Why contract engineering is the ultimate career hack: 7 reasons to consider it now
Embedded Expertise, Published: April 12, 2023 - Updated: April 12, 2023
Are you tired of being undervalued and underpaid as an engineer? Do you want more flexibility in your work schedule and the freedom to learn new skills on your terms?
If so, then it might be time to consider becoming a contractor!
In this blog, we'll explore the top 7 reasons why contract engineering can be a beneficial career option for you.
1. Much More Money
Specialist skills are in high demand! By leveraging your skills and experience, you can earn significantly more than you would in a permanent role and have greater control over your financial future. We often see permanent employees increasing their earnings by 30-50% overnight when switching to contract work, thanks to having the power to set their own rates and negotiate pay with clients in line with market demand.
2. Fair Compensation
One of the biggest benefits of contract engineering is that you actually get paid for the hours you work. No more working overtime for no extra pay or being undervalued by your employer. Your time is money. Work 50 hours this week? You’ll be compensated fairly for it during each contract.
3. Learn Skills to Advance Your Career
With the added freedom to choose projects you’re passionate about and skills that you want to develop, you become more valuable to future clients in your areas of interest. Expand your skillset by working across various sectors such as energy, water, manufacturing, transport, smart cities, defence, and resources, working with new clients, developing in-demand skills, and ensuring your career continues to progress.
Whether you're working in bustling cities or remote locations, each new contract also offers unique challenges and experiences. This diversity allows you to broaden your perspective, meet new people, and experience different cultures, making it an enriching experience.
5. Long-Term Roles Available
A common misconception is that contract work doesn’t provide career stability and the opportunity to work on exciting, long-term projects. There is a mass of government-funded infrastructure work currently available in Australia, making landing multi-year contracts easier than ever before.
6. Fewer Meetings and Politics
One of the biggest frustrations for engineers in permanent roles is the amount of time wasted in meetings and dealing with office politics. As a contractor, you have the freedom to focus on the work that matters most and avoid unnecessary distractions.
7. Lifestyle Freedom
Supported by the extra income that comes with engineering contracting, you can enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. You can take a few months off to travel or pursue a personal project without worrying about losing your job, returning refreshed and ready for your next opportunity.
What are the challenges?
Contract work offers many benefits, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are a few to consider:
As a contractor, you're responsible for paying your own taxes and ensuring your finances are safeguarded. It's important to have a financial plan in place to ensure that you're prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and have enough savings to cover your expenses.
Finding your next contract
There may be times when it's difficult to find the right role. You need to be proactive in seeking out new contracts and networking with potential clients. Building strong relationships with recruiters and hiring managers can help you secure future contracts and maintain a steady stream of work. At Embedded Expertise, our Talent Managers can work with you on lining up your next role, whether that be a contract extension or a new opportunity with a new client.
Less job security is a trade-off with contract work, and you’ll be compensated for taking this risk. However, downsizing, economic downturns, and other factors can still lead to job loss, even in permanent roles. By taking more control over your career, you can adapt to changing market conditions more easily to consistently find high-paying roles based on current industry trends.
Not convinced? Here’s a quick success story.
Role: Mechanical Project Engineer.
Salary before: 120k including super.
Salary after: 180k including super (+60k).
What they had to say: “I am never going back to a permanent role again, the financial freedom and the experience in a variety of projects that can be achieved is incomparable.”
Is engineering contracting for you?
If you're tired of feeling undervalued and overworked in your current role, then taking control of your career through engineering contracting may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
In this blog, we’ve outlined how engineering contracting can be a great career option for those looking for more financial stability, freedom, and opportunities for skill development, and the ultimate career hack for ambitious engineers looking to take their careers to the next level.