Engineering is a vast field of study with dozens of degrees and engineering careers. Although each is specialized in a particular discipline, all engineers share a common goal: using science to solve problems. You can think of them as applied scientists.
Virtually everything built or manufactured has had an engineer involved at some point. From the airplanes that reign the skies to the computers that allow you to read this article today, there’s an engineer responsible.
Engineers have set the standards for building your home, whether in the type of concrete, window glass, or electrical cable size.
Without a doubt, engineers are cool! They continue to make our lives better by materializing ideas. In this article, I’m sharing inspiring engineering careers that will help you decide what to pursue after your studies.
10 Engineering Careers and titles
The category of engineering refers to individuals who use mathematics and science to solve problems. If you excel in those areas, here are some engineering positions that will use those skills to your advantage:
1. Aerospace Engineer
These are people who work with different types of aircraft and satellites. It can involve design, testing, or analysis. In addition to aerospace engineering, you may see references to material engineering, reliability engineering, and research and development.
2. Biomedical Engineer
This position involves both the medical and biological fields and structural and mechanical engineering. In general, biomedical engineers are involved with machinery, equipment, and instruments associated with healthcare. They also build prostheses and other devices, such as pacemakers, to enable a better quality of life or extend life. Associated positions include quality control and assurance, research and development, and biological engineering.
3. Chemical Engineer
Chemical engineering is a wide field that involves working with various substances, including food, medications, and even the environment. They analyze the properties of products, test interactions between different substances, or create new processes and products. Areas related to chemical engineering may include metallurgy, mining, plastics, agriculture, and processing.
4. Civil Engineer
Next on our list is a popular one, civil engineers. The profession involves constructing roads, bridges, or even systems for sewage treatment. Civil engineers may be out of doors a great deal, for example, in directing activities at construction sites. Some titles related to civil engineering include commissioning engineer, contract engineer, project engineer, structural engineer, and others.
5. Electrical Engineer
If you want to work with electricity or electronics, this is one of the engineering careers you want to pursue. It can encompass electricity supply and distribution, lighting systems, telecommunications including radio and television, robotics, and more. Electrical engineers may have prefix titles such as Radio Frequency (RF), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Transmission Planning, Product Design, etc.
6. Environmental Engineer
If you are interested in work associated with the sustainability of our resource extraction and disposal, this is the field for you. It deals with everything from air pollution to public health. Environmental engineers are often hired by governmental agencies and may work as independent consultants.
They deal with health and safety, geology, mining, and other areas that impact air, land, and water quality, taking into account impacts on humans, animals, and plants.
7. Industrial Engineer
Sometimes those working in this role are considered time savers or efficiency experts. They find ways to eliminate waste in resource use and time. Usually hired in manufacturing, they can also work independently.
Industrial engineers can find themselves dealing in cost analyses, design optimization, and production management in manufacturing. They may also apply their skills in optimizing other processes, such as business systems.
8. Mechanical Engineer
This profession is associated with motion and the application of force. Mechanical engineers design and improve automotive, machinery, water and wastewater treatment, marine, rail, and pipeline products.
Mechanical engineers work with power, energy, and physical devices that use motion to provide valuable services such as transporting people and goods and manufacturing products.
9. Software/Hardware Engineer
Computer geeks don’t just come from the field of computer science. Engineering is also required to make your cell phone, tablet, or laptop come to life. Software/hardware engineers are often called upon to design and test systems. They may be called firmware, hardware, network, security, applications, tests, and UI engineers.
10. Energy Auditor
Commercial and industrial energy auditors usually have a background in engineering. In fact, an energy auditor should have a broad understanding of mechanical, electrical, and process engineering.
An energy auditor inspects and evaluates homes, commercial, and industrial enterprises to determine the amount of energy currently consumed and to develop methods to make operations more energy efficient based on budget and other parameters determined by the client.
As you can see, the field of engineering is broad. You may need to think beyond the job title and consider the qualifications required and the role’s duties. Many skills in engineering are transferable to other engineering disciplines – for example, a mechanical engineer may also have a good knowledge of electrical engineering. If you focus on transferable skills, you might have more opportunities than you think.
Don’t be mistaken. A major in any engineering field is challenging. The math will incorporate calculus, algebra, and statistics. If you are only an average math student, you can improve by looking for opportunities to practically apply what you learn. Engineering studies are not easy, and you must be tenacious, well organized, and willing to ask for help when you are beyond your limit. Consider study buddies, study groups, and tutors.
If you happen to be reading this before college and are determined to make engineering your life choice, start in secondary or high school by taking as many math and advanced math courses as possible. Coding is also a valuable skill to have as an engineer, along with courses in physics and chemistry.
If you can, try and get hands-on experience, taking on a part-time job working for a company engaged in engineering activities, or perhaps undertaking a small engineering project. When you start college, ensure that your first-year courses include as many engineering-related classes as possible while keeping the overall university requirements in mind.
You may want to consider lighter course loads and extending your undergraduate pursuits an extra year to have sufficient time to devote to your education. Yes, it will cost more tuition, but you will reap the benefits of having more time to devote to the subjects at hand instead of being too thin. Also, it should help to maintain a strong GPA throughout the degree.
Do Your Best
If you want a career that will improve lives and can contribute to preserving and enhancing our environment, engineering is a field that will serve those goals. If all of this sounds positive to you, be prepared to study hard. However, don’t discount direct personal experience. Arrange appointments with people actively working in engineering and discuss their perspectives on your options. Good luck!