How old is too old to be an entry level engineer?

I would appreciate any useful comments on age discrimination in the
engineering field (particularly control engineering). I've heard that
it's almost impossible to land a job as an electronics designer for
any applicant older than 35 y.o. Is control engineering any different
in this respect or about the same? I'm 30 y.o., I have a BS in
metallurgical engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science. I would
like to enter control engineering field (because I really like it). I
think I have reasonable chances to earn undergrad or grad
systems/control engineering degree in 2 years or so. However, I am
afraid that 32 y.o. is too old to be an entry level engineer.
P.S. I do not expect anything fancy from engineering career (nothing
can suck more than being a postdoc anyway). I just want to have
reasonable chances (if I'll be good) to be employed in the field for
3-5 years before enrolling to a truck driver school.
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Earl, you are not too old and I think you would have a reasonable chance as a specialist.
If you build on your existing knowledge and concentrate on a stream you know well you could (at least) work as a Consultant, either freelancing or for a large company. With your Materials Science/Metallurgical studies coupled with a control engineering degree you could work in oil refineries, steel works, semiconductor fabrication plants.. to name a few.
Good luck! Cameron:-)
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Cameron Dorrough
I had to convince my current employer that I really wanted to be a designer (master's degree + 12 additional graduate course, 12 years of project management experience including 3 years as a director of R&D, and I'm 40) but they finally believed that I was more into hanging with my kids at night (sports, scouting, etc) than hanging out at work chasing the almighty dollar (been there, done that).
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There is a bit of luck involved in the EPC business. When they don't really need someone you haven't got a chance. When they do need someone, the next guy to walk in the door gets it. Being willing to work at site helps a lot.
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Walter Driedger
Take a few PLC and computer courses and you are in.
Welding is going toward automation. Your knowledge of metals (I assume you know a lot about welding} combined with some knowledge of programming will open up a lot of doors for you.
Good luck
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Designers always want young kids. Field engineering is different, more room for an old timer.
My prediction, lots of jobs will open up in control applications in the next decade and getting a job will be easy. This is because I suspect a severe energy crunch is coming. Process improvement can only go so far, after that you get your gains with controls.
Recommendation: learn all you can about HVAC, and become a person that's easy to get along with, and you should have no problem finding jobs in building automation.
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