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How to become an Engineer

  1. Sep 25, 2009 #1
    I just graduated with a Physics Masters. I seem to have trouble trying to find an engineering job. I wanted to know how does a Physicist become an engineer?

    My main problem is that almost all of the engineering jobs I see have requirements that I don't qualify for. The requirements are more technical than what I studied in my physics courses. As a result, I have had a really hard time finding anything that I really qualify for since I don't have a lot of engineering coursework or experience. I feel confident that I could learn those skills, but I never make it pass the gatekeeper (Human Resources), since I don't have the exact technical skills required.

    I have the same problem with software. I don't have the qualifications as a Computer Scientist, but I do have computational physics experience from coursework and from doing a research thesis on a Molecular Dynamics algorithm. I am getting very frustrated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2009 #2
    Have you applied to these jobs or just looked and decided that you don't meet the requirements? You can probably get an entry level engineering position if you can get past the gatekeeper. This is easier at places that already know to hire people with physics degrees.

    Here are some typical qualifications for my job:

    • performing and writing validations of product, processes and equipment in accordance with FDA and ISO guidelines,
    • designing, executing, and analyzing experiments based on statistical techniques,
    • developing, troubleshooting and refining medical device manufacturing processes and equipment,
    • conceptualizing and instituting improvements to a medical product and its manufacturability,
    • evaluating proposed improvements to processes and products based on analyses of regulatory requirements, product quality needs, ergonomics, safety, environmental and economics,
    • driving the efficient scale-up of manufacturing processes,
    • developing and carrying out performance tests on a device to characterize and document its safety,
    • designing, building and testing prototypes,
    • documenting work via reports, technology notebooks, and design file entries,
    • modeling the effects of the physiological environment on medical devices, and
    • writing procedures, training other associates, and assisting other technical associates.

    I definitely didn't cover any of that in my physics classes, except perhaps the part about conducting experiments, but that was not really a hindrance.
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