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Technology is changing the way the world operates. If you are willing to sell your services to the world or learn a few more skills, it is a matter of time before you start commercializing your engineering knowledge in this digital age.
Although many tend to associate the word freelance with work areas such as design, web development, or copywriting, on freelance platforms, there is a growing demand for skills related to engineering and for engineers in general.
If you want to make the change and start working for different clients from home, you can try these platforms where you will surely find excellent job offers that fit what you are looking for.
This is an ideal platform for more experienced engineers, as it requires freelancers to go through a demanding admissions process to assess whether they are an attractive profile for the platform.
If you have years of experience and excellent academic preparation, you can surely make a place for yourself on this website. Because Toptal only enters a select number of freelancers, this makes engineers who manage to be part of it, get jobs quickly.
By being part of TopTal you will be able to have access to exclusive job offers that you would surely not find on other job platforms.
Companies like Motorola, Bridgestone, and the University of Colorado are constantly looking for freelancers and this has made the platform gain a lot of prestige.
However, you should bear in mind that the jobs available on this platform are aimed more than anything at systems and software engineers.
Unlike other platforms, in Toptal you will not have to actively apply for job vacancies but the page is responsible for including you in a catalog that will be shown to clients.
Toptal does the job of connecting clients with the most compatible freelancers for their projects and the client is in charge of choosing the profiles that are most attractive to them.
What you can do to increase your chances of being selected for a project is to make sure that you create a profile that makes your skills and abilities clear and is interesting to clients.
Upwork is one of the most used freelance platforms today, with approximately 12 million users. There you will find hundreds of attractive job offers for different types of engineers.
There are vacancies available related to electrical engineering, engineering design, robotics engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, industrial engineering, and many more.
It is certainly a good place to start if you have never worked freelance before, as it is a platform with many job opportunities.
In Upwork, you must create your profile, fill it with all your data and work or academic experience. Remember that the more specific you are, the more likely you are to attract the attention of potential clients.
There you can also create a portfolio to show your work and you can even create more than one portfolio. This will help you if you specialize in more than one type of engineering.
As you complete jobs, you will gain a reputation on the platform. This will make you become a more valuable freelancer within the platform and that when a client looks for someone with your qualities, they will probably choose to contact you.
To be part of this platform you do not need to pay a subscription and you can create your profile for free. However, your profile will go through a review process, and in a few days, you will be notified if you were accepted within the platform or not.
Once you are accepted, you can take tests or evaluations to show that you truly have the skills that you describe in your profile. This is not mandatory but some clients place a lot of importance on this, so taking these tests can increase your chances of finding a job.
Freelancer is also a very popular platform and lately, it has been trying to incentivize engineers to join the platform and find work there.
For example, the US space agency Astrobee decided to independently search for talent to help them with certain challenges and through the Freelancer portal dedicated to applying for job vacancies remotely, they found the profiles that could help them: professionals with high levels of engineering knowledge.
This is an example that shows how careers that seem difficult to pursue if you are not physically in the company, are going further and looking for new modes of remote work.
Especially at Freelancer, mechanical engineering is a highly sought after skill that has risen to the top of popularity within freelance portals and job boards.
According to the CEO of Freelancer, Matt Barrie, mechanical engineering has become one of the most requested professions on the platform.
While not all the clients you will find on Freelancer.com have a professional reputation, there are a lot of people looking to hire someone with your skills, so if you are just starting your career as an engineer and do not have much experience (or zero experience), this platform is an excellent place to find your first clients.
FlexJobs is one of the most powerful current tools to find work as a freelance from home, or even from anywhere in the world.
Through this website, you have more than 50 different professional categories at your fingertips, from offering opportunities for people who have little experience, to opportunities for people with a high level.
What distinguishes FlexJobs is that here you will find job offers from internationally recognized companies.
Specifically for engineers, there are several well-known companies that have sought staff within FlexJobs, such as Globalme Localization and Security Trails.
However, if you want to access this website and the entire database of freelance job offers, you should know that you have to pay a low-cost subscription ($14.95 per month).
Thanks to this subscription, the tool offers you numerous amenities, such as removing ads or even manually reviewing the job offers that are posted.
All FlexJobs job offers are verified by the company and are real, safe, and even in many cases may seem too good to be true. If you want to grow professionally, it is worth subscribing to this platform to apply for the job offers that are published there.
They are job offers that you will hardly find on other platforms and it is an excellent way to start working with large and relevant clients in the industry.
Guru is a platform similar to Freelancer.com and Upwork that has a very good reputation. Here, jobs related to engineering and architecture are among the 9 areas with the most demand, so you will surely find many opportunities related to the type of engineering you handle.
To use this platform you can do it completely free or by paying a membership. Of course, subscribing to one of their plans will give you benefits that you cannot get with the free membership.
Among the reasons for acquiring one of the memberships, depending on the plan to which you are subscribed, you will be charged a lower percentage of commission for each payment received.
On this platform where there are hundreds of freelancers and job openings, it can be tedious to keep up with all the job offers.
Fortunately, Guru allows you to activate notifications so that you know when a new offer related to an engineering area is published, so you can stay focused only on those offers that may be relevant to you.
You can also directly contact companies or potential clients and offer your services. Thus, instead of waiting for them to publish an offer that interests you, you can tell them what you do and see if they have a space for you.
