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Is it true that engineers should retire at 35! How to survive as an engineer?

In the world of engineers, there is something called the “35-year-old retirement theory”. As the name suggests, engineers are considered to retire at age 35. In general, the retirement age is around 60, but engineers are said to retire at 35.

However, this is only one theory, and it does not mean that companies set the retirement age at 35. This time, I will explain the outline of the engineer’s 35-year-old retirement theory and whether the contents are true or not. I will also explain how to survive as an engineer after the age of 35.

What is the theory that engineers should retire at 35?

In the engineering industry, it is widely known that the retirement age for engineers is 35. First, let’s talk about this keyword.

Engineers are whispered to be 35 years old

The 35-year-old retirement age theory for engineers is the idea that the age limit for working as an engineer is 35. The retirement age is not set at 35 years old by companies, but it is a guideline that is whispered within the industry.

When I introduce this theory, some people think that “engineers will be laid off at the age of 35”. However, the theory that engineers should retire at 35 is only one theory within the industry, and there are almost no cases of people being fired after reaching the age of 35.

Although he does not reach retirement age, there is a reason behind the whispered 35-year-old retirement theory. Some of the theories are very convincing, so the theory that engineers should retire at 35 is spreading in the industry. In short, it is a rumor with reality.

Many are over the age of 35.

There are rumors in the engineering industry that the retirement age is 35, but there are many people who are active past the age of 35. Therefore, it can be considered that the credibility of the 35-year-old retirement theory for engineers is low.

However, what I want you to know is the reason why the 35-year-old retirement theory is whispered. While the general retirement age is 60, the engineering industry has a much younger retirement age of 35. Just because you’re not reaching retirement age doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

The reason why 35 years old is said to be the limitThere are many reasons why engineers are said to retire at age 35. To evaluate whether the 35-year-old retirement age theory is correct, let’s check the reason why it is said to be retired.

Reach a physical limit

Engineers tend to require physical strength, and it is said that 35 years old is the retirement age in terms of physical strength. It is generally believed that one’s physical strength starts to decline around the age of 30, so by the time you reach 35, you may not be able to endure the work of an engineer.

The work of an engineer indeed has many hard parts, and overtime work and work on holidays are often seen. Not all engineers work that way, but many engineers indeed do hard work.

Also, if you are involved in system operation, you may be forced to live an irregular life. For example, daytime work and late-night system monitoring are rotated. Not only engineers involved in the development, but also engineers involved in the operation are required to have physical strength, and there is a theory that the retirement age of 35 is advocated.

Hard to develop skills

Since it becomes difficult to develop skills around the age of 35, there is a rumor that the retirement age is 35. Engineers are always required to improve their skills, so if their skills are slow to improve, they will not be able to play an active role.

Engineers have a wide range of skills to learn, but if you work long enough, you can master the basic skills. Also, your strengths and weaknesses will become clearer, and the skills you should improve will become clearer over time.

As you get older, the skills that you can develop are fully grown, so you will not be able to improve your skills significantly. This age is considered to be the limit because it is difficult to play an active role as an engineer if you cannot improve your skills.

Hard to learn new things

Engineers need to have a large amount of experience, but having a lot of experience tends to make it difficult to incorporate new things. This is because the way of thinking becomes rigid and the desire to learn declines. Even if you know you should learn something new, it’s also true that it’s hard to accept. Therefore, it is considered that the retirement age is around 35 when it becomes difficult to learn trends.

However, as an engineer, you have to learn new things based on trends. You should become an engineer with the latest skills without being bound by conventional thinking. Otherwise, you will be judged as an outdated engineer and your market value will decrease.

Wages won’t grow

Engineers are seeing an increase in salaries because their skills increase. Being able to handle difficult projects makes you a more valuable engineer and pays more.

However, if the room for skill growth is reduced or new skills cannot be acquired as described above, you will not be able to improve your skills. As a result, wages will be less likely to increase. In Japan, age tends to be taken into consideration in wages, but if skills do not improve, wage increases cannot be expected.

Even if you continue to be an engineer, it is unlikely that your salary will increase significantly unless you improve your skills. Therefore, it is said that the retirement age is 35 when the salary as an engineer is close to the upper limit.

Appointed to office

One of the main reasons why engineers are said to retire at 35 is because they are appointed to positions. Around the age of 35 to 40, many people get ahead in life, and they are in a position to manage their subordinates away from the field.

