Discussion: View Thread

  • 1.  Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-05-2017 09:46 AM
    (Cross-posted from EWRI Collaaborate)

    Hi all!  

    I am curious if there is a website catering specifically to part time and contract jobs in water resources (or civil and environmental engineering in general). I have heard of several freelance websites for programmers/editors etc. Those usually allow contractors and those seeking jobs to maintain their profiles, advertise the jobs on a project-by-project basis; provide secure payment options; sometimes provide a form of identity or qualifications check; as well as an opportunity to rate both employees and employers. I think the operating principle is somewhat similar to the AirBnB website. I was curious if anyone is aware of similar marketplaces for engineers in the US, or of the reasons why they don't exist.

    Natalya Sokolovskaya P.E., M.ASCE
    Wynnewood PA

  • 2.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-06-2017 10:31 AM

    I think it is probably because freelance & contract work seems to be a rather small sector of the engineering job market compared to other fields that such market places aren't common. Most engineers who have a PE and seek this type of work basically become their own one person company and compete for jobs as a larger company would. Many seek employment as municipal engineers. Some work as subcontractors to do certain tasks for larger companies. But in general you are dealing with clients, not employers and you are also often submitting a bid for your services to them rather than being offered a salary by them. The whole dynamic is different.

    While I have seen contract employees, in general larger engineering firms tend more towards using self employed individuals or smaller firms as subcontractors rather than hire contract employees to deal with projects that require extra personnel. Complying with women and minority participation clauses in government contracts may be part of what drives this trend of subcontracting rather than hiring contract employees.

    Ron Zagrocki P.E., M.ASCE
    Aliquippa PA

  • 3.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-09-2017 09:35 AM

    There used to be temp agencies for engineers and technical staff commonly known "job shoppers".  Don't know if any are still around.


    Gregory A. Anfuso, P.E., P.P., LEED AP

    KS Engineers, P.C.

    494 Broad Street, 4th Floor              

    Newark, NJ 07102

    (T)   973.623.2999x223

    (F)   973.242.2988

    KSE  Over 25 Years of Excellence

    P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail!


    This E-mail, including any attachments, is confidential and for the intended recipient only. It may be legally privileged and protected from disclosure. Nothing in this email grants any license or transfers any ownership or any intellectual property rights to the recipient. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are informed that any dissemination, copying or disclosure of the material contained herein, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this information in error, or not the intended recipient, please notify the sender at KS Engineers, P.C. immediately and purge this message. Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be secure, virus-free or error-free. KS Engineers, P.C. accepts no liability for any loss or damage from the use of this E-mail.


  • 4.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-06-2017 10:31 AM
    From a very brief and simplified perspective outlined below, I would say primarily liability and regulation.  A person would need to be a registrant in that state, carry adequate professional liability insurance for their work (many contracts require the prime consultant to require subconsultants insurance limits be of the same value limits as the prime or maybe half) and enter a contract assigning liability OR a business person must be willing to take on the risk the person's qualifications and skills are acceptable and take on the professional liability.  Here are two key reasons excerpted (a word?) from the Arizona Administrative Code:

    "19. Except as otherwise provided by law, a registrant may act as the prime professional for a given project and select collaborating professionals; however, the registrant shall perform only those professional services that the registrant is qualified by registration to perform and shall seal and sign only the work prepared by the registrant or by the registrant's bona fide employee."

    "20. A registrant who is designated as a responsible registrant shall be responsible for the firm or corporation. The Board may impose disciplinary action on the responsible registrant for any violation of Board statutes or rules that is committed by a non-registrant employee, firm, or corporation."

    Programmers / coders have little to no liability.  Their errors are promoted as "features".  Engineers' errors are promoted and litigated as public safety nuisances and tort injuries.  Wouldn't it be great if engineers could have people sign or simply click on a terms and conditions form to agree to take on all liability for using our work product, such as before they could drive on our street designs, or enter a building, or use an appliance, or use/drink water from a tap and so on like the software companies get to do to absolve themselves of all liability for their work product?

    Bradley Novacek P.E., M.ASCE
    Phoenix AZ

  • 5.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-06-2017 11:21 AM


    I do not know about a specific web site, but I once knew an acting District Engineer who worked for a temporary engineer agency.  He said he gets as much work as he wants.  I assume they have a web site, but I am not sure.


