Skip to main content
4 answers
5
Asked 604 views

How would someone figure out if it would be a better career path for him to be a structural engineer or a path in engineering management?

I’ve worked for the first two years after my graduation as a structural design engineer and now i’m a project coordinator but in a workplace that is somehow chaotic and i do not feel i’m learning any technical stuff like i did when i was a designer and now i’m in a dilemma between getting back to design before i forget it and between thinking that i do not learn any technical staff because i’m not in the best work environment someone would learn from.

Just to elaborate as a project coordinator i’m responsible for following up with the design and shop-drawing and production teams and following up with the client to check that he replies to all quires and hiving him updates about the work and writing minutes of meeting probably that would be all, however i have no or a very little exposure to the estimation team of purchasing, we have only one project planner who is technically weak he makes the plan according to the project manager requests only ( i mean every detail in the plan is set by the project manager and the planner just uses Microsoft project to make it) so i do not feel like i’m having an added value

On the other hand while i was a designer i learned every now and then a new information either about a code limit or a design principle and it was satisfactory

So i do not know if i just hate the work place i’m in now because it is chaotic and i do not feel any technical added value or it is just the career path in management working that way

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

5

4 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Mohana’s Answer

As a project coordinator you have the structural designs with you. If very much interested in designing, study the structural designs and see if you can improve further by presenting the improved designs, this was you can gain trust and get into structural designs. This is going to a slow process but you will get there as design firms are limited and it is Nitch market.
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Christine’s Answer

Recommendations below

Christine recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your manager and raise your concern. See if they can find a solution for you!
Update your resume (CV) and start looking for other jobs under both titles.
Take a moment to sit with yourself, which position do you enjoy the most? Follow that route.
Talk with friends/famil/mentors who you trust to give sound advice.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kacey’s Answer

Hi Yousef, you are having a struggle that I have had and to an extent still have today. I've been a civil engineer for 13yrs now and I have held many positions at different companies over the years. I think that the path we want to take in regards to 'doing the work' and 'managing the work' is something you might want to balance out over time if you are finding yourself torn at this time. I have been both an engineering manager and an engineer. When I was a manager I found myself butting into day to day work of others all the time because I had more knowledge and experience than them (mixed with my desire to always want to help people) so I wasn't really passionate about manager type stuff (employee timesheets, expense reports, HR issues, budgets, reporting to directors, etc.) I found much more validation/satisfaction in being able to design a job in my head and make it happen in real life. On the other side of that coin........look at the managers you have. I have a manager who has never been an engineer and has always been in management. I find that really irritating to be honest. In my case I could go after a management position so I can be the change that I want to see in my group or I can remain an engineer because I love what I do in that role. I think for a lot of people they transition from doing the work to managing the work as they get older so please don't feel you need to rush up the ladder just because it seems like you should if given the opportunity. Its ok to just be really good engineer!!! Learning new skills in NEVER a bad decision and it sounds like now is a good time for you to build up your skills. I can say I have worked for terrible people and companies so it could be a company structure thing. To that I say, the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. Hope this helps or at least lets you know there are others that have your same dilemma out there!!!

Kacey
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kacey’s Answer

Hi Yousef, you are having a struggle that I have had and to an extent still have today. I've been a civil engineer for 13yrs now and I have held many positions at different companies over the years. I think that the path we want to take in regards to 'doing the work' and 'managing the work' is something you might want to balance out over time if you are finding yourself torn at this time. I have been both an engineering manager and an engineer. When I was a manager I found myself butting into day to day work of others all the time because I had more knowledge and experience than them (mixed with my desire to always want to help people) so I wasn't really passionate about manager type stuff (employee timesheets, expense reports, HR issues, budgets, reporting to directors, etc.) I found much more validation/satisfaction in being able to design a job in my head and make it happen in real life. On the other side of that coin........look at the managers you have. I have a manager who has never been an engineer and has always been in management. I find that really irritating to be honest. In my case I could go after a management position so I can be the change that I want to see in my group or I can remain an engineer because I love what I do in that role. I think for a lot of people they transition from doing the work to managing the work as they get older so please don't feel you need to rush up the ladder just because it seems like you should if given the opportunity. Its ok to just be really good engineer!!! Learning new skills in NEVER a bad decision and it sounds like now is a good time for you to build up your skills and maybe try management later. I know I can zone out drafting for hours because its fun, I don't zone out on email reports to bosses about what everyone on my team is doing every moment of the day. I can say I have worked for terrible people and companies so it could be a company structure thing. To that I say, the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. Hope this helps or at least lets you know there are others that have your same dilemma out there. Do what you like while you like it :)

Kacey
0