Finding the right career path can feel daunting at first, and even as you get older, you might decide that you want to make a change. There are many things to consider when you are looking at potential career opportunities, such as job stability, an interest in what you will be specializing in, and the chance to progress and develop your skills. This can be overwhelming, but there is a right path for everybody out there.
Engineering is one path that you may be interested in looking at, and it is certainly an option that can provide you with all of the above. This type of work can be lucrative, particularly if you do move into more senior roles, and it is also a specialism that is in high demand. If you have been considering a career in engineering, but are still undecided, consider the following points to see if it could be the right choice.
What Is Engineering?
As an engineer, you will be using scientific principles to help build structures, vehicles, consumer goods, new inventions, and much more. It can be a very exciting career to pursue as you will be involved in helping to provide essential services and developments that society relies on. Whether you choose to work in the private or public sector, it can offer you a lot of variety and job satisfaction.
What Are The Different Areas Of Engineering?
There are many different types of engineering you can get into, and this is another reason why it is worth exploring this as a potential career path. Depending on your area of interest and skills, you could pursue the following options:
In this line of engineering, you can be involved in the design, building, tests, inspections, and overall maintenance of different machinery and equipment used in manufacturing, vehicles, airplanes and other aerospace machines, wind turbines, and even robotics.
This area of engineering will focus more on helping to develop the infrastructure of towns and cities, such as the construction of new buildings, railways, roads, and so on. In this role, you can work with both private firms and on public projects with local councils. If you do have an interest in helping to revitalize local areas and make improvements for communities, this could be an ideal engineering role for you.
As the name suggests, as a computer engineer, you will be working on designing and developing computer software, hardware, and networks. This field can also combine other elements of engineering, such as computer science and electrical engineering. This is a popular choice for those who have a keen interest in IT, and it is certainly an in-demand role in a world where people rely heavily on computer technology.
Chemical engineering uses physics, biology, and chemistry principles to create systems and equipment that refine raw materials to process them into chemicals for various products. These processes are often conducted on a commercial scale, with chemical engineers being involved in things like petroleum refining, fermentation, and producing biomolecules.
Working as an environmental engineer, you will be involved in finding solutions to reduce pollution and the impact that society has on the environment. In this role, some of your duties will include monitoring and measuring the pollution in certain areas, finding the source of the issues, and taking action to remove this pollution in compliance with government guidelines. This is an ideal role for those with a talent for sciences and engineering and a passion for environmental causes.
As an electrical engineer, you will be focused on the design, testing, and manufacturing of electronic devices, machines, and systems. This could be something as small as microchips to larger products or power generation systems. It can also include broadcasting and telecommunications.
This type of engineering is a more specialized area of mechanical and electrical engineering and focuses on aerospace machinery and products. This includes both spacecraft and aircraft, so if you have always loved aviation or been fascinated with what else is out there in the galaxy, perhaps working on projects that could travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere would be a dream job?
If you are more interested in the world’s oceans than in space, working as a marine engineer might be a better fit. This job could have you working on ships, submarines, harbors, oil rigs, and other marine-based workplaces. It can also combine elements of mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and programming to improve how marine vehicles work and impact the oceans.
Nuclear engineering focuses on creating safe approaches to managing nuclear power. You might find yourself working on plant reactors in nuclear power plants, monitoring how these plants store nuclear waste and other processes onsite that contribute to the control and operations of nuclear power.
Biomedical engineers work closely with healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, therapists, researchers, and others in the medical field to help improve the quality of care given to patients. This could mean working on equipment for hospitals or other devices used in healthcare to administer medication and treatment effectively.
These are just some of the areas you can pursue in an engineering career, but there are more that you could explore to find the right fit.
What Else Can An Engineering Career Offer?
Engineering does have a wide variety of paths to offer, but the attraction to this career doesn’t stop there. The sector is also a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop specialist skills, which is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves and want this out of their job role.
As there are so many different areas that benefit from the expertise of engineers, it is also a job that will highly likely be in demand for decades to come, offering that all-important job stability. This could also present the opportunity to work in different parts of the world, as engineers are essential workers on a global scale. You may also find that you are proud to be part of a project that is actively helping to improve the way that communities live and contributing to scientific and social developments.
What Do You Need To Become An Engineer?
Suppose you are interested in pursuing an engineering career. In that case, you will need to achieve an undergraduate degree in engineering with a focus on the area of this industry you would like to work in or at least a degree in a technology-related subject. If you want to continue your education in engineering, you could also look at higher courses like the Master of Engineering Management to develop your skills further.
You should also get a few years of work experience to help you understand your role better and hone the skills you have learned when completing your degree. Some colleges might help you find work placements as part of the program or at least be able to recommend internships and other work opportunities for you to apply for.
After you have gained this experience, you can then start looking at applying for an engineering license. This test will cover your knowledge of engineering, the ethics involved, laws, and professional standards that you will be expected to uphold as a licensed engineer.
It’s also important that you are an individual who can work well within a team, as you will be liaising with other engineers and professionals when working on various projects. While some aspects of your work might require you to be left alone and use your initiative, you must be able to communicate effectively with others and be a reliable team player.
You should also be someone who enjoys coming up with creative resolutions to problems, as this is a big part of what engineers do. The ability to work well under pressure will also play an important role since you will need to stick to project deadlines, and it is likely that you will need to deal with various hurdles during the design and testing processes.
Is Engineering Right for You?
If you are scientific and love finding solutions to problems, engineering could be an excellent career path for you. While sometimes it can be hard to know for sure how you will feel about a job until you’re working in that role, there is no denying that engineering can offer you a great deal in terms of satisfaction and stability.
Of course, it will require dedication to achieve the relevant qualifications and experience to become a licensed engineer, but being able to be involved in these incredible projects can make it all worthwhile. If you are willing to put in the hard work, you might soon discover that this was the right choice for you after all.
If you’re still undecided, take the time to do some additional research into the different areas of engineering before applying for a degree program to get a better understanding of whether this is the right career path to pursue.