The Pros and Cons of Contract Work for Engineers

It is a great time to build a career in engineering. With a big chunk of the economy being driven by innovation in machinery and technology, this is a perfect time for experienced and aspiring engineers to grab the many available opportunities in their sector and catapult their careers. These promising areas include not only challenging and rewarding work but also offer high-paying jobs right from the entry-level in most cases. 

Talking specifically about the UK, our country has thriving construction, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy sectors. Businesses in these industries constantly innovate to improve existing equipment and processes or develop new ones that can benefit the people, the economy, and the environment. But all this is only possible with an educated, trained, and skilled workforce. So while plenty of permanent positions are available in these companies, they also rely heavily on contract engineers to complete crucial projects. 

Whether you are an experienced engineer in between jobs or a fresh engineering graduate looking for their first role, a contract job is worth considering to get back in the game or your foot in the door in any of these industries. To help you make the best decision, here are some pros and cons of contract work for engineers.

Pros of Contract Engineering Work

Better Pay 

Contract engineers can expect bigger paychecks than their permanent counterparts. They may not be entitled to any benefits of a permanent employee, but they almost always receive better take-home pay, which means you’ll make more money at the end of the day.  

Freedom & Flexibility

One of the biggest perks of working as a contract engineer is that you have complete autonomy over your working schedule. In most cases, you can decide when and how you want to work and choose whether to attend company meetings, reviews, and other official gatherings. You also have the flexibility to jump from one company to another once a project is completed. 

Unmatched Experience

Contract engineers can work on a range of different projects and with multiple companies. This gives you an advantage over permanent employees as you get to work on different types of projects in a short period and gain a wide range of skills. 

Better Job Satisfaction

As contract engineers enjoy more freedom, flexibility, pay, and work-life balance, they report having better job satisfaction than full-time engineers. 

Cons of Contract Engineering Work

Lack of Benefits

Like any other contract workers, contract engineers are not entitled to any benefits that are available to full-time employees. This means no health insurance, maternity/paternity leave and pay, or access to any amenities within the office complex.

Limited Progression

Promotions and full-time conversions are difficult to achieve for contractors. Because you will work independently most of the time, you will not have any senior roles backing you and so managerial roles are hard to land.

Less Stability

Contract jobs will not give you the stability that a permanent role will. Despite all the advantages, lack of security and stability is one of the biggest cons of contract engineering work. 

Whether contract roles are right for you or not will depend on your priorities at the time of searching for a job. Regardless, if you want to gain valuable engineering experience, a contract role may be the best option. 

Precision People engineering recruitment offers the full range of roles within the production and site sector at all levels of seniority. Our dedicated team aims to fill permanent and temporary positions with exceptional people, from laser programmers to commercial directors, for clients across the Midlands and the UK. 

Ready to land your dream engineering job? Call us on 0116 254 5411 today.

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15th April

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