How To Get An Engineering Job In Australia? 4 Simple Steps

get an engineering job in Australia

While it is true that engineering jobs are widely available in Australia, getting an engineering job is not easy. There is a huge demand for engineers in Australia, but there is also a massive supply for engineers, which makes competition a huge obstacle for many. Moreover, the screening process for engineering jobs is very sophisticated in Australia, which means only the robust applications make it to the top, and only a handful make it to the interview.

So how can engineers increase their success rates in getting a job offer?

Essentially you want to create a credible application that endorses your skills, character and fit for the role.

After years of working as a Civil Engineer in Australia, I found steps that help me increase my chances of getting interviews and job offers. All those techniques are explained in the following 4 steps:

1- Find a company that aligns with your goals

get an engineering job in Australia

One of the main reasons engineers lose passion for engineering is choosing a job that does not interest them (wrong job) or choosing a high-salary job over career prospects.

Let’s deal with the first issue of choosing the wrong job.

Why do engineers in Australia choose the wrong engineering job?

After years of working as an engineer in Australia, I understood the high competition in any engineering industry. For every engineering job ad, there are thousands and thousands of applications. If we disregard the salary potential and focus only on the job ad and start unpacking the job description and the company, almost the highest majority of those jobs are not that exciting.

Many advertised engineering jobs in Australia are usually small family businesses and small to medium companies trying to make it in a big lake of many other engineering companies that do the same thing. Yet any of those jobs still receive a huge number of applicants.

This shows that the supply of engineers is more than the demand. Many engineers think that the more jobs you apply for, the more you increase your chances of getting the job. That is simply not right anymore in our day and age.

This issue is why many engineers end up working in a job they fail to find a connection to and lose their passion for engineering. Read 8 Reasons You Are Losing Passion For Engineering-How to Fix? to understand how destructive that can be in the long term.

Why do engineers in Australia always choose high salaries over job satisfaction?

It sounds silly to even compare salary to the nature of the job. Many will choose a salary in a heartbeat over job satisfaction. Many will go with the attitude of “Will get used to it; at least it pays well”.

Again this is a very wrong way of thinking. If the job pays very well, but you can not connect emotionally and mentally to the job, how can you expect to grow in that company?

Many will choose the high salary over the job satisfaction and stay in that position for a while until they find that this job is just too boring or does not interest them. Therefore, the only solution will be to find another job. This means they keep jumping from a job to a job but never find the company they have been looking for all along.

Think about it, if choosing a company and a career over the salary and trying your best and show everyone that you are irreplaceable to this organisation, would not the management of this company be willing to pay you more so they can keep you in?

There are huge benefits of taking job satisfaction over the salary. Not convinced yet? Read Which is more important: High salary or job satisfaction?

How to find a company that aligns with your goals?

When hunting for engineering jobs, more is less. The more you find the niche and the area in your engineering field that you like and want to be in, you should immerse yourself in that area and try to become the best at it. Becoming an expert at a certain niche in your engineering field gives you an edge when applying for engineering jobs.

Pick something you like and feel you would have fun working on it. As you know, competition is high, so it is very hard to beat the competition by being the jack of all trades, but you are more likely to succeed in getting an engineering job if you are the expert in that job and your skills match the job description.

2- Make a strong, impactful resume and cover letter

You could be someone with potential that can tick all the boxes for the employer. However, a big reason why your application gets neglected is that you fail to translate your skills into your application. Making a strong resume and cover letter is your only chance to showcase your skills and who you are as an engineer.

Because of the high supply of engineers in the market, companies usually rely on recruiters to find good candidates for their positions. If you do not know any friends who work as recruiters, here is some insider information: Recruiters are basically sorting machines that scan resumes in 10 seconds. If they do not see something eye-catching about your resume, it will be neglected.

In fact, most engineering applications are never reviewed by an engineering manager because it never passes the recruiter phase. If you feel that is you, clearly you need to learn some new techniques:

How to write a powerful resume and cover letter

Making a job application is something you learn to do even before you go to university. You probably have done a course in school on writing a resume and a cover letter. The overload of cheap tips and tricks in writing a resume around the internet usually confuses engineers, which results in a cheap job application. In reality, there are a few things you should be focusing on:

  1. Write a resume that is targeted to a specific job you want to apply for.
  2. Showcase the job requirements as skills in your resume.
  3. Use a simple professional format.
  4. Keep it short and sweet, usually 2-3 pages max.

