When working as an engineer, there might be some occasions where you will need to look at working part-time, be that for health reasons, caring for a relative, or studying filling a large chunk of your time.

Starting out part-time can be tricky, and there are oftentimes niche use-cases for it to happen, but it is possible. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about part-time engineering jobs. We’ll be covering how to get started, what kinds of positions might be hiring for part-time, and the pros and cons of working this way.

How to Get Started with Part-Time Engineering

Many engineers who work part-time work in specific ways, or in specific circumstances. Many companies are cautious about hiring part-time, as the workload will often require an advanced understanding of the work situation at all times.

However, there are a handful of ways that starting out as a part-time engineer can be made easier.

Cut Down from Full-Time

Many engineers that work part-time have cut down from full-time jobs. After a year or so of working for a company, you’ll be well versed in their processes and will be costly to replace. If you’re currently working somewhere full-time and have done so for some time, many companies would rather let you switch to part-time over losing you entirely.

Have a candid talk with your line manager and make sure to elaborate on exactly why you want to cut down your hours. Either way, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep their established engineers content and working.


While you lose out on the many benefits of being an employee at a company, freelancing can be an excellent way for you to work the hours that you want/need to without tying yourself down to any obligations.

When starting out as a freelancer, it’s important to establish a portfolio of work as a proof-of-concept. Having tangible evidence of your ability is important when bidding for any contracts that might become available. As a freelancer, companies will rely on you to complete a task in a given time. Either they will offer a rate of pay, or you’ll have to determine one yourself. Make sure you know what you want to be paid before contacting clients.

Contact Start-Ups & Businesses Directly

Many start-ups will be more inclined to hire out their work to freelancers, as they might not have the funds required to hire someone full-time. Depending on your specialism, companies might need varying levels of support. While this work can be inconsistent, it is a great way to get started and to build up your portfolio of work.

Look for Near Full-Time Work

Many companies are looking to hire engineers for ‘near full-time’ of around 4 days per week. These positions are quite rare and usually very competitive.

What Businesses Hire Part-Time Engineers?

A variety of businesses will require consultant engineers & software engineers. You will need to prove that you have specific skills that are necessary for specific jobs.

Say, for example, a business needs the help of a consultant engineer to assess a specific manufacturing process. They might not want to hire someone full-time as they don’t need that much work doing, but may be open to part-time contracted work.

Alternatively, a software engineer might find work troubleshooting a business’ website or IT infrastructure. Generally speaking, finding your way into part-time engineering work is through short-term, contracted work.

What are the Benefits of Working Part-Time?

One of the most obvious benefits – more free time! Those working part-time are allowed the luxury to pursue further studies, hobbies or alternative work. Many experienced engineers nearing the end of their careers will opt to drop hours to part-time in order to make the most of their time and have a well-earned rest.

What are the Drawbacks of Working Part-Time?

Part-time naturally means less money. Before considering part-time work, make sure that the lower income suits your lifestyle. If looking to drop your hours, it’s worth figuring out how much your hourly rate is, even if you’re salaried. This can give you a rough idea of what your pay will be once working part-time.

Not only this, but working part-time inevitably means that you build experience slower than someone working full-time. Generally speaking, experienced engineers find it easier working part-time than those early on in their careers.

Find Your Ideal Engineering Position with BMR Solutions

Working part-time as an engineer can be a tough thing to achieve, but for some can be incredibly rewarding. The most likely path to part-time work is by working as an engineer full-time and establishing yourself with a company, before dropping down your hours. The unfortunate reality is that it can often be difficult to walk into a part-time engineering position.

Every engineer’s situation is different. If you’d like more advice on how to get started working part-time, get in touch with us today. Our experts at BMR Solutions are on hand to advise you at every step of the way, no matter how far you are in your engineering career.