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Bryan Fazzari, 23

Sun., May 23, 2010

Bryan Fazzari, who grew up in Walla Walla and liked taking apart radios and engines, earned an electrical engineering degree this spring from the University of Idaho. That degree helped him land a job this spring with Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.

His good fortune proves that people finding jobs most easily are those with engineering or accounting degrees. Associate engineers like Fazzari starting a job in the Northwest typically earn from $56,000 to $68,000 a year, according to the website Glassdoor, which collects salary details from employees.

For the past three summers Fazzari had paid internships with Schweitzer, and he figured he’d probably have a job there. Even so, it wasn’t a sure thing.

Married and with his first child due next month, Fazzari needed to find work somewhere where his wife, Kira, could continue graduate studies in speech and hearing sciences.

Like nearly all his classmates at UI, Fazzari spent the year keeping track of possible jobs in his field.

“I looked at jobs on (popular resume site), and I really didn’t see as many engineering jobs as I expected,” he said.

What sealed the deal was Schweitzer saying they’d hire Fazzari and later this year move him and his family to Georgia, where Kira can earn her advanced degree.

It’s important for engineers or graduates with any other degree to work with companies before graduation, taking any kind of internship if necessary, he said.

“You need to learn skills you won’t find in college,” Fazzari said. “You need to start thinking about the future early on.”

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