How to Become a Freelance MEP Engineer

While having a 9-to-5 job has its benefits in terms of stability and relative comfort, it may limit your potential and blinds you from rewarding opportunities that may otherwise come your way. What’s the alternative? Starting your career as a freelance MEP engineer.

It may not be something for everyone, since success is not in any way guaranteed, and taking-off might be demanding and challenging. However, if done right, working as a freelance MEP engineer in general holds amazing potential, especially that it is now in very high demand; talent is hard to find, and hiring full-timers is something employers are trying to avoid where they can.

Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineering

Let’s first see a short overview of what MEP fields hold the most potential in freelance MEP engineering work.

Mechanical Engineering:

  • HVAC design engineering: The most sought-after field in mechanical engineering. HVAC layout design, calculations, and selections can all be done remotely by any engineer familiar with the codes and standards associated with the project. Demand is huge, since proper HVAC design became a requirement for any kind of projects around the world, and experienced talent is relatively scarce.
  • Water Supply & Drainage Engineering: Needless to say, this is the most common field in mechanical engineering. This is considered relatively fast work and high in demand, therefore an experienced Water Supply & Drainage engineer can be very efficient and work on several projects in parallel.
  • Oil & Gas Mechanical Engineering: This is one market that has its own characteristics. From oil pumps and piping design and calculation, to loading and unloading systems, this field of mechanical engineering is niche, and experts in this field are hard to find and paid well.

Electrical Engineering:

  • Low Voltage design engineering: This is bread and butter for most electrical building services engineers. Designing power and lighting layouts, panel board schedules, power Single Line Diagrams, amongst other deliverables are in daily demand all around the world.
  • Medium Voltage design engineering: While in less demand than Low Voltage, experts are rarer. Having the right technical knowledge and extensive experience can secure you highly rewarding projects as a freelance Medium Voltage design engineer.
  • Low Current Systems Engineering: What I mean by Low Current Systems, is everything from CCTV to Access Control, Security Systems, Fire Alarm, and even Data Structured Cabling. While each system has its own expert, you can be familiar with the basic design criteria of several systems, and provide, with the coordination with vendors, design layouts and Single Line Diagrams for any non-technical building.

How to start freelancing as a MEP engineer:

It all comes down to how well you use and take advantage of the tools available to you online. In short, you must make yourself visible. Clients are out there looking for you, you just need to let them find you.

To achieve that, online activity is key:

Developing your Online presence:

Start by building your online presence, which is everything from LinkedIn to Social Media platforms. Everyone is on them, including your potential clients. Promote yourself as a MEP engineer ready to work on a freelance basis, and your client will find you.

You can also start blogging; if you deliver content-heavy blogs on a regular basis, it will eventually give you the exposure you desperately need.

Work on Industry-specific freelancing platforms:

Freelancing platforms are increasing in numbers and size. While most of them are general freelancing platforms, not limited to one specific market, some are focusing on one industry to provide the most value for both the hirer and the freelancer.

For the constructing engineering industry, Handiss focuses on building a network of only the best engineering talent from around the world, which attracts serious clients that are looking for quality work.

One thing is certain; the future of work is online. While construction engineering is one of the industries that are last to hop on the online work train, it holds the most potential. The sooner you get on-board, the better you will do in your future freelancing career.

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