Successfully balancing family life with becoming a Chartered engineer

Successfully balancing family life with becoming a Chartered engineer

Chartered engineers enjoy high job satisfaction and healthy salaries. A junior engineer can start out earning around £27,000 per year, rising to about £37,000 with experience. But once you achieve chartered status, this can increase to an average of £47,500.

Gaining chartered status is recommended, and many engineering students will begin the process during their undergraduate studies. Having a clear career path and goals in mind can help to streamline these plans, but things don’t always go to plan.

Anyone thinking about gaining chartered status later in life might be wondering how to achieve this while also balancing family life. While chartered status can help you boost your household income, this could come at the expense of your quality time.

According to Nolan Recruitment, it is certainly possible to manage the additional work if you are well-prepared. Read on to discover their tips for achieving chartered status while balancing family life.

How long does it take to become a chartered engineer?

The process typically takes around eight years, but most people complete it in ten. Bear in mind that this includes your initial bachelor’s degree, so if you’re already an engineer and have a few years of experience under your belt, then some of the work is already done for you.

The first thing you’ll need to think about is securing your MEng. This will take two years. If you choose to start your path to chartered status from university, you may be able to combine your studies to achieve your BA and MEng at the same time.

Some will choose to study for their engineering doctorate instead. This is a four-year programme that includes working for an employer around 75% of the time. For those with families, this is often a preferred route as it means that you can study while you’re working.

During your studies, you should also apply to join the professional training body that is relevant to your industry. This will put you on track to achieve chartered status. You will then start the process of recording your professional development in preparation for a professional review of your skills and experience.

It certainly is a lot of work. So, how can you do all of this while raising a family?

Set clear boundaries for life and work

It’s helpful to know that when you’re working, you can focus on work, and when you’re with family, you can focus on family. A supportive partner willing to pick up the slack when you have additional work to get through is certainly helpful.

Flexible childcare is also an asset in this situation. As more women move into the engineering sector, more companies are thinking about what provisions they can provide to make life easier for their employees. As a result, workplace creche facilities could one day become the norm.

And finally, learning when to say no to additional work projects is also helpful. It can be tempting to take on too much out of fear that you won’t be ready for your professional review. However, burning out because you’ve taken on too much will derail your plans much faster.

Set a plan and stick to it

No one has ever said that achieving chartered status will be easy. So if you’re always waiting for things to get simpler, less complicated and easier to manage, you may be sorely disappointed.

Instead of pushing things back, delaying and waiting for the right time to gain chartered status, push ahead. Be aware that it’s going to be hard work, that you’ll be stretched to capacity and that your home commitments might often seem at odds with your work.

If you have a supportive team around you – at home and at work – they will help keep you on track, so you don’t lose sight of the goal. Once you have achieved chartered status, you’ll have higher earning potential and could find more flexibility in your work.

It takes a village to raise a family, so make sure you have yours in place before you start your journey to chartered status. Lean on your partner, friends and family to help make your dreams come true.

Kate Dyson

Kate is the Founder of The Motherload, the 'owner' of one husband, two daughters, two cats and one rabbit. She loves wine, loathes exercise and fervently believes in the power of women supporting women. Find me on instagram: @themotherloadhq

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