stress levels dramatically.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]

The Best Way to Learn as an Engineer Is to Give Yourself No Other Option

The Only Way to Learn in Your Engineering Career

When I left my engineering design career behind five years ago, I was forced to learn a lot of new things in a short period of time. I had to learn how to write and speak effectively, how to build and optimize websites, how to run a business, how to manage virtual employees, and more.

Like with everything else I do, I asked successful people in the field how they learned things and also read many books on the topic of learning. The strategy that stood out the most when it came to learning things effectively and efficiently was to give yourself no other option. The world is littered with distractions today, both good and bad, and these distractions take you away from what you are trying to focus on. When you are learning something new, the amount of focus required is large, and you need every bit of it. By reducing the number of distractions around you, you will increase the rate at which you learn.

The best way to describe this is by listing some real-life examples, so here they are: [Read more...]

TECC 021: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – How to Be a Creative Communicator with Christina Canters

TECC Session 21 Photo Final

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I interview Christina Canters, an architect from Australia who now helps technical professionals improve their communication and presentation skills.

Engineering Career CoachChristina touches on many points that will help listeners become more creative and confident in their communication efforts.

“Public speaking is like riding a bike. People need to believe they can get better at it before they actually do.” – Christina Canters

The career-changing tip will provide a conversational technique that will allow you to ask and get answers from very busy people.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]

Five Strategies for Creating SPACE and Separating Yourself from the Field as an Engineer

6-10-14 TECC Blog Post Final PhotoIt has only been in the last few years that I have become more interested in soccer or, as I guess it is better known around the world, Fùtbol. The sport, which features the very simple objective of putting a ball into a net, is actually much more complex than it seems on the surface, and it offers many powerful analogies to an engineering career.

I’ve gotten to know this game because I have spent the last few years coaching my daughter, and while she is only in second grade, she is in a very intense travel league and her head coach is a professional soccer trainer. He tells me time and time again that the best soccer players do one thing really excellently—they find room on the field. They take the ball and then separate themselves from the other players. He calls it looking for the SPACE. Once they are out in space, away from the others, they can do so many things—shoot, score, make a brilliant pass, visualize their next move, and more.

The whole concept led me to start thinking about how engineers can get SPACE in their careers and separate themselves from the field. Here is a short list and description of some of the items I came up with: [Read more...]

TECC 020: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – Seven Lessons Learned from Starting an Engineering Company as an EIT

6-3-14 TECC Session 20 Final PhotoIn this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I interview Matt Mangano, an EIT originally from New Jersey who recently relocated to San Diego. Matt reviews seven lessons that he has learned from starting a small engineering consulting company as an EIT.

Most engineers are terrified of going out on their own, and for good reason. However, Matt discusses many benefits of doing so and walks through his own experience in this session.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

The career-changing tip at the end of the show will help you bring some balance to your life, or at least be present in each moment.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]

Three Steps to Ensure that Your Engineering Salary is Higher than Most in Your Field

4-15-14 Photo for Post RoundedI have had a few questions from engineers lately concerning salaries in the engineering industry. The questions have been along the lines of, “Most engineering companies offer low salaries—what can I do to get a better salary in this industry?”

First of all, I would say that not ALL engineering companies offer low salaries. Secondly, there are several variables that go into this idea that engineering companies don’t pay much, variables like:

  • Each engineering discipline will have different salary ranges,
  • Geographic location will affect salaries,
  • Your definition of “low” may vary greatly from the company’s and/or that of other engineers in your industry.

Putting all those aside, here are three steps you can take to ensure that your salary is on the high end for your industry and experience level. [Read more...]

TECC 019: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – How to Work Smarter as an Engineer by Utilizing Both Sides of Your Brain

5-20-14 Post Final PhotoIn this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I interview Stu Walesh, PE, an independent consultant who provides management, engineering, and education/training services to private, public, academic, and volunteer organizations. Our discussion is focused on how engineers can utilize the right sides of their brains to become better rounded. The content comes from a book Stu is currently writing entitled Creativity and Innovation for Engineers, which will be published by Pearson Prentice Hall.

Most engineers lean heavily on the left (or analytical) side of the brain. During this session, Stu explains why it is important to also utilize the right (or creative) side of the brain and gives tips for doing so.

Engineering Career Coach“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss

The career-changing tip at the end of the show will discuss four “C”s to help you make change and create new habits: competence, communication, conscience, and creativity.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]