Engineers are found in just about every field of employment. There are environmental, scientific, electronic/electrical, aerospace, biomedical, civil, computer hardware, health & safety, industrial, nuclear, geology/mining and marine engineers – this is just to name a few. If you are interested in breaking into the engineering field, you will need to prepare yourself for lots of training and if you’ve already had your training, you’re just about there. For those who are just considering the field, you will need to bring a focus on what area of engineering you would like to pursue. Do you want to deal with space & science, health care, electronics/electrical, computers, geology or the environment?
Overall, engineers are there to apply mathematics and science to develop solutions that are economical to technical issues. You will work with a combo of scientific discoveries and commercial applications that meet the needs of the society and consumers. Creating and testing new products is also a part of the job description. You are required to evaluate the effectiveness, cost, safety and reliability of the new products produced as well. You could be dealing with chemicals, computers, toys, aircrafts, power plants and other products depending on the field you go into.
Be prepared to use computers extensively because no matter which field you go into, you will be designing and creating documents. There are 17 different career fields in engineering; that list includes aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware, electrical, electronic (not computers), environmental, health & safety, industrial, marine/naval, materials, mechanical, mining/geological, nuclear and petroleum.
To begin working in the engineering field you will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in the field of study you’ve chosen to work in. Others may require you to have a graduate degree – positions dealing with basic research. If you would like to offer your engineering services directly to the public, you will need to obtain a license. It is wise to evolve your skills by attending continuing education courses throughout your career. Obtaining a degree in natural science or mathematics could land you some jobs in the engineering field.
Just because you train for one branch of engineering won’t restrict you from transferring to others. Some knowledge you have from one field may qualify you for other positions. A great example is an aerospace engineer – this industry would prepare you to work in the field of mechanical engineering. Having the opportunity to switch from one branch to another allows you to move up in the industry for better paying jobs or jobs that are more flexible. Besides getting an engineering degree, you can attend one of the many colleges that offer two-year and four-year degree programs in engineering technology. These classes usually have lots of hands-on training and only focus on current issues, which will help to prepare you for the real world of working in the field – in other words, only the important stuff is taught, all the fluff is left out.
Here is an outlook on the earnings of engineers:
- Aerospace Engineer – $53,408 – $73,814
- Civil Engineer – $48,509 – $62,275
- Mechanical Engineer – $54,128 – $72,763
- Nuclear Engineer – $56,587 – $59,167
- Electrical/Electronics Engineer – $55,292 – $75,982
- Environmental Engineer – $47,960
- Industrial/Manufacturing Engineer – $55,067 – $77,364
With salaries like these, you can afford to shop anywhere you want. Even so, you should still be a savvy shopper. You can find deals at Groupon for brands like J. Crew.