The internet is full of general guides to writing resumes for any profession. But applying for engineering jobs is different to applying for a sales job. This is why here at the Young Hero Engineer, we made a full free guide on how to write a resume and a cover letter specifically for an engineering job. We have narrowed this guide to 6 actionable steps you can check here: How To Get an Engineering Job? 6 Actionable Steps To Follow.

Use keywords in your application

Imagine that your dream job is being advertised right now on Seek, Indeed or LinkedIn. The company you always dreamed of working in is finally advertising for the position you believe suits you very well.

In my experience, a dream job is always a well-known company in a specific industry in Australia, the big company that does it all. It might even be a public company with 1000+ employees.

If that is your dream job, your chances are 0.01% of getting a job interview. Those companies will ideally receive 10,000 applicants; no recruiter will go through that many job applications. Many of those companies have utilised the power of filter software to rank those resumes using keywords. Those 10,000+ applications get filtered to the top 100 resumes based on several metrics, but the main two are keyword and formatting.

If you have never considered this, there is a high chance your resume has never passed that screening process.

How to use keywords in your resume? Read the job ad, extract all the skills and attributes the employer is looking for, and incorporate them in your resume, but make sure you use the same keyword in the job ad without changing the work or using synonyms.

However, do not overuse keywords; most filter programs are programmed to look for consistency in writing. Even if your resume passes the filtering software, it will never pass the human filtering by recruiters and managers.

For more help, read the biggest 4 don’ts when applying for an engineering job: 4 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Get An Engineering Job?

3- Practice for the Interview

The interview is your only chance to prove that you are the right fit for the job—however, engineering interviews in Australia it’s taken to a whole new level.

In addition to the face-to-face interview, there are additional interviews that you have to do before the final interview. These are the types of interviews you can expect when applying for engineering jobs:

  • Video interview: This is where you film yourself answering questions.
  • Phone interview: This is where you speak to a recruiter or a hiring manager.
  • Online interview: This is where you have an interview with a senior manager or HR manager.
  • First interview: Usually with senior engineers or directors in the company.
  • Final interview: With the CEO or the managing director of the company.

Studies have shown engineers will do at least two of the above. This can be a very daunting screening process. However, the way to prepare is almost always the same.

How to show confidence when answering interview questions

Preparing for an engineering interview sounds scary to many people. How to prepare, what to dress and how to answer the interview questions. You most likely start searching the internet for answers, which is one of the reasons you are here, but the more you stress yourself, the more you reduce the chances of getting hired and doing well in that interview.

So let’s take a different approach to how we can prepare for an engineering interview. Let’s put ourselves in the employer’s position and ask what they are looking for. If your answer is:

  • Confident person
  • Can handle the job technicalities
  • Has a can-do attitude

You will be right.

This is why you need to nail the first impression. As humans, when we meet someone for the first time, we tend to form an initial impression of that person in the first few minutes of meeting them. This does affect your success in getting a job offer.

In the first few minutes, if you come off as a shy person, uncertain and scared, this will most likely affect your chances of getting the job even if you managed to answer all the questions correctly. If you are not emitting positive energy, you will most likely fail.

So how do you show confidence? Simple!

  • Dress professionally.
  • Speak in a natural voice. Film yourself practising if you struggle with a monotone voice or low-pitched voice.
  • Sit straight and look directly at the interviewer.
  • Avoid fidgeting with your hand or touching your face during the interview as it shows uncertainty.
  • Smile but not always.
  • Practice common engineering questions: Top 50+ Engineering Interview Questions With Answers.

How to leave a good impression in the interview

Interviews are basically a presentation of yourself in the form of questions and answers. If you present yourself well, you will get the job. One of the best exercises I do before an engineering interview is visualising myself talking to the interviewer.

I imagine the whole scenario with a set of questions and answers. I even search LinkedIn to find who my interviewers are to visualise them. If you think that is silly, try it first and see how many flaws it can show about you and how you can deal with them.

This helps you present yourself well and make a good impression in the interview. But that is not all.

Interviews are a two-way conversation. This means you also get to ask questions about the position, interviewer and the company. The way to leave a good impression is to ask questions too.

Based on my experience and the experience of many of my engineering friends, the number of questions you ask the interviewer during the interview effect your success rate.

