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The first step to getting a contract engineering job is an engineering degree. Once you have this under your belt, you must start building up your skill set. Small contract design engineering jobs can help you do just that; not only will you build up your skill sets, you'll start to narrow down the specialties that interest you. Entry-level work still requires skills such as interpreting calculations and drawings by design and development teams, contractors and consulting firms. Once you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you're ready to start your search for bigger contract engineering jobs.
The best way to demonstrate your value to a prospective employer is to highlight your ability to move a project from design to execution. Take advantage of previous contract engineering jobs and school projects to show how instrumental you are in the process of project development. Displaying a working knowledge of the details of contracting, such as permit and safety requirements, is also essential. However, the most important aspect of this type of employment is your ability to problem solve. All of the other puzzle pieces are cemented together by a strong analytical capability. The most successful in this field have demonstrated an ability to analyze, propose a solution, and execute that solution effectively.