Not really. While some engineers may officially leave a job after attaining a certain age, the job hardly leaves them. Also, being a professional discipline, engineers hardly have a fixed retirement age.
An engineer is also one never to be found idle. So after retirement, it is not unusual for engineers to still look for employment.
Engineering is one of the professions which can be practiced well into old age. That’s why it’s never difficult for engineers to want to keep on working, albeit in the background or at a slower pace.
Engineering is a vast field with vast disciplines. While the most popular types are chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and electrical engineering, other types of engineering like aeronautical engineering and computer engineering are more modern. Engineering as a field is intertwined, so no field is independent of the others.
That allows the engineer to work in lots of different fields. Interestingly, engineers are trained in multiple skills. So in an engineer, you have many things rolled into one.
Engineers have a wide range of disciplines that could be impacted by their skills and experience and also have an even more comprehensive range of services that could be rendered after their active service years.
Some jobs require the services of retired engineers who would serve in a supervisory role. Others are rather needed to guide and mentor upcoming engineers.
Retired engineers can also veer into completely uncharted territories using their background knowledge to learn new skills and develop themselves in new areas.
One thing you should always know is that engineers would always be in demand. And with the experience retired engineers have amassed over the years, they will always have areas where they can explore positively while making some money for themselves.
Let’s look at some of the jobs engineers can try their hands on after retirement, the requirements of such jobs and how much can be made.
From engineering to teaching? Why not?
There can be no better teacher in Science and Mathematics related subjects like an engineer. That’s because while regular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers are knowledgeable about the theories and principles, engineers have lived them.
Engineers, and indeed retired engineers, make the best STEM teachers. From high schools to colleges, the best personnel to groom future engineers are engineers themselves.
Apart from instilling the required discipline and passion needed to become a successful engineer in students, retired engineers can handle an extensive range of subjects in science-related courses by their training.
Retired engineers are also great at handling practical classes. As a result, a retired engineer can handle multidisciplinary assignments in schools.
It should be noted that being an engineer is not a direct license to teach in schools, as some requisite certifications in education may be required to ascertain that the engineer could adequately impart knowledge. However, a retired engineer could function in several areas in a school without any further requirements.
If the retired engineer has a master’s or further degree, he could decide to pursue a career as an engineering professor. Teaching engineering to university students has excellent advantages and allows the engineer to mentor future engineers.
How much can be made?
If you wish to work as a teacher or instructor in a high school as a retired engineer, an average annual salary of $49,950 awaits you. As a professor of engineering, you’ll make an average of $59,500 every year.
As a teacher, retired engineers have the opportunity to deploy their knowledge in another form. The job allows the engineer to practice their profession in a completely different form.
It is a full-time job that gives the retired engineer little time to spend on other things. Also, the job may require additional degrees or certifications in education.
A maintenance manager is responsible for ensuring that the building doesn’t develop problems with the critical parts and correct problems whenever they surface.
As retired engineers, the advantage is that there’s hardly any part of a large building that the engineer is not familiar with, mechanical or electrical.
The larger the building, the larger the parts that require maintenance like drains, elevators, generators, air-conditioners, lightings, and the structural state of the building itself.
An engineer knows how to detect structural deficiencies in buildings even before they become apparent. If such problems could still be corrected, the engineer arranges for it to be done.
Engineers are trained to see safety as a priority. And retired engineers can detect problems before they even manifest. A job as a maintenance officer gives the engineer the responsibility of ensuring the building remains safe for the inhabitants. The maintenance manager also coordinates sundry repairs on faulty appliances that develop issues.
Overall, the smooth running of the building is the goal of the maintenance manager.
Retired engineers are ideal candidates to fill this role because of their years of experience.
How much can be made?
As for maintenance managers, the pay depends on the kind of building being managed. However, the average wage is around $79,000 annually.
The work of a maintenance manager is a very sensitive one. It allows the engineer to practice in the most practical ways, all the pieces of training of an engineer. It is also a well-paying job. The maintenance manager does not necessarily carry out the repairs himself but coordinates the process.
It is a demanding job as many aspects of huge buildings, especially in residential areas, always require repairs and replacements.