Your goal is always to try to make the interview a two-way conversation. This starts by asking smart questions. See our top 50 Questions To Ask Interviewers In Engineering Interviews.

Also, you should avoid asking some questions that can make you less credible: 5 Questions You Should NOT Ask In Engineering Interviews.

4- Take advantage of LinkedIn & your engineering network

If you are not taking advantage of LinkedIn and your network of engineers, you are missing out on an important aspect of building a credible application which is your online presence.

Any recruiter who has taken an interest in your resume will most likely look at your LinkedIn. They want to see what type of posts you share and what skills you have.

This means you can use LinkedIn to your advantage by applying for jobs through LinkedIn and networking with people to find unadvertised engineering jobs.

How to grow your online presence on LinkedIn

If you are an engineer in Australia, you should know that LinkedIn has grown into a professional platform where engineers network with each other and share thoughts and accomplishments. This is what you need to do:

  • Professional photo of you: Use a headshot that makes you look professional and credible.
  • Grow your connections: Start with the people you know in your industry.
  • Fill the about me section: Talk about your skills and goals and what makes you the best in your career.
  • Add your experience: Add all the experience and previous engineering positions you had before.
  • Add your education: Mention where you studied and what did you study.

How to take advantage of your engineering network

LinkedIn is another social platform but for professional careers. The way to grow there is to post about meaningful things about your career. The more you post, the more you attract new engineers and increase your connections.

The bigger your network, the more credible person you become, as LinkedIn is not like Instagram, for example. The people on LinkedIn are more sophisticated and will most likely not follow or connect with anyone unless they feel you are an accomplished individual. The best way to become more credible is to make posts. In general, on LinkedIn, there are three types of posts:

  1. Achievement post: This is the easiest type. You got a promotion; you finished your engineering course; you finished working on a project; celebrate those achievements by posting them on your LinkedIn.
  2. Thought Post: This is your opinion about something. This can be tricky sometimes because you want to avoid sensitive topics such as politics, religion or conflicts. You should only stick to career topics such as challenging things about your career or things you do not like or like about your job. If you keep things related to your engineering profession, you will most likely build a more sophisticated online presence with people who share your opinions.
  3. Help Posts: These are more targeted posts intended to help specified types of engineers. For example, you are good at Python, so you make helpful posts to help other engineers.

How often should you post on LinkedIn?

If you are someone who is looking to grow their LinkedIn connection, you should try to post at least once a week or once every two weeks. This will slowly help you increase your audience in the long term.

FQA about getting an engineering job

Is it hard to get a job as an engineer in Australia?

It can be hard to get an engineering job in Australia because of the high competition. But there is also a high demand for engineering jobs, so if you are an engineer in Australia, you can certainly find a job in engineering.

Is Australia good for engineering jobs?

In Australia, there is a huge boom in Infrastructure, mining, IT services, finance and consumer goods which makes engineering careers in high demand. In addition, engineers in Australia make around $85,000, which guarantees a reasonable living. Therefore, Australia is good for engineering jobs.

Do engineers get paid well in Australia?

This is the range of engineering salaries you can expect in Australia:

UndergraduateEntry Level SalaryMid-Career SalaryCharted-Professional Engineer
Civil and Environmental Engineering$38,000$65,000$95,000$130,000
Electrical Engineering$42,000$75,000$99,000$148,000
Mechanical Engineering$39,000$71,000$100,000$130,000
Chemical Engineering$34,000$67,000$97,000$135,000
Software Engineering$55,000$82,000$105,000$155,000
Aerospace Engineering$52,000$75,000$88,000$140,000
Biomedical Engineering$37,000$83,000$88,000$110,000
Mechatronics Engineering$45,000$72,000$82,000$129,000
Material Science Engineering$33,000$63,000$80,000$149,000
Industrial Engineering$36,000$72,000$120,000$140,000
In AUS Dollar

Can American engineers work in Australia?

Engineers who studied and worked as engineers in America can work as engineers in Australia. While getting the job might be challenging, as Australia is known for its good engineering universities and the high competition for engineering jobs. But American engineers can certainly succeed in any engineering field in Australia.

Joseph Maloyan

Hi, this is Joseph, and I love writing about engineering and technology. Here I share my knowledge and experience on what it means to be an engineer. My goal is to make engineering relatable, understandable and fun!

Recent Posts