Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

What are the Top Engineering Talent Looking for in Their Careers?

May 27th, 2015

Finding, hiring, and retaining the best in emerging engineering talent is a challenge for many companies, large and small. No longer do employees expect to stay with one company throughout their career – a situation becoming even more pronounced with the millennial generation. Considering the extensive costs involved in the hiring process, your organization needs to do whatever it takes to retain its top employees.

Knowing what the top engineering talent is looking for in regards to their careers helps your organization in its attempts to retain those important workers. Let’s take a closer look.

Not Every Engineer Wants to Work at a Big Company

Many tech pundits like to talk about how Facebook, Apple, and Google dominate when it comes to hiring the best engineering graduates in Silicon Valley. However, not every engineer wants to merely be a cog in a very large wheel. If your company is growing and offers a chance for a new engineer to make a meaningful difference, your organization stands a great shot of convincing them to become an employee.

If stock options are a part of your company’s compensation package, some of the best available engineering talent will jump at the chance to contribute to your company’s success – and potentially their own. This early chance for both professional and financial accomplishment makes many newer engineering graduates look at small and medium-sized companies soon after graduation. The bottom line for your company is to offer your engineers interesting project work and to generously reward success.

Flat Company Structures Allow for More Chances to Contribute

If your company is organized in a flat hierarchical structure, this fosters collaboration between different areas of your company, allowing engineers to offer input in a variety of areas and giving them a better chance to contribute. This is another advantage smaller firms hold over their larger brethren. Many top engineers want to work in an office known for collaboration and camaraderie. Offer them that chance if you want to employ and retain the best and brightest.

So not all of the top engineers want to work for the Apples of the world. Building a positive corporate culture at your company – one that emphasizes teamwork and honesty – goes a long way in attracting talent to your firm. Additionally, make sure to offer a copious amount of interesting projects and to reward success on both a financial and professional basis, and you’ll have no problem in building a top notch engineering team.

If your company needs additional insight on hiring the most talented engineers, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the country, we also are a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us today!

How to Become an Environmental Engineer

May 19th, 2015

As the human race prepares to deal with the specter of climate change, the role of the environmental engineer increases in importance. Innovations in this engineering discipline offer the potential to mitigate the effects of carbon-based pollutants, and more brainpower is a definitely need.

Now is a great time to consider a career in environmental engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of environmental engineering jobs will increase by 15 percent from 2012 to 2022. The average salary for environmental engineers is around $80,000 per year.

If this is an area of engineering of great interest to you, here are a few ideas to put you on a path to becoming an environmental engineer.

What Are the Typical Job Duties of an Environmental Engineer?

Knowing the standard duties of an environmental engineer is a must before considering a career in that field. Making an important life-altering decision, like the choice of a profession, without all the details is never a wise idea.

Environmental engineering normally involves developing solutions to solve a myriad of environmental problems. These include designing systems to manage pollution control, waste disposal, recycling, and more. A typical day also involves interaction with clients, site surveys, and a host of data analysis duties – which are also standard tasks of many engineers regardless of their specific discipline.

Environmental Engineering Educational Requirements are Stringent

Like other engineering fields, the educational requirements of an environmental engineer are robust. A Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field is definitely a must. While there may be a chance to earn an engineer job title with only an Associate’s degree and a significant amount of work experience, this remains an exception to the rule.

While some schools offer specific environmental engineering programs, it is somewhat of a specialty, so you might need to earn a degree in another engineering discipline. Most engineering schools offer classes focused on environmental topics if not an actual degree program, so definitely plan on taking these courses if an environmental engineering degree isn’t an option at your college.

Do you like math? A typical engineering program includes classes in calculus, data analytics, as well as other relevant science subjects like physics, biology, and chemistry. Depending on your specific program, a variety of design and general engineering coursework remains a requirement.

Experienced Engineers need a Professional Engineering License

Once you’ve earned your engineering degree, acquiring a professional engineering license is another must to fully develop your career. Requirements for licensure vary by state, so do some research once your graduation date approaches.

If you are interested in learning more about career opportunities in engineering, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State and a great source of Seattle engineering jobs, we can help you build a rewarding career. Meet with us soon!

