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Engineering careers abroad

GlobeEngineering is a universal language, so what do you need to know if you want to work outside the UK?


There are a huge number of engineering opportunities abroad. Many are similar to those in the UK, but working overseas can also open up new challenges.

There are two main routes into a job abroad as an engineer. You could apply directly for a job in the country you want to work in. To do this, you are likely to need a good level of work experience, and might need to speak the language of the country you are going to.

Alternatively, you could try to find a job with an engineering firm that has offices in other countries, and aim to transfer over. This could be an easier route at the start of your career, and will give you time to gain experience and learn another language if you need to; however, you might have to wait longer before you can move.

What do I need?

Working in the European Union

Countries in the EU share standards for education and experience in engineering. This means that there’s no need to worry about whether your qualifications will count when you’re applying for a job in an EU country. However, most European countries place more emphasis on work experience during study, so you might not be able to take a job in another country immediately after graduation unless you’ve done a lot of work experience already.

Moving to another country within the EU will be easier than moving elsewhere in the world, as there is an international agreement allowing EU citizens to work freely anywhere in the EU.

Many universities offer language courses for engineering students, so make sure you take advantage of these if you’re thinking of working in the EU.

Working elsewhere

Although engineering qualifications are not as well integrated worldwide as they are in the EU, there are still international agreements about how different countries’ qualifications match up, making international work relatively easy for engineers. However, some countries place different emphasis on qualifications and experience: for example, master’s degrees are much more important in the USA than in many other countries.

Outside the EU, you will also have to obtain the appropriate visa. Being a skilled worker should make this process easier, and the more qualifications and experience you have the easier it will be. However, the exact process will depend on the country you intend to work in.

Check Prospects for details of particular countries, including immigration information and a rundown of how easy it is to find work there.

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