# Component Engineer?

#### signalWrangler

Joined Dec 19, 2022
2
Hi,

I graduated with a BSEE and am still looking for my first job. I would like to design circuits, especially analog, but I'm unsure if that's uncommon for someone to obtain with just a BS and no experience. A recruiter just reached out about an entry level component engineer position. It's in an area that I've been wanting to move to, but the job description for a component engineer doesn't appeal to me. Is this basically someone who chooses and tests components for the circuit designers? Is there much of a chance to move from this position to designer over time, or does one tend to get stuck in this position?

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
10,914
Hi,

I graduated with a BSEE and am still looking for my first job. I would like to design circuits, especially analog, but I'm unsure if that's uncommon for someone to obtain with just a BS and no experience. A recruiter just reached out about an entry level component engineer position. It's in an area that I've been wanting to move to, but the job description for a component engineer doesn't appeal to me. Is this basically someone who chooses and tests components for the circuit designers? Is there much of a chance to move from this position to designer over time, or does one tend to get stuck in this position?
Unless you have something much better I would seriously consider the job offer to gain valuable experience in an engineering workplace. It's your first job, not the one and only job.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
19,852
Designing test equipment will be both an excellent learning experience and a valuable source of future contacts. This will be especially true if you manage to do a good job. If I were you, I'd jump at the opportunity.

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#### MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
Living in an area where you want to live is a huge bonus in life. Work for two years, get your feet wet, build some professional contacts and enjoy the ride. More that working in analog won't be much different than anything else. All jobs are 90% the same. You show up, follow the rules, map out the project, do your part, report back to the team, trouble shoot other people's work to make sure your work was right and the problems are theirs - not yours. Fill out your time cards, do your computer based training on insider trading, harassment, fire extinguisher selection, blah, blah, blah. The 10-40 hours of good engineering work and successes per month - you won't notice if it's digital analog, system level or whatever. Just enjoy the successes, get to know some people, laugh with some people, laugh at some people, criticism the management, go home and have a good beer. The first job is more about learning to work as part of a team and understand what working for a company is like. You can hang around, move up, move over and try now things. In the end, it's called a job for a reason. Make sure you spend time away from work, meet people, do fin things with the money you earn and enjoy life. Don't worry if it's analog or whatever non-analog job you get, enjoy the process. Make sure you have a paycheck and work from there.
Every month you delay getting a job after you graduate means greater risk of not getting any engineering job - ever. You could end up selling shoes at an athletics store. Don't let that happen.
Finally, at this point you have a call from a recruiter, you don't have a job offer. The recruiter called 20 other people today and they may have already sent the recruiter a resume and sounded happy and excited about the opportunity rather than glum and wondering about analog design vs what this job has to offer. Be encoded, act quickly and get them your resume and cover letter.

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#### signalWrangler

Joined Dec 19, 2022
2
Another site leads one to believe that if you start off in a particular sub field, you will get stuck there. Based off these replies, that is not the case. I agree, at this point I just need a job, but I would hate to get stuck in something I loathed. I will follow up, though, regardless.

thanks

#### bidrohini

Joined Jul 29, 2022
142
Without reading the job description, it's hard to say what the actually meant.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
19,852
Another site leads one to believe that if you start off in a particular sub field, you will get stuck there. Based off these replies, that is not the case. I agree, at this point I just need a job, but I would hate to get stuck in something I loathed. I will follow up, though, regardless.

thanks
That is pretty much an unfounded concern. I started out writing software migrated, to digital hardware design with PALs and FPGAs, and ended up doing switching power supply design. Your career will take you where your interests and opportunities lie. The only way you will get stuck is if you allow that to happen. You just need to learn when to walk away and when to run.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
entry level component engineer
What do you understand the position to involve?

At my last job, my title was Senior Staff Component Design Engineer. I worked on software. I didn't care what my title was as long as the pay grade was correct.

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,624
Been thinking this over. My intention when young was to design circuits and systems. I realized that every job that did not involve such work was a path away from my goals. I could have been (for example) a manufacturing engineer and any of several Silicon Valley companies but I was aware that those jobs could turn out to be comfortable and ones that I would not want to leave. The hard part was, with a wife, two children, two dogs and a varying number of cats, all in need of re$ource$, was saying "no" to those jobs that steered me away from design. Think about it.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
28,182
Another site leads one to believe that if you start off in a particular sub field, you will get stuck there. Based off these replies, that is not the case. I agree, at this point I just need a job, but I would hate to get stuck in something I loathed. I will follow up, though, regardless.

thanks
Only if you let it. Humans tend to have high inertia and resist change. So there IS the potential that you will LET yourself get stuck there. Just be aware of that possibility and if you find yourself loathing it, then proactively take steps to change it. As long as you guard against falling prey to inertia, you will gain valuable experience and skills, as well as a network of contacts, that will help you decide what you would really like to do instead and identify specific companies that seem attractive to you.

While your work history CAN pigeonhole you into certain types of jobs, that is not something that is likely to happen until you have a lot more work history behind you. For your first, oh, say five to even ten years as an engineer, most employers will consider whatever work experience you have as being general engineering experience with it being a bonus if it happens to align closely with the position they are considering you for.

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,624
WBhan has a point - about being pigeonholed. Fairly early in your career when you go to an interview, your interview will ask something like "What have you done." Unless this is an entry level job be prepared with an answer that shows that some of your experience will be valuable to your prospective employer. As you ponder jobs on offer remember that you will probably be asked this question.