Sustainable Growth and the Role of Engineering

May 13th, 2015

A career in engineering offers you many benefits – most notably the potential for a lucrative salary and a sense of professional and personal accomplishment. That latter benefit really comes into play when working on an engineering project that helps the general public. The civil engineering discipline definitely provides many opportunities to use your skills for the common good.

Achieving a sustainable growth model is a worthy goal for many entities in the world – countries, municipalities, and more. With the specter of climate change, it becomes even more important when contrasting business development and growth against the environment’s ability to provide the necessary natural resources that support expansion. Let’s take a closer look at how civil engineering makes a difference in this area.

Sustainable Engineering in the 21st Century

The importance of technology’s influence on sustainability has led to a new term called sustainable engineering. While many areas of engineering can contribute to improved sustainability, civil engineering offers you the greatest chance to make a significant difference. Water supply systems, sustainable housing development, energy efficient transportation networks, and waste management are all areas of civil engineering that directly contribute to sustainability.

Applying green engineering techniques to these kinds of projects allows professionals to make a significant difference in the conservation of natural resources, while still providing the economic growth and development that benefit both the business world and the public. Discovering new techniques and processes to improve efficiency is one way engineers are able to make a positive impact using their skills and experience.

The Three Dimensional Model of Sustainable Development

A three-dimensional accounting framework known as the “triple bottom line” generally gets applied during the planning stages of projects leveraging sustainable engineering techniques. The three domains in this model describe a project’s impacts on the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. Some refer to these domains as the “3 Ps” which stand for people, profit, and the planet.

The ultimate goal for any project involves finding that sweet spot in the middle where all three areas are satisfied in a sustainable manner. In many cases, input from civil engineers helps a project hit that sweet spot by leveraging additional efficiencies derived from engineering innovations. This is especially notable in public transportation systems and improved water and waste utilities.

Ultimately, every civil engineer needs to pay close attention to the 3 Ps in the triple bottom line to ensure their work benefits the public both now and in the future.

If the promise of sustainable engineering inspires you to take your career to the next level, talk to the industry experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are a great source of Seattle engineering jobs and business insight. Make it a point to meet with us at your earliest convenience.

In Demand: Petroleum Engineers

May 6th, 2015

Even with the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry, petroleum engineers remain an in-demand occupation. Boom and bust cycles are a definitely a part of the industry, and the duties of an oil engineer are vital no matter the latest economic news. In many cases, petroleum engineers are performing the necessary site engineering work years before a drilling location produces oil or gas.

Petroleum engineers are only one engineering discipline currently in demand in the marketplace. So, no matter your specific area of expertise, this is a great time to be an engineer. Let’s look more closely at the current market.

Good Engineers Remain Difficult to Find

According to a recent employment industry analytics study, petroleum engineers ranked among the 10 most engineering occupations that are the most difficult to fill. In short, if you are an engineer working in the oil and gas industry, rest assured that you are in demand. On the other hand, recruiters looking for qualified petroleum engineers know that finding quality candidates can be a challenging process.

The most in-demand engineering occupations include human factors engineers and ergonomists, industrial engineers, industrial safety and health engineers, as well as fire prevention and protection engineers. Other disciplines ranking on the employment analytics study with petroleum engineers include traditional positions in the field, such as mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, mining engineers, and chemical engineers.

Once again, it is important to note that the engineering profession tends to be more immune to economic downturns than other occupations. So, if you are interested in entering this field or furthering your engineering career, understand that chances are good your skill set will stay in demand.

Demand for Oil and Gas Engineering Continues to Grow

When the U.S. Congress failed to approve the Keystone XL pipeline late last year, some felt that petroleum engineering employment would suffer as a result. However, the data simply does not support that conclusion.

The same analytics firm that released the study referenced earlier noted that there were 12.5 percent more open positions in the mining and oil and gas sectors in late 2014 compared to the previous year. The need for quality candidates at oil and gas companies were greatest in the entire energy extraction industry, with up to nearly 50 percent of open positions being from firms in that sector.

In short, now is a good time to be a petroleum engineer. Additionally, companies looking for quality candidates in this discipline need to partner with a staffing agency experienced in the field.