    I would be interested in what you find out though, I will be searching myself in a few months.


    Dan Chase

    1327 Del Norte Road Camarillo CA 93010-9123
    Office Phone: (805) 981-0706 Ext 103

    Direct Phone: 805 322-1665

    Cell: 805 233 0900
    Fax: (805) 981-0251




    The content of this email is the confidential property of Stantec and should not be copied, modified, retransmitted, or used for any purpose except with Stantec's written authorization. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete all copies and notify us immediately.


    ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.


  • 6.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-07-2017 09:59 AM
    I don't know the specific rules in your state but in Texas, you are required to register as a Firm and an Engineer can only work for 1 firm.  That would mean that you could not sign and seal work for 2 firms at one time and you would have to be fully employed or fully freelance (really your own company).  


  • 7.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-07-2017 03:51 PM
    Thank you to everyone who took time to answer!

    To summarize, in case anyone else has a similar question:

    - There doesn't seem to be an online resource bringing together contract and part time opportunities from various sources;

    - Recruiters and temp agencies provide a similar service. (Aerotek was given as one example);

    - Because of the legal and regulatory issues associated with engineering work, it may be beneficial, or even mandatory, to register as a business and obtain necessary liability insurance in order to do contract work for more than one employer or client.

    - The old-fashioned face-to-face networking still seems to be the best way to find clients.

    My next step is to investigate the legal aspect of business, starting with this and other ASCE  webinars on the topic:

    Date: Thursday February, 16, 2017

    Natalya Sokolovskaya P.E., M.ASCE
    Wynnewood PA

  • 8.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-12-2017 11:34 AM

    I am working with a group of professionals to create a Workplace Community www.sfhax.org which aims to address many of the concerns expressed in previous discussions.

    The Workplace Community has Employers (firms) that engage Employees (individuals). A Qualifier Member certifies the qualifications of the employers and employees. The Workplace Community separates projects which are sold by firms from labor which is sold by the hour. They come together through a labor exchange.

    Employer Members see Employee Members as 1099 workers. Employee Members of the community see large company benefits and steady work provided they are willing to accept the market determined labor payment. Both see transparent pricing for labor by qualification. Qualifier Members have the incentive to get Employee Members into the highest and best paid skill that matches the Employee Member's schedule, interests and abilities. Employer Members have the incentive to adapt work processes that make use of the available labor at their location.

    A more detailed summary is available at www.sfhax.org. Currently we are working on the complex software that is needed for a transparent labor exchange within the Workplace Community. We are looking for semi-retired professional and trade people who are interested in becoming early adopter Qualifier Members.

    Richard Cornell, PE, M,ASCE

  • 9.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-15-2017 01:17 PM
    As an engineering employer of Part Time PEs in Texas, I was concerned with your answer about PEs not being able to work for two companies at the same time, so I asked the board.  Their response is that your statement is not true.  The whole response is below.  

    In Texas, a firm must have at least one full-time employee who is a licensed PE. A PE can also work part-time for a firm that has at least one full-time PE. That firm would list the part-time as an employee on its registration records and the PE would list the firm he/she works part time for as a secondary employer on his/her Board employer record. Also, as allowed for by 137.77(c), the PE can also have his/her own sole practitioner business that he/she could work as on a part-time bases and could register that business. He/she would then list that sole-practitioner on his/her Board employer record as a secondary employer.

    A PE cannot be listed as the primary of two different full-time firms. The PE cannot do work full time for one firm and then part-time for another firm that is open on a full-time basis unless that other firm has its own full-time PE employee. The PE cannot legitimize a full-time business by working for it on a part-time basis, it must have at least one full-time PE employee.

    In addition all PEs at a firm that will perform work in Texas need to be listed as an employee of that firm.

    Dwayne Culp P.E., P.Eng, M.ASCE
    Culp Engineering, LLC
    Richmond TX

  • 10.  RE: Market Place for Part-time and Contract Work for Engineers

    Posted 06-13-2017 02:57 PM
    You may want to look at planetbids.com and newspapers.  Many agencies now use electronic notification for engineering work solicitation.  The City of San Diego is an example. They group purchasing, services, and construction notices through planetbids.  Go to the web page and sign up.  Some agencies you sign up with will also send you notices for classes, workshops, new requirements, etc.   You have to be a licenced business, and they require E&O insurance, etc.