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Australian looking into the US job market

Australian looking into the US job market

Australian looking into the US job market

Hi there, I am a Building Code Consultant from Australia with around 8 years’ experience, a degree in Construction Management and post graduate studies in assessment of fire engineering (I don’t have engineering qualifications, but could be referred to engineering technology qualifications). I have strong experience working on large scale developments from a building code consultancy perspective, assessing and inspecting all types of buildings such as significant hospital developments, sporting stadiums, high-rise commercial and residential, large warehouses and pretty much everything else.

I am looking for a way to get my foot in the door in the US job market (North-east) and have done plenty of research but I am having trouble in looking at jobs that I should target. My goal would be work as a fire protection engineer and study for a masters at WPI in fire protection engineering. But, I need a starting point first.

What kind of jobs should I be looking at based on my current qualifications for people to even consider me, as I understand that I will not be considered for any type of entry level fire engineering protection job as I don’t have an engineering degree?

Should I be looking at technician level jobs for doing the cad work for sprinkler and alarm detection design (even though I have no direct experience in this, but understand how the systems work in good detail)?

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

I'm not sure how well your building code experience will translate to the northeast US (have any experience with snowload requirements?), but your construction management skills will probably be beneficial. Perhaps finding a position with a sprinkler design/install company, that may underwrite your studies, as a(n) (assistant) project manager? That way you'd learn the ins and outs of installing which, I suspect, would be invaluable when it comes to engineering the systems down the road. I believe that trying to get in below a management position would require you to join the pipefitters union, depending on where in the northeast you're looking.

Jeff Mirisola, CSWE
My Blog

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

If you had a civil engineering degree you would have much better chances. This would fall in a category of Engineering Technician as you stand now, I think. I suspect the market for your experience is pretty small. Generally this would fall under Building Inspection departments of various municipalities where experienced journey men end up after years of constitutions hands on experience. Some state agency also might be a place to try.

Anyhow, try this. I'd try to get a copy of the Yellow Pages telephone book for a few cities in the area you are thinking about. Then, under Consulting Engineers, possibly Development Contractors, etc I'd then write and hopefully explain your situation so that a kind Personnel manager might reply. Maybe even Employment agencies may help.

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

It is unlikely that you will be able to jump into an engineering job without a true engineering degree. I don't know how well the Australian codes align with American (IBC) code, but your skills probably lend themselves pretty well to an inspection job. If your goal is to be an engineer, get a Master's in FPE in the U.S. (Maryland is another Northeast school with a great reputation in this field), either at night while working, or as a full-time student.

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

Have you thought about how to get a work visa? H1B's and E3's typically require a degreed professional position. Sometimes you can get in on on O1. Maybe you are married to an American?

Everyone in the northeast is hiring right now, so all else being equal you will be able to get a job fairly easily.

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

Hey mate,
No sweat, you will get a job, and a damn good one. Opportunities are endless for anyone with a technical degree.
the only problem you'll have is understanding "y'all" at first (with the plural being "all of you all":00).

I landed in NY city 32 years ago with a toothbrush, two pairs of pants/shirts (or trousers in your part of the world), 2 sweaters, a few under-wears, and a machine design background (well, with an engineering degree) and ended up in HVAC. The thing was, my second day in NY city, I asked this black guy for Penn station, he looked at me and gave me 50 cents (he thought I was begging). My English was that bad, I did not understand anything at all and yet ended with a house in the suburb with a 2-car garage, and engineering job, and 2 point 5 kids, a.k.a as the American dream.

If I can make it with Zero English, you can make it in this place with your Aussie English. Nobody gives a damn where you're from, what your degree is, or what you look like as long as you can do the job, work hard, and play by the rules.

Don't dip your toes, come in and jump right in, you'll do just fine.

Welcome to the United States, mate.


RE: Australian looking into the US job market

Quote CRY22 "Nobody gives a damn where you're from"

Homeland security (INS) might disagree

RE: Australian looking into the US job market

Visa's can be a total pain in the butt. A tip for Australians is to enter the greencard lottery, aka the Diversity Visa. As an Australian you have a ~50% chance of winning. If you are from Mexico or India you can more or less forget it.

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