How to Make a Career Out of Engineering Temp Jobs

Engineering Temp work is employment that is built on the basis of project finishing or shortened terms. This reduced commitment allows for expertise to be brought into teams as centralized workers, such as when a company needs a mechanic or 3D printer just for the limited term of prototyping. On the employees end it allows for centralized and attainable, goal-oriented work.

A 40 year contract worker’s perspective

In order to attain a better understanding of engineering temp work, a candidate who has worked for over 40 years in temporary work gave the knowledge of his loved career. Raymond Fiore is a devoted employee of whatever task is needed. To discover the positives and negatives of this changing industry we sat down to ask the following questions:

  • What skills have you developed from working on various jobs?
  • How would you compare each job?
  • Do you have the ability to negotiate price, workspace, or duration?
  • What projects have you worked on? What was your favorite and least favorite, why?
  • What benefits have you noticed from doing temporary work?
  • What skills have you developed from working on various jobs?

Raymond elaborated that his general experience in engineering temp work has allowed him to have the mindset to “Hang your hat like you’re at home…you must be comfortable with a new group of teammates and possibly even a new location to build your community.”

Raymond has had multiple different types of temporary work, his experience from pharmaceutical agriculture where he created deworming medicine syringes for sheep to being the lead engineer molding plastics on special projects. He has had employment at jobs for as short as one month and up to two and a half years. He said that through his experience, both the short and long-term occupancies have reached out later on to provide more projects or even full-time employment due to his success in the job.

The jobs, as they can vary with work type, also may vary in locality. They can be strictly offsite, online, or hands on. According to Raymond, this position has offered personnel changes and fast paced successes. This role allows for skillsets to improve through the focus on one important task.

When perfecting plastic molding as a temporary worker, the client will find comfortability and ease in finishing the familiar project while the employer will also not have to worry about filling that project by relocating someone from a different job. As a quick tip, Raymond recommends that all temporary workers develop their assembly and welding to provide great benefit for companies.

Socially in the transitional lifestyle, it is easy to stay in the honeymoon phase in which people remain nice, do not promote drama, or see you as a threat due to the specific work. This can also be of benefit if the employee is not favorable of the role because it has a timed end date.

How would you compare each job?

Each job carries a similar mindset in gaining the technical information needed to get a successful result.  When working as a temporary worker, it is important to look at the whole project while working on your specific area. Raymond urges that you must be confident when new and ask what information you need from the company.

For example, if you are working on technical plastic molds, you should ask the purpose of the overall product and where it will be sold. Raymond had worked on a plastic part that would be sold in Canada, a country who in the next year was no longer going to allow use of the type of plastic he was using. If Raymond had not inquired, he would have built the model based on his knowledge of United States regulations and product availability.

Do you have the ability to negotiate price, duration, or workspace?

Raymond pushed that these jobs are not totally set. There is an ability to negotiate. In the realm of pay, it may already have a limit, but typically duration is totally open. He has had many occurrences that they wanted him to stay another 3 months on the job, but he already had other customers set to meet. Finally, workspace can be home or in person and is typiaclly up to the client. They will decide if it requires you in person, but 75 percent of the time projects can be done in your home office, causing most to be “offsite”.

What projects have you worked on? What was your favorite and least favorite, why?

His favorite projects of 40 years has been the type of work to be with one point of contact for making decisions. When he has a work community that he can get his ideas approved and adjusted with one streamline of communication. He has disliked working with companies of new products who have large teams of people.

He said that with too many opinions it takes longer to make a decision and wastes time by pushing questions and information up the ladder of approval. There may even be a difference of information whether their focus be solely economic, while he is looking at the issue very technically. Knowing what a project needs and what the company likes creates a good and efficient result.

What benefits have you noticed from doing engineering temp work?

Raymond has been in engineering temp work for 40 years, despite many permanent offers. He highlights his skillsets have drastically improved, he has created a network of different people, developed his experience and created self-awareness. He says that the more different projects and materials he has worked on, the more versed he has become to feel more comfortable on a variety of projects. He says it is important to have a widespread number of jobs, rather than to focus on just injection molding, maybe also try thermal forming. Overall, Raymond recommends following these three tips:

  1. Choose the job you want as soon as possible. Do not get stuck in deciding and go straight from college or training into experience to find what work you prefer.
  2. Do not get stuck on stability. Be comfortable in not knowing and gain confidence in your skills. Opportunity will follow.
  3. Build relationships with your coworkers and who you report to as this will outline your future opportunities within the same company and build recommendations of future placements.

Looking for contract work?

If you’re an engineer looking for a new career, contact our recruiters at TriMech Services. We can provide further guidance and expertise on conducting phone interviews with potential employers and may even have an engineering temp position (or permanent) that is a great fit for you!

Riley Rudd

Riley Rudd

Riley Rudd is a Marketing Specialist for TriMech's Staff Augmentation and Project Engineering Group (PEG). Riley is currently a graduate student at Virginia Tech working toward a Master of Engineering in Computer Science, with a focus on data analytics and AI.
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