When searching for a top ranked staffing company in the world of engineering, look no further than The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering employment agencies in Washington State, we are also a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. So if you are a petroleum engineer looking for a challenging new position, or oil extraction firm hoping to find a perfect candidate, make it a point to schedule some time with us as soon as possible.

Evaluating Ethics in Engineering Candidates

April 23rd, 2015

Ethics continues to be a very important attribute for any professional engineer. In fact, the process of earning engineering licensure usually involves an ethics exam, so if your company wants to employ licensed engineers, a candidate’s ethical outlook needs to be part of your hiring criteria. Making ethics a vital part of your company’s culture also helps to position your firm as one to be trusted by clients and the public at large.

Let’s take a closer look at a few strategies for evaluating an engineering candidate’s ethical affinity.

Licensed Professional Engineers Remain the Safest Ethical Bet

When presented with a candidate already licensed as a professional engineer, chances are good that ethics remain at the forefront of their mind when solving problems and developing solutions for their clients. While the requirements for earning a professional engineering license vary by state, ethics remains a major component of the licensure process. For example, the Washington State Department of Licensing makes passing a Law and Ethics exam a requirement before engineers are even qualified to take the PE license examination.

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) publishes a Code of Ethics that all engineers must take very seriously. The NSPE’s Board of Ethical Review – made up of seven licensed PEs – helps to maintain the Code of Ethics while offering opinions on various cases where ethics and the practice of engineering intersect.

Ultimately, when interviewing candidates for an engineering position, licensed professional engineers remain your company’s best chance at hiring an engineer with an exemplary ethical outlook.

Research a Candidate’s Exposure to Ethics in Their Educational History

Determining the ethical outlook of a new engineer fresh out of college is a more difficult proposition. Obviously, research into a candidate’s educational history and social media conduct is a must. Pay close attention to any extracurricular activities that focus on charitable organizations and other ethics-based societies.

Spend some time during the interview querying the client about their own ethical outlook. Offer them the chance to describe a scenario in their educational career – or even as an intern – when an ethical decision needed to be made. This might provide some insight on how they would react when faced with a real-life work-related situation.

Consider giving a candidate an ethics exam to test their knowledge of the NSPE’s Code of Ethics or make up your own scenario-based test for the same purpose. The NSPE’s Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest is another great way to make sure all your employees continue to be up to speed with engineering ethics. Being known as an ethical company is good for the public and is good for your business.

If your organization wants additional business insight or some excellent engineering candidates, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of Washington State’s top engineering staffing agencies, we can help your company achieve its ultimate goals. Schedule some time with us today!

Could Lasers Enhance Solar Cell Efficiency?

April 16th, 2015

Making solar power more efficient, and therefore more cost effective, is a vital goal currently being worked on by engineers throughout the industry. In this era of climate change, finding ways to lessen the carbon footprint caused by power generation offers potential hope for a better planet. The prospect of generating more of our electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind, and water is a goal shared by many engineers.

Scientists at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) are working on a system that uses lasers to improve the efficiency of the individual solar cells used in solar power arrays. This promising research might revolutionize the industry and make solar power a viable economic option for widespread power generation. Let’s take a closer look.

Using Lasers to Transform Silicon

A*STAR’s research is focused on the effects produced by a laser when processing silicon solar cells. Scientists noted that laser processing creates rippling in the silicon. In short, this rippling decreases the reflectivity of the silicon, allowing the resultant solar cells to absorb more sunlight.

A uniform nanoscale ripple pattern etched on solar cell silicon and using a femtosecond laser beam offers researchers the chance to make a breakthrough compared to earlier efforts where the pattern wasn’t deep enough to significantly affect the silicon’s reflectivity. Laser processing generally leaves the internal structure of the silicon unchanged, but the use of the femtosecond laser made the vital difference when it comes to the deepness of the etched ripples.

Xincai Wang, a scientist with A*STAR commented on his team’s efforts. “This increase in depth can substantially reduce light reflection and improve the light-trapping ability of the ripple structure. Hence, if the structure is used in photovoltaic devices, more light will be trapped within the structure, thereby enhancing the device efficiency,” said Wang.

