Becoming an entrepreneur might not seem like the immediately obvious choice to engineers; many often assume they will go into a management or leadership role within an existing organization. However, engineering degrees and qualifications could actually prepare you to run your own business. There are actually a few ideas you could take a look at if you’re an engineer who wants to start a business – read on and see what you could do.
As an engineer you are probably a dab hand at solving problems. What better way to use this skill than to become a consultant? Technical consulting is a popular field for engineers. This is where you work with other businesses and help them to improve their technical capabilities and services. A large amount of consulting work involves research, data analysis, and modeling to develop solutions, and you will need to be prepared to assist your clients in implementing those solutions.
You’re also going to need to have amazing communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work as a team and build relationships. This is a fairly low budget option and it can be run from home, so it can be beneficial if you’re looking for something easy and low cost to start with.
The skills you now possess as an engineer are extremely sought after, so choosing to share them by teaching, writing, and training could be the path for you. Colleges and universities could be hiring. The pay isn’t the highest, but this could be a decent side hustle for you to take on while you share your passion for problem solving. You may not find teaching in a traditional classroom a nice idea, but you could also offer training. Trainers can take their expertise to companies by helping to deliver training programs, allowing employees to work on their own skills and maximize productivity. Working with a training company might be the place to start, but with a little experience, it would be more than possible to begin your own.
Technical writing is another great idea, and you can do it part time at home. You get to pick the projects you take on, too, so you could find yourself writing for textbook publishers, technology manufacturers, websites, and more. Of course, you should love writing and make complex topics accessible for others. If you have the skills to write about a pneumatic cylinder and make it digestible for everyone, then there’s no way you can fail!
3. Smart Product Design
Now, this one can be an extremely lucrative business idea. Many people need experienced engineers who have the skills to design hardware for connected devices for them. Many people are looking for engineers to work on a contract or project basis for companies developing new technologies.
The above are just a couple of ideas an engineer could play around with. You could also look into systems and control, legal consultation, or logistics. Don’t limit yourself – forge your own path and ensure that whatever you choose, it fulfills you!