How Can I Move Up From a Junior Tech To An Engineer?

A member raised a very good question in response to our Integrator Salary Survey 2014 report, wanting advice on how to move up.

In my own career and from what I have seen in fast risers are a combination of 2 things: superior knowledge and advanced execution.

Most junior people cannot even attempt senior tasks because they simply do not know the concepts, technology and issues involved. And, if they do, they quickly become disasters.

(1) You need to be aggressive about learning. IPVM is an amazing resource for junior people wanting to move up (our courses too). Beyond that, I would take any meeting or opportunity to talk with manufacturers. A lot of senior people get lazy and ignore new things. You can be the person who knows the new products / stuff.

(2) Volunteer to do harder tasks / projects. Focus on prominent things in your company. Don't worry if they are above your 'level' / 'pay grade' / 'job description'. Lots of your co-workers will be happy to let the junior guy bust his ass and waste their nights and weekends doing the hard stuff.

If you want to move up fast, you need to study more and work more than your co-workers and you need to deliver at the level you want to be.

Even if your current company may be stupid and try to keep you at the same pay and title as you started, you'll make a name for yourself quickly and have many other options, including from rivals, end users and manufacturers.

What do you all think?

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