Interested in Electrical Design Engineer, looking for advice?

Hi all, 

As the title suggests I'm looking to move forward with my current skills and move into an office based CAD role, if possible, but I'm not sure the best route to take and I'm wondering if people would mind sharing their thoughts. 

I currently have the following qualifications and experience:

  • City and Guilds 2330 level 1 through to 3.
  • City and Guilds 2392
  • C&G 18th addition
  • Part P
  • TMIET
  • EngTech
  • Set up my own company in March '21, based around inspection and testing. 
  • Been a qualified supervisor (QS) with NICEIC for 5+ yrs. 

 

I used to be in IT and must admit I miss the techy side of the office work. 

Any advice on what people think my next steps should be would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks, 

Daniel

 

 

 

  • Daniel

    I would recommend the 2396 Design Course as a good starting point.

  • Also since you mention CAD I would try to find a couple of free CAD packages (or trial packages) and get used to using them. When we used to interview CAD engineers we learned (the hard way!) to include in the interview a practical test where we would sit them in front of a package to check they could actually attempt to use it, even if it was one they were unfamiliar with. This is why it's good to try using more than one, you'll realise which parts are almost the same and which are different. Some companies specify “must have experience of xxx CAD system”, better employers (or those that simply have more time to allow a bit of training) will appreciate that if you can use one system you can adapt to another. What employers will want to see is that you'll have enough confidence and knowledge to give a new package a go, and ask sensible questions on the bits you can't see how to use.

    I'll admit to being a few years out of date of which packages are around now, and which have free or free trial versions available, hopefully others here can advise.

    Good luck!

    Andy

  • Rhino60: 
     

    Daniel

    I would recommend the 2396 Design Course as a good starting point.

    Thank you very much, this was a course that I had, indeed, been eyeing up. 

     

    Andy Millar: 
     

    Also since you mention CAD I would try to find a couple of free CAD packages (or trial packages) and get used to using them. When we used to interview CAD engineers we learned (the hard way!) to include in the interview a practical test where we would sit them in front of a package to check they could actually attempt to use it, even if it was one they were unfamiliar with. This is why it's good to try using more than one, you'll realise which parts are almost the same and which are different. Some companies specify “must have experience of xxx CAD system”, better employers (or those that simply have more time to allow a bit of training) will appreciate that if you can use one system you can adapt to another. What employers will want to see is that you'll have enough confidence and knowledge to give a new package a go, and ask sensible questions on the bits you can't see how to use.

    I'll admit to being a few years out of date of which packages are around now, and which have free or free trial versions available, hopefully others here can advise.

    Good luck!

    Andy

    Thank you, some great advice with valuable insight. I'll have a look around at what is currently available. I suppose I can try and start reverse engineering buildings that I'm familiar with to start a portfolio of sorts. 

     

    Thanks again. 

  • Apologies for the lateness in my reply; I thought it worth adding to the software question. I agree with Andy; you want to get some CAD experience to understand/manipulate the appropriate symbols in a drawing.

    Many companies use AutoCAD LT or, more likely, AutoCAD Electrical; although AutoCAD LT would be a great place to start, you can get a trial for the software. However, LibreCAD is a free, open-source program that would be a great place to begin if you want to start with the basics. The principles of CAD software are relatively similar across all packages; they draw vector graphics and can use saved symbols that you can get from the internet, draw yourself or acquire from manufacturers. I don't think the forum will let me share a link; if you search the internet for "Radica IEC Symbols", you will find the Radica website to download DXF files for different symbols. I believe LibreCAD will be able to import the files to draw the connections between devices etc. If you are struggling or need a little help, please send me a direct message, and I will do my best.

    You'll find that larger companies tend to use EPLAN; some may also use Solidworks Electrical, but I don't recommend that avenue. EPLAN is an advanced CAD package that you would likely learn with an employer; if you start with the basic CAD skills in LibreCAD and demonstrate your willingness to learn, you've made a great start.

    Attaining an academic qualification is fantastic, and I would never tell anyone to avoid that pathway; however, experience in a software package will further you more quickly. Create a portfolio of work you've done in the past inside a CAD package and look for Junior Design Engineer roles where you can demonstrate your skills. Take a look at LinkedIn Jobs and CV Library; both of those sources can offer great opportunities.