Deeper Ripples at the Scale of Nanometers

A*STAR’s team etched ripples 300 nanometers deep using the new technique with the femtosecond laser. That distance is three times deeper than their previous attempts. Most importantly, this method is relatively simple and inexpensive, which raises the hope for easy adoption of the technology once it is commercialized.

These ripples make a significant difference in the reflectivity of the silicon – dropping it from 39.7 percent to 12.5 percent. Light absorption of the material improved by a factor of 41 percent. In addition to the world of solar power, A*STAR’s research may also impact the light emitting diode (LED) industry.

If these kinds of research innovations inspire you to further your engineering career, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the foremost engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are also a great source for the best Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.

New to Civil Engineering? Career Advice to Help You Plan for the Future

April 8th, 2015

So you are new to the rewarding field of civil engineering? Congratulations! Hopefully a long career full of meaningful accomplishments awaits you. This is an engineering discipline that benefits society as a whole.

Even when first embarking on your vocation, it is never too soon to plan for the future. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help ensure you enjoy a successful career until your retirement day – whenever that comes.

Know the Business As Well As Engineering

It is important that you understand the underlying business principles of your employer – even if you work for a government agency. Learn the budgetary concepts of profit and loss, which become more important in a government position considering taxpayer liability. A well-honed comprehension of business and engineering concepts puts you on the fast track to a management or executive level position.

Thrive When Working on a Team

Teamwork is extremely vital in civil engineering. In many cases, your team includes your clients or customers, which can be the public at large. Learn to keep your ego in check, develop strong listening skills, and leverage empathy to truly relate to your co-workers.

The Agile and DevOps movements within the information technology world illustrate how focusing on teamwork and collaboration allows more to be accomplished with fewer resources. These methodologies also apply to civil engineering.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Honest self-analysis is a necessary part of any career and definitely applies to engineering. It is important to fully develop your professional strengths, while making the effort to improve any weaknesses in your work life. Continual self improvement is something any civil engineering professional should strive to achieve.

Always Strive to Learn New Ideas and Concepts

The engineering world is full of innovations and new ideas. Being set in your ways – especially when first starting out – leads to stagnation and a dead-end career. You need to always strive to learn new ideas and concepts. Remember that becoming licensed as a professional engineer also requires some form of continuing education.

If your company offers tuition reimbursement, take advantage of that benefit to earn an advanced degree. A master’s degree in engineering or even a MBA will definitely super charge your career prospects.

Make Integrity a Vital Part of Your Career

Integrity remains an important aspect of any civil engineer. When dealing with your clients, co-workers, or even the general public, honesty always needs to be on the forefront of your mind. Never become careless in your work.

If you need any additional insight on developing a fulfilling career as a civil engineer, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of Washington State’s top engineering staffing agencies, we can help both you with a robust supply of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.

Writing an Aerospace Engineering Resume to Stand Out from the Competition

April 3rd, 2015

In any competitive job marketplace, it is important to craft a top-notch resume to help you get noticed for an interview. The world of aerospace engineering is no different. Consider the fact that hiring managers must parse through potentially hundreds of candidates to determine the few they want to interview. Given that they only get a minute or two to peruse your candidacy package, it is vital that your resume stands out from the competition.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on authoring a resume to boost your chances at landing a great job in aerospace engineering.

Focus on Tangible Work Accomplishments

An excellent CV focuses on the tangible professional accomplishments you’ve achieved throughout your career. HR personnel want to interview candidates with a history of making a positive difference for their previous employers. Stress these things in the employment history section of your resume.

Use numbers and percentages to illustrate the impact you’ve made at your previous jobs. If your engineering innovations on a project saved the company significant time and money, explicitly state those facts and figures. Consider bolding this information tastefully to help attract the attention of the hiring manager.

The work history portion of your CV shouldn’t simply be a listing of your previous duties. Action verbs along with those facts and figures help to illustrate your potential worth to a new employer.

Highlight Your Relevant Engineering Skills

The skills portion of your resume needs to clearly list all your skills and abilities relevant to the open position for which you are applying. While you can sprinkle some of this information throughout the work history section, it helps to have them in one spot to make it easy for a hiring manager to see them all at a glance. Use only a few words at the most to detail these skills.