It seems that some people have a bad image when it comes to retirement age, but success in life is a good thing. Having been recognized for my achievements as an engineer, I will step up to the position of managing people. The word “retirement” is used in the sense of being promoted to a position other than an engineer.

However, it seems that some people want to be active as engineers without being promoted. For such people, there is a case called retirement age a bad way.

Is the 35-year-old retirement theory for engineers true?

As explained above, there are several reasons for the theory that engineers should retire at 35. However, many parts differ from the facts, so let’s consider whether this theory is true.

Many engineers work past the age of 35.

Again, many working people are over the age of 35. In light of this situation, the theory that engineers should retire at 35 can be considered a rumor.

Also, even looking back at the past, there is no evidence that engineers retired in large numbers after the age of 35. Although there is a possibility that some people retired or transferred after the age of 35, it is difficult to imagine that it occurred nationwide. Even if no evidence can be found, it can be safely considered a rumor.

35 years old is just a turning point

It is thought that the 35-year-old retirement theory of engineers does not indicate the actual retirement age, but rather indicates a turning point. As explained the reason why this theory is whispered, is because engineers have various turning points around the age of 35. It is a good idea to recognize that there is a “retirement age” as a time to think about a career plan.

There is also an option to continue as an engineer beyond the age of 35. There is an option to quit engineering and take a new path, but many people want to be active in the world of engineers where they can make use of their experience. There are times when working is tough, as rumors of retirement age are whispered, but it is not impossible.

Also, rather than reaching retirement age at 35, it would be better to see it as a turning point. You don’t have to be exactly 35 years old, you can be 34 or 36 years old. It should be considered as a point to reconsider your life design based on life events.

What to do to survive as an engineer beyond the age of 35

There is a well-known theory in the industry that the retirement age is 35, so it is difficult to work after the age of 35. Next, I will explain what you need to do to be active as an engineer even after the age of 35.

Improve management skills

If you are over 35, try to acquire management skills first. In general, after the age of 30, he becomes a leader and brings team members together, so without management skills, it will be difficult for him to play an active role.

Those who request work have a similar perception, and believe that “engineers over the age of 35 are capable of management.” Since the required level is high, if you don’t have the skills to meet this, you can’t do a job that is appropriate for your age.

Of course, it is also possible to continue working as a field engineer without management skills. However, if you continue to work as an engineer, you may end up in an environment with mental health problems, such as having a younger boss. First of all, he should improve his management skills and be in a state where he can play an active role as a leader.

Become a full-stack engineer

If you want to master the way as an engineer, you can also consider becoming a full-stack engineer. A full-stack engineer refers to an engineer who can handle multiple fields alone. For example, an engineer who can handle databases and networks is a full-stack engineer.

As you get older, there is a limit to the skills you can acquire in one field. This is as explained above, and full-stack engineers are an option to overcome this situation.

If you have experience working as an engineer for a long time and possess multiple skills, it will be easier for you to be active as a full-stack engineer. If you are over 35 years old, you are considered to have some experience, so it is a good idea to focus on acquiring multiple skills.

Aspire to freelance

From the perspective of overcoming age barriers, there is also the option of becoming a freelancer. Freelancers can be active regardless of age as long as they have the skills, so even if they are over 35 years old, they can work as active engineers.

If you’re over 35 and want to freelance, focus on the skills and clients you have in your arsenal. As you get older, you are expected to have higher skills, so you need “weapon skills” to respond to that.

Also, if you are over the age of 35 and become a freelancer, find a client before going independent. If you can’t find a project and can’t live as a freelancer, it will be difficult to find a new job if you are over the age of 35. If you want to become a freelancer and be yourself as an engineer, focus on securing clients.

When looking for clients, you have the option of using freelance agents or crowdsourcing services. If you feel limited in finding clients based only on your connections, use these referral services as well.


In the world of engineers, there is a theory that the retirement age is 35, but there are parts that are correct and parts that are not. Certainly, depending on the nature of the work, it can be difficult after the age of 35, but not all work is like that. Many jobs can be handled without problems even after the age of 35.

In addition, the 35-year-old retirement theory is due to the decline in physical strength and the degree of work pressure. However, there are individual differences between them, and it cannot be said that there is a burden on people over the age of 35.

However, it is also true that around 35 years old is one of the milestones for working as an engineer. You won’t necessarily lose your job when you reach retirement age, but you may need to choose a different path depending on your physical strength and career plan.


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