6. Field Engineer
Field Engineer is a platform specifically created for engineers to find freelance jobs. Among the categories, you will find a great infinity of different fields of engineering and many companies are looking for freelancers who work in those areas.
In the app of this platform, all you have to do is create your profile, search the marketplace, and see all the available offers. In each offer, you will find a description and the payment they offer.
To successfully search for a job that matches your skills, you can sort and filter jobs by distance, skills, date, and payment. Once you get a job, the platform allows you to stay in constant contact with the client so that everything goes well.
In general, the projects that you will find here are paid by the hour and the app allows you to record all your activity so that no part of your work goes unnoticed.
Field Engineer is an excellent platform to receive a fair payment for your work since it is aimed at only engineers, which means that the page takes into account the salary standards that are handled in the market.
However, for each payment you receive, Field Engineer will charge you a 10% fee, which is quite usual among most freelance work platforms anyway.
Other positive aspects of this platform are that it guarantees that you will find work quickly and that you can also transfer your earnings to your bank account quickly and without major complications. Engineer Field is a very good option to start working from home and grow your network.
This platform has many vacancies for engineers, even for areas that are not in great demand on other pages, such as mechanical engineering.
Registering is very simple and you will not have to pay anything, however, for each payment, you will have to pay a high commission that fortunately will be reduced as you get jobs on the platform.
To start applying to projects, you must complete your profile so you can start using the functions of the page.
As you work and receive good grades, you will rank on the PeoplePerHour list of best freelancers. This will increase your chances of finding work with quality clients.
Software engineering is also a highly sought-after career on the page, so if you have this skill you can be sure that you will find jobs for you.
Another advantage of this platform is that you can not only see job offers but you can also offer your services on the platform through a publication. There you will have to describe what you do, what service you offer, and how much you charge for that work.
It is a great way to stay active on the platform and increase your chances of making money and growing professionally.
8. Cad Crowd
Cad Crowd is a website that people can use to get the people their team needs, all related to industrial services and similar areas.
Companies such as Tupperware, Tiffany & Co, and Yale University are just some of the clients that at some point have published job offers on this platform. If you want to get involved with recognized and important companies, this platform is ideal for you.
The good thing about using a specific freelance website for this niche is that the number of job offers is much wider and that the platform understands what the needs of this type of freelancers are.
Here you will find specific job offers for different types of engineers, such as engineering design, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, automotive & aerospace, geotechnical, structural engineering, and many more.
What you should do to find a job on this platform is to create your profile and make it as attractive as possible. Make it clear what your work and academic experience are and what you are passionate about.
You can also talk about clients you have worked for so Cad Crowd will include you in their list of engineers and clients can find you when they search for someone with your qualities.
9. Simply Hired
Simply Hired is a job search portal that has a large number of openings available for engineers of all types. Here you will not only find job offers that can be done freelance but there are also full-time and part-time offers.
Each job offer includes a detailed description of the profile they are looking for and what your tasks would be if you were selected. The best part is that each offer includes an estimate of the annual earnings that you would generate from that job.
In their search engine, you can filter in great detail the type of job offer you want to find. You can filter it according to the location, if you want it to be remote, setting the minimum wage, among many other possibilities.
To create your profile, just log in using your Facebook or Gmail account and that will be enough to get started. You can also create job alerts for Simply Hired to notify you when someone posts an offer that meets your needs.
How Can an Engineer Work Remotely?
Most of today’s model and product designs are done digitally. Engineers create three-dimensional models with a computer-aided design (CAD) program and submit it to their supervisors for evaluation and approval.
In most cases to work remotely, it is not necessary to have machinery or manufacturing materials: the professional creates the designs and calculations necessary for the project and sends them to the company or the person requesting the service.
Freelance engineers can create CAD designs and models for companies whose offices they will never walk into.
Developing a good reputation for this type of work can mean the possibility of entering into a lucrative, high-profile contract, especially if the business grows on a large scale or if you earn a good reputation as a result of your hard work.
If you want to build your reputation, you can start by creating a portfolio website that potential clients can visit to see the work you have done previously.
No matter what your engineering major or education is, you can find a job in technical support that fits your skills.
As an agent or technical support representative, you will solve other people’s problems from a remote location. It will guide them through the steps necessary to reach their goal or help them solve a problem that is preventing them from doing their job.
Engineers, in particular, are highly qualified to work in technical support, as this job requires advanced technical skills and a meticulous mindset. Your tendency to be meticulous and your attention to detail will go a long way toward working as a freelance engineer.
How to Increase the Chances of Finding a Job?
It is very important that on each platform you use, you fill out your profile completely. This will make clients perceive you as a trustworthy person and that just by reviewing it, they can realize that you are a person qualified for the position.
It is also essential that you mention your previous work experiences as it is something that many employers take into account.
Many freelance platforms allow clients to leave you a rating and testimonial that talks about how good you were.
Every time you finish a job, do not forget to ask them to leave a comment as this will improve your reputation and make other clients interested in your work.
A Modality with Many Advantages
Freelance platforms also need engineers since it is a niche that generates more demand every day.
Working remotely brings many benefits that engineers also need to enjoy, such as having a closer family life, saving time and money on transfers, or accessing different job opportunities.
Entering the freelance world of work is something that guarantees many opportunities that you might not be able to access if you only focused on getting a job in your city.
It is a matter of being hard, constant, and striving to find a freelance job that satisfies you and that makes you grow professionally.