Be sure to include any useful engineering-related software packages with which you have significant experience. This helps the HR person responsible for vetting your candidacy to verify that your software skills match what programs are used at their company.

Keep Your Engineering Resume Brief

Really try to keep your resume to two pages at the most if you are an experienced aerospace engineer – one page if you are fresh out of school. Remember that you are competing with many other qualified candidates and some HR managers won’t even bother to look at a three to four-page CV when they have a pile of others to parse within an hour.

If you need any additional advice on writing a great aerospace engineering resume, talk to the experts at the Talley Group. One of the top engineering staffing agencies in the Northwest, we are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us soon.

Strategies for Engineers to Stay Current with Industry Trends

March 26th, 2015

In any engineering discipline, your education doesn’t end the moment you earn a Bachelor’s degree. A successful career in the field involves a figurative lifetime of learning new technologies and methodologies. Failure to keep up with the latest industry trends puts you at the risk of failing behind in your career. It can become easy to rest on your accomplishments, but to continue to advance in your career, there are a number of ways to keep improving.

With that in mind, here are a few strategies to help engineers stay current with the latest innovations in their industry.

Continuing Education is a Requirement for Engineering Licensure

When you are licensed as a professional engineer in your state, expect that some form of continuing education is a requirement for keeping your license. The National Society of Professional Engineer’s (NSPE) PE Institute is a great resource for the educational seminars, events, and classes specific to your engineering discipline that you’ll need to stay a licensed PE. As the latest industry trends enter the mainstream, you can expect the PE Institute to offer materials to help keep you up to date. Take advantage of those materials as they are continually offered.

Don’t forget to Nurture a Professional Network

Developing your own professional network is a key aspect of staying abreast of the latest engineering innovations. Become active on any LinkedIn Groups or any local organizations related to your field. LinkedIn Groups are a good source for articles and other materials on what’s new in engineering, while those local engineering organizations typically host seminars covering the latest in engineering. Don’t just read those articles. By commenting on articles that you find interesting, that fosters discussion and potentially leads to networking opportunities.

Becoming a Well-Read Professional Engineer

Self-study is another great way to keep up to date with new engineering trends. Engineering magazine subscriptions and books help you become a well-read engineer, and in many cases they facilitate the continuing education needed to maintain your PE status. Once again, the NSPE offers great resources of reading material worth checking out for any engineer.

Following these three simple strategies helps to keep your engineering skills and knowledge state of the art.

If you need additional insight on career development, talk to the insightful recruiters at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington, we are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us today!

Certifications and Licensure for Environmental Engineers: What You Need to Know

March 18th, 2015

For most engineers looking to fully develop their career, acquiring the right certifications and licenses is a must, and the environmental engineering discipline offers no exception to this rule. Certifications and licensure remain an important part of the engineering profession. Basically, they are a requirement if you want to reach your full potential as an engineer.

So, how do you go about earning the right certifications and licenses for environmental engineering? Here’s a closer look at what it takes.

Becoming Licensed Is a Must for the Working Engineer

In most cases, you’ll need to be licensed to work as an environmental engineer. If you aren’t, then you must work under the supervision of a previously licensed P.E., which is typical at the beginning of your career. In the United States, environmental engineering licensure is handled by each individual state in which you plan to work. The varying requirements by state can be found at the NCEES Licensing Board website.

In general, there are four steps to earning your P.E. license.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from an accredited educational institution.
  2. Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) exam.
  3. Gain at least four years (the actual amount varies by state) of professional experience working under the supervision of a P.E.
  4. Pass the P.E. exam in environmental engineering.

Many states also require continuing education once you become licensed.

The BCEE Certification for Experienced Environmental Engineers

If you are a licensed environmental engineer with at least eight years of professional experience, becoming a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) is the next logical step in your career development. The title is considered a premium credential, and puts you on the fast track to a managerial or executive position in the industry.

Acquiring a BCEE certification is a rigorous process involving peer review and a written exam as well a significant professional experience in the field. Its tangible career benefits make it worth consideration for senior level environmental engineers.

If you want additional advice on career development, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are also a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Make it a point to contact us today!

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