Whether it’s a building or a manufacturing project, engineers must provide guidance and direction for a successful operation.
From conception to actualization, engineers provide required leadership and supervision to ensure everything goes according to plan.
With the experience of retired engineers, this is one role they indeed excel in. The retired engineer is explicitly contracted for that project in which he has had lots of experience. The engineer, in turn, uses the experience to ensure the job is well done.
As a project consultant, the engineer must ensure strict compliance with requirements, monitor the procedure to ensure no errors, and be ready to address problems as they arise.
The supervisor serves as a guide and a director and takes absolute responsibility for the project from start to finish.
How much can be made?
Most project supervisors are contracted based on specific projects, so the pay depends on the kind of work being supervised.
However, as a project supervisor, the engineer can make between $60,000-$80,000 per year when contracted permanently.
The engineer can supervise several other engineers to run ideas and get a clearer perspective of issues when problems arise. The engineer stands to gain even more experience while consulting for projects.
The job of a project supervisor may be streamlined towards a particular engineering discipline.
Industrial Mechanical Consultants
For engineers who wish to work at their own pace while providing industrial solutions, the job of industrial mechanics is a fitting role.
As industrial mechanics, the engineer is only contracted when industrial machines or pieces of equipment require attention. Their job would be to provide necessary repairs or replacements depending on the nature of the problem while also offering advice on how best to keep pieces of equipment running smoothly.
Naturally, retired engineers with industrial engineering experience are more ideal for this role. They incorporate their years of experience in the industry to ensure the factory is running smoothly.
Industrial mechanical consultants are not always contracted on a full-time basis but are called upon when needed, especially for maintenance or repairs. This gives the retired engineer more flexibility and freedom.
How much can be made?
The job is not a full-time position as the engineers are contracted on demand. But on average, industrial mechanics can make up to $60,000 per annum.
It’s an on-demand job that gives the retired engineer greater flexibility and freedom. It also involves maintenance and repairs of equipment that retired engineers are already used to.
It is not a job with many openings as many factories already have maintenance engineers.
When companies hire new engineers who need to be trained on the demands of their new assignments, retired engineers could use their experience to teach the recruits about engineering best practices.
Apart from preparing the new employees for the needs of the job, they are also trained on the ethics of the profession.
Retired engineers are best suited for this role because they have years of experience that gives them the edge.
Engineering is a very demanding profession and requires frequent training and retraining of personnel. Retired engineers can easily be called upon to handle this procedure. It doesn’t end there. If the staff of the company need any additional training, the engineer is also able to deliver.
How much can be made?
Trainers stand to make around $69,000 a year on average.
The job is quite interesting as it involves dealing with people and not just engines and machines. It is pretty ideal for those who want to take it slow after a career full of more challenging tasks.
As convenient as the job is, it is not frequently in demand.
When engineering breakthroughs are made and products are released to the public, there is the need to write manuals for such products in a manner that the layman would be able to understand easily. Such technical writing is a skill that very few people have.
Retired engineers have the knowledge and experience to write such manuals for public use. Sometimes the machinery is an industrial one and needs an operational guide in written form. Such giant machines which trained engineers only use also require manuals that require technical writing.
The retired engineer must be passionate about writing and may require some technical writing certifications to pull off this job.
However, most engineers have what it takes to do this job without any stress.
How much can be made?
This job has on offer about $57,000 per year on average.
The job is quite convenient and can be done from the point of convenience.
This job may require further certification in technical writing. However, this can be easily done online.
Some other jobs…
Some other jobs that retired engineers can easily lay their hands on include operating industrial machines, testing engineering products, certifying products, and marketing new engineering products.
Some retired engineers may spend their spare time blogging, writing articles related to engineering, or their experiences while on the job. The engineer needs to find where his passion lies and how best to contribute to the profession even from retirement.
Engineering is such a broad profession that it provides almost unlimited options for those who wish to keep working.
Many retired engineers are recruited to supervise significant engineering projects, while others are needed to guide and mentor upcoming engineers. Regardless of where a retired engineer wishes to work, valuable years of experience remain a major asset.
John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of RetireeWorkforce.com and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.