I'm finishing up my PhD in Mechanical Engineering in a field with a rather high demand for highly skilled labor. I was originally planning on working in a national lab or industry in an R&D setting as a full time engineer/researcher, but now I'm having second thoughts. I'm concerned that if I work full time at a national lab or company my daily work is going to be diluted with asinine meetings and paperwork instead of focusing on the actual research and thinking part of the job which is why I'm getting a PhD in the first place. I was thinking consulting might be a better option as my daily work tasks would be focused more on technical problem solving rather than filling out paperwork. The question thats lingering in my mind is whether or not I could actually pull it off. I already do quite a bit of consulting work right now during my graduate studies. I'm actually working on my third consulting job this year. This is work that more or less finds me due to reputation and networking, I don't really go out looking for it. However, I'm still rather young (late 20's) and would eventually like to get my PE license as well so I may just reconsider consulting later on in my career. So anyone have any experience or strong opinions on engineering consulting? I realize I'll never have any actual job security but will have the opportunity to make a higher salary. Although, a higher salary isn't the end goal.