Nanosystems engineers work in many industries, including electronics/semiconductors, automotive, aerospace, materials science (including packaging, textiles, and polymers), biotechnology, sporting goods, medicine and pharmaceuticals, food science, renewable energy (and energy capture and storage), cosmetics, forensics, defense, retail, consumer goods, telecommunications, agriculture production/food processing, and environmental monitoring, control, and remediation. They also are employed by federal agencies that conduct research in nanotechnology and nanoengineering (including the Agricultural Research Service; Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Transportation; Environmental Protection Agency; Food and Drug Administration; NASA; National Cancer Institute; National Institutes of Health; and the National Science Foundation), colleges and universities (as professors and researchers), and the U.S. military.
Use the resources of your school’s career services office to find your first job. Career counselors can help you craft a top-flight resume, improve your interviewing skills, and identify potential employers and job opportunities. Additionally, company recruiters often visit college campuses to interview and potentially hire engineering graduates. Sign up for recruiting events and practice your “elevator speech” (a 30-second summary of your educational qualifications and skills). Participating in an internship or a co-op at a company or government agency that employs nanosystems engineers is a good way to obtain experience. Impress the internship coordinator and managers with your work ethic, and you might be offered a job. Some professional associations, such as ASME, offer job listings at their Web sites. Using LinkedIn is a good way to network with recruiters and workers in the field and learn more about potential employers.
Engineering associations also provide job-search resources. For example, the National Society of Professional Engineers provides webinars for its student members. Recent webinars included “How to Get Your First Job,” “Career Success in Engineering: A Guide for Students and New Professionals,” “Ethics and Professionalism for Students and Young Engineers,” and “Engineering Your Career with a High Quality Social Network.”
After a few years of experience and superior work performance, nanosystems engineers may receive a pay raise and be assigned to work on more complex projects. Experienced nanosystems engineers can become senior engineers, engineering managers, production managers, or company executives. Some nanosystems engineers start their own engineering businesses or consulting firms. A few become college professors.
Tips for Entry
Search for job openings on these Web sites:
Learn more about nanotechnology and engineering from these resources:
- IEEE Explorer Magazine (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/home.jsp)
- nanoHUB (https://nanohub.org)
- American Journal of Nanomaterials (http://www.sciepub.com/journal/AJN)
- Nature Nanotechnology (https://www.nature.com/nnano)
Attend conferences such as the Nanotechnology Conference and Expo-Nanotech (https://www.nsti.org/about/events.html) to network, participate in continuing education opportunities, and to interview for jobs.
Become certified. It will give you the edge over other job applicants.
Participate in internships and co-ops to obtain experience and get your foot in the door at prospective employers.