What To Look for When Getting an Engineering Job After College

July 19, 2023
Detail Engineering & Design

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Read here for tips on getting an engineering job after college and why it’s important to find a company with a supportive training program.

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Graduating from college and diving into the job market can be intimidating. Oftentimes, it can be overwhelming to find an engineering position that doesn’t require years of experience and provides well-rounded exposure to an industry. Fortunately, many companies understand the needs of recent graduates and are willing to work with new engineers and provide the training they need. 

Here, we dive into what to look for when getting an engineering job after college. We then detail the specific type of training H+M Industrial EPC provides when hiring recently graduated engineers for the EPC training program. 

When Getting an Engineering Job After College, Demand Training 

Companies with individualized training programs for recent college graduates should top any graduate’s list of prospective employers. When assessing your options, seek companies that offer training programs with significant hands-on experience and exposure to a wide range of skill sets. Doing so will help you build a successful career in the EPC industry.

If you are interested in the EPC industry, seek out companies that provide the most support, even after the training period, to strengthen your understanding of the industry. Specifically, look for companies with a proven track record that demonstrates the following: 

  1. Worker safety is highly valued and integrated throughout the company.
  2. Employees have a clear point of contact to turn to for support.
  3. Company culture encourages each employee’s development.   

H+M Industrial EPC: Training Built for You

The training for an engineering job right out of college should benefit both you and the company you are working for. While most people have an idea of the career they want to pursue after college, it’s hard to know until you are actually in that position. The best training programs can provide fresh college graduates with a sense of the industry and available positions.

At H+M Industrial, we’ve structured our training program as a series of custom rotations. Engineering and Construction represent the two main rotations all trainees will participate in. For each rotation, we’ve developed a custom curriculum of training topics defining activities, codes, and tasks associated with the specific rotation. Additionally, each engineer will be partnered with a department manager for individualized support. 

In the table below, we outline the six main rotations at H+M Industrial and provide a brief summary of their responsibilities. Following the table, we take a closer look at each rotation.

Training Rotations at H+M Industrial

Rotation Summary
Engineering Placement in specific engineering department according to degree and area of expertise
Construction Hands-on rotation that takes place at the job site and requires interacting with crews and clients
Project Management Work across project phases, from the bid phase to currently active jobs to projects that are closing out 
Project Controls Learn how to use scheduling software and track project progress, compile reports, and forecast costs
Estimating Participate in bid walks, visit client sites, and assess the scope of work
Supply Chain  Contribute to front end planning while working directly with the construction team

Engineering

During the engineering rotation, trainees will join the department that aligns with their degree and area of expertise. For example, mechanical engineers will join the mechanical/piping department, where they will focus on modeling pipes while becoming familiar with red lines and spec equipment. In doing so, trainees will refine their skills and simultaneously participate across project workflows.   

Construction

Within the construction rotation, trainees will report to the job site daily. In this hands-on rotation, they will walk through the site, observe and perform assessments, ensure the necessary permits are secured, and help develop weekly reports on crew progress. 

This fast-paced rotation includes many client-facing meetings where delays will have real-world consequences. This gives the trainee a sense of the environment out in the field versus the in-office component of the industry. Also, as this may be the trainee's first time in a facility, it is necessary to make safety a top priority.

Project Management

This is typically the last rotation, and it is the culmination of information gained in the other rotations. Trainees will work on proposals at the bid phase, currently active projects, and jobs that are closing out.  Because every project phase will need project management, this rotation helps engineers better understand and manage a project through its lifecycle.   

Project Controls

During this rotation, trainees will learn to use P6 scheduling software to track project progress using rules of credit developed for the project.  

This rotation will develop each trainee’s ability to communicate across disciplines. Meeting with engineering and construction teams will be a weekly occurrence. As trainees build project control skills, they will help compile reports and collaborate with the accounting department to deliver accurate cost forecasts and project status reports.

Estimating

The estimating rotation will occur during project front-end planning. Trainees will participate in bid walks, visit client sites, and assess the scope of work. Here, the trainee’s main goal is to compile all the project information and create a cost estimate and execution plan. 

Supply Chain

During the supply chain rotation, trainees will obtain quotes for materials, equipment, and all other components necessary for the project. They will also be heavily involved with the construction team to help ensure that the appropriate materials arrive on time and equipment rentals are scheduled correctly. 

The Benefits of a Custom Training Program for Recent Graduates

When getting an engineering job after college, it’s important to research job opportunities while paying particular attention to positions that offer robust training programs. Customized training programs can help recent graduates new to the workforce seamlessly integrate and apply industry best practices. 

H+M Industrial EPC provides training developed uniquely for recent graduates entering the workforce. Contact us to learn more about our program and how we can support your career goals. 

About the Author

Want to Learn More About Project Management?

To find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of turnkey projects and how H+M Industrial EPC can meet your capital project needs, contact us through our website today.

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The H+M Industrial Team

For over three decades, we have provided best-in-class capital project management services to Energy and Chemical industries through our proven EPC approach. We are dedicated to providing trust, experience, and efficiency through all stages of engineering, procurement, and construction--on budget and on time.

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