How To Become An Engineer

how_to_become_an_engineer

Careers in engineering explained:

Engineers apply the standards of science and arithmetic to create answers for specialised or technical issues. Their work is the connection between logical discoveries and the business applications that meet societal and buyer needs.

An engineer has the ability to apply their scientific knowledge in order to solve different problems. For example, designing structures and tools from bridges, to medical equipment – things needed to live our day to day lives with pleasure and ease.

Engineering also involves mathematical principles, experience, common sense and good judgement as well as scientific principles. Careers in engineering are spread across many different industries. For example, engineering qualifications can lead you to industries such as: logistics, operations management, consultancy, maintenance, contracting, surveyor, management etc.

Qualifications needed as an engineer:

In order to successfully become an engineer, you will need to have a clear developed understanding of physics, chemistry, mathematics and IT.

Relevant engineering degrees:

  1. Environmental Engineering BEng
  2. Chemical Engineering BEng
  3. Civil Engineering BSc
  4. Electrical Engineering BEng
  5. Mechanical Engineering BEng

There are also other routes to getting fully qualified to become an engineer, for example apprenticeships, HNC courses and HND courses which are suitable to people who learn better through working or did not achieve A-levels relevant to engineering.

It is worth noting that some engineering courses may be the same or a higher price than university fees.

Types of careers in engineering:

  1. Mechanical Engineering  Mechanical engineers manufacture and maintain mechanical equipment. For example, vehicles, household appliances and ventilation systems.
  2. Chemical Engineering  Chemical engineering designs can vary from fibers in clothing, to paint and plastics to medicine. Principles of chemistry, physics and mathematics are skills that the engineer will need to have in order to manufacture the chemical products.
  3. Civil Engineering  Civil engineers focus on an area’s infrastructure by ensuring the availability and quality of water and sewage, designing, constructing and managing highways, railways, transit systems, bridges, buildings, tunnels etc. This is one of the oldest types of engineering.
  4. Electrical Engineering Electrical engineers have the responsibility of generating, producing, transporting, distributing and the application of energy. Other contributions electrical engineers mare is to computer technology and television.
  5. Industrial Engineering Industrial engineering is about assisting other businesses to improve their efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. The industrial engineers use their expertise in human resources, procedures, production methods, equipment and material.

What are the responsibilities of an engineer?

  1. Research – In order to address the problem properly, the engineer needs to conduct and review relevant research of their project. This is a vital responsibility that they will continue to use before, during and after their project is completed.
  2. Design – A design is an initial plan which may be produced as a drawing or an interactive on screen design that engineers need to create before they start their project. A design is crucial to an engineer so that they and their colleagues have a plan to go off of when reaching the manufacturing stage.
  3. Manufacture – Although not all engineers will physically manufacture, they need to be able to understand the terms and importance of manufacturing to work in the most efficient, economic and effective way possible.
  4. Analysis – To be able to step forward in any situation, an engineer will need to be able to analyse the problem and then analyse the possible solutions to see which one will work best. Engineers use analysis for the review their projects too, to see what went well and what could have been done better.
  5. Problem solving – The reason for engineers going to work is because there is a problem that needs to be solved or perhaps a situation that could improve. Engineers use problem solving in nearly every single aspect of their work. This may be figuring out how something can be build or a mathematical or scientific equation.

Skills required to become an engineer:

  1. STEM – Fundamentally, engineering is a series of logistical and mathematical problems that engineers need to work out and resolve. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is the main skill that any aspiring engineer will need to have.
  2. Problem solving – During your learning process and career in engineering, you are bound to come across an array of problems that need to be solved. Some will be solved merely with common sense and some through mathematical or scientific solutions. Other problems that may occur are where you will have to use skills such as comparison, contrasting, ordering, evaluating and selecting.
  3. Organising – Organisation is needed as a life skill. To ensure that you have adequate organisation skills, you will need to be able to have a mixture of other skills including self discipline, motivation and planning. As an engineer, it is imperative that you keep to tight deadlines and to be able to do this you need to be organised.
  4. Communication – Technical language is used by engineers on a day to day basis when liaising with clients and colleagues. Having clear communicative skills is vital in any working environment.
  5. Calculating – Engineers must be able to solve numeric calculations, or at least know the equation to be able to do so. Although there are well programmed calculators and computers that can solve these equations, the engineer needs to be able to trust that the method and answer is correct.
  6. Designing – Having a good eye for what will look good as well as function well is an often forgotten about skill that engineers need to have. Even if the engineer them-self is not designing the project, they need to be able to understand designs and make judgments on them.
  7. Management – Just like any job, as you work your way up towards managerial positions, you are given increased responsibility. In order to be successful in your engineering venture you need to possess leadership skills including: how and when to discipline a colleague, how to best utilise a team member’s strengths and when to take a step in or out of a situation.
  8. Analytical Thinking – There can be numerous details that an engineer has to think through analytically and approached in such a way that there is as little risk in the construction process as possible.

Engineering salary:

Graduate at approx £27,000 pa
Average £40,000 pa
Senior engineer approx £110,000 pa

How to apply:

Interested in an engineering career? Use our job search tool to find the perfect engineering job for you!