Engineering Advice

For any looking to go into engineering jobs.

I've now been out for 4 years, I worked as a commissioning engineer for a paper packaging company for the first year and I am now a test technician in a robotics company. My present job occasionally has me looking at CVs and carrying out interviews and trade tests on prospective candidates. To keep it simple, my advice is:

Listen to the Coutts advisors when keeping the CV simple - a single page covering letter, two pages on the CV - bin the jargon, civvies really don't understand when you say you were a SNCO working in an ERV in the MRG of 12 AD Regt Wksps.

Don't expect the world, starting wages of 22k - 28k depending on experience and APPLICABLE skills.

Unless you are working for a defence contractor - forget most of the cable termination skill you may have. Working in electrical cabinets is completely different.

Most courses on PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) won't actually help you in real life as there are so many types and the their roles vary widely. They are certainly unlikely to get you into a well-paying job with them unless you also understand HMIs and data comms.

There are already a glut of Health and Safety Advisers, having a wide range of H&S skills is good but it's not worth going too overboard.

One good thing going for ex-servicemen is that they have experience of working under pressure, in sh1tty conditions and for all hours. They have a good range of skills and are generally more multi-skilled than their civvy brethern.

If you are able to get registered with IIE, IEE, IMechE, IRTE, etc - all the better. Most engineering companies do understand this. For better paying jobs they are actively looking for it.

Use Quest, Pathfinder, RFEA and the various websites to find jobs and agencies and apply for as many as possible. Keep a log of everything you do and that you find out. It's not only useful for keeping track of who you've talked to and about what but, if you do find you've made a mistake, it's useful for starting to look around again. By applying for as many jobs as possible I was able to pick and choose employers both times that I was looking.

Don't believe everything you see and hear about how good the Army pension is conpared to civvy schemes. Like everything there are bad ones and some really good ones out here - don't be afraid to ask about it at the interviews, it makes up a serious amount on the benefits out here.

If you end up as a service / commissioning / test engineer be prepared to travel alot. That first year I was out I was away from home (mainly out of the country) for 220 days. Interesting for me, good for a singlely but a real bugger for the wife and kids. That's why I changed jobs.

Keep up with the fitness training - it's way too easy to get fat when you're living on expenses! :oops:

Oh, and good luck!
Nice one mate. I have been thinking of making the leap. :wink:

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