Inside Engineering Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Career Background


  Engineering Salaries

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:

Like

"getting to do something that I love, being creative, working with knowledgeable and creative people, learning something new every day and participating in projects that are a big deal to the communities they are in."

Dislike

"need to constantly keep learning to be able to fix whatever comes up. In the networking world new technologies come along all the time and it can be challenging and frustrating sometimes to have to, basically, relearn your whole job."

Career Overview

Engineers work in every area of our society, using the principles of mathematics and science to develop practical solutions that will benefit people or our society. A very broad discipline, engineers are at the forefront of new technologies and use their knowledge to perform a wide range of jobs from the designing and building of new buildings and highways, to making medical advances such as designing MRI machines and heart valves. Engineering has many branches with the largest being civil, chemical, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering. Each of these branches has many sub-fields with most engineers specializing in one area. Individuals interested in an engineering career may find employment in a wide variety of places such as small firms, large corporations, research labs, hospitals, government agencies, and building sites.

Career Skills

Engineering careers tend to attract individuals who have a strong aptitude for mathematics, science, and technology. Individuals are generally analytical and can use innovative and creative thinking to solve puzzles and problems. In addition, engineers need to be team-oriented with the ability to communicate well as they interact with each other and with specialists in other fields.

Education

Most entry-level engineering jobs require a bachelorís degree in engineering, although sometimes a degree in a natural science or mathematics is sufficient. Many colleges and universities offer engineering degrees that allow a student to specialize in one branch of engineering, although individuals trained in one area may find employment in related branches. Some jobs such as faculty and research positions may require graduate training. All states require engineers who offer their services directly to the public to be licensed, generally requiring a degree, work experience, and completion of a State examination.

Career Options

The numerous specialties within engineering create many different job opportunities that an individual can pursue. Most engineers specialize within one industry, such as construction, or in a certain type of technology, such as aircrafts or chemical products. The following are a few examples of engineering career choices:

  • Aerospace engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the production of aircraft, space vehicles, and missiles for use in areas such as space exploration, defense, and aviation. Many aerospace engineers specialize with one type of vehicle, and include aeronautical engineers, who work only with aircraft, and astronautical engineers who work exclusively with space vehicles.
  • Chemical engineers solve problems by working with the production of chemicals and other products using the theories and laws of chemistry. Working in many different manufacturing industries such as chemical, energy, food, and clothing, as well as other industries, chemical engineers produce a large variety of goods, including clothing, plastics, and countless others that need chemical processing.
  • Civil engineers plan, design, and supervise the construction of buildings, airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, and water and sewage systems. Many factors must be considered during the process, such as cost, government regulations, environmental hazards, and lifetime of the project. One of the oldest disciplines, most civil engineers specialize in one area and may find work in government, engineering and architectural firms, as well as construction companies.
  • Electrical engineers design and develop a wide range of electrical equipment. Focused on the generation and supply of power, electrical engineers are involved with equipment such as lighting and the wiring of buildings, automobile and aircraft electrical systems, communication systems, and machinery controls, to name a few. Most electrical engineers specialize in one area.