5 different types of engineering career you can explore

If you have always been interested in creating new inventions or building something new, engineering might be the right career choice. This career is a field with broad expertise and hundreds of job titles that could be the perfect fit.

The field of engineering is growing on the fast line. Therefore there is a high demand for engineers. 

According to a survey by Master Avenue, around 7.5 million professionals showed that Engineering jobs are the third-largest job family worldwide. According to our MastersAvenue Global Degree and Career Survey, in 2018, circa 8% of all jobs worldwide were engineering jobs

However, it’s worth noting that several subfields of engineering overlap, and some of the subfields require similar passions and skills. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the types of engineering roles.

We’ll also go over salary info and skills you might need. But, first, let’s start with some of the more general engineering fields.

 

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is among the most recognizable professions. In fact, it is also one of the oldest types of engineering in the world. Civil engineers plan, design, build and maintain various structures. 

These might include roads, buildings, bridges, or systems for water or sewage treatment. Hence, they often spend time outdoors managing a construction site. 

Moreover, the engineers can take on residential, commercial, or even government construction projects. Determining the cost, quality, and safety of structure materials is also included in their workflow.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You have an interest in designing and building things.
  • You’re concerned with mechanics, hydraulics, geotechnics, materials science, and statistical analysis.
  • You’d like to develop your design skills, particularly in computer-aided design.

As we know, there are various branches of civil engineering, which make it difficult to saturate the market. Therefore, it is a great field to get more profound knowledge. 

Skills required:  

  • Interest in transport
  • Good with numbers
  • Organizational skills.

 

Mechanical

Mechanical is the most popular engineering degree by far, with 24% of all Bachelor engineering degrees awarded in 2015 being Mechanical. The second highest was Civil at 11%.

Mechanical engineers understand how forces act on solid objects, how liquids and gasses act, and how energy is transformed into one form.

This type of job is all about machines. Therefore, this kind of role determines how mechanical devices can solve problems.

However, If a mechanic discovers that their device does not currently exist to solve an issue, the mechanical engineer will design blueprints, build a prototype, and conduct tests on a new device. They will do this over and over again until the problem is solved successfully.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You like fiddling with mechanical devices 
  • Have an interest in new, innovative designs in sustainable energy and artificial intelligence.
  • You are interested in developing and improving mechanical technology as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Mechanical engineering specializations

Disciplines within the mechanical engineering field include aerospace, automotive, computer-aided design (CAD), robotics, nanotechnology, and more. Therefore, an understanding of SolidWorks, AutoCAD, CREO, and Syteline software is expected when applying for this job.

Skills required:

  • A strong grasp of numbers
  • Good technical knowledge
  • An interest in technology.

 

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is another engineering field that is continuously in demand. One of the roles may never be going to disappear. Electrical engineering is centered around electric-powered technology. 

These engineers work on electrical components, devices, and systems. Projects could include tiny pieces like microchips or involve huge power station generators.

As an electrical worker, the working area is in construction, maintenance, or product design. Therefore electrical engineering offers plenty of exciting roles.

You can find yourself in remote operation, energy monitoring, factory infrastructure development, etc. This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You’re interested in how electrical devices and systems work.
  • You want to help power the next phase of technological developments.
  • You naturally want to understand how any electrical system is set up and have ideas for improving it.
  • Electrical engineering specializations

As an electrical worker, you may find yourself working on construction sites, various modes of transport, or private residences, depending on the job.

Besides, you could specialize in power generation and supply, communications and media, computer systems, and robotic systems.

Skills required:

  • Ability to work alone and in a group
  • Problem-solving skills
  • A cautious approach

 

Chemical

If you have an interest in physics and microbiology, chemical engineering could be for you. Chemical engineering involves working with substances to provide us with useful products in our daily lives.

They develop safety protocols, establish standard processes and evaluate processing equipment. However, chemical engineering also ensures their methods comply with environmental and safety regulations.

Besides working in various chemical manufacturing, chemical engineers produce energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper. They also work in healthcare, biotechnology, and business services.

Moreover, many chemical engineers work in environmental protection, reclamation, and clean-up of contaminated sites. They also work in research laboratories, chemical plants, and petroleum refineries.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You have an analytical mindset.
  • You also study chemistry or other natural/life science
  • You’re interested in the chemical processes behind everyday items.
  • Chemical engineering specializations

Nevertheless, there’s a scoop for any chemical engineers who want to move into related areas. For example, they can be a part of biotechnology, food engineering, and mineral engineering.

The demand for people in this job is constantly rising. Thus, it is an excellent chance to enter as a fresh graduate.

Skills required:

  • An interest in chemistry
  • Team-working skills
  • You have the ability to follow procedures and carry out formulas.

 

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering is an excellent career for someone who likes to identify and design solutions to environmental problems. As a growing industry, this field works with biology and chemistry.

Environmental engineers address global issues, like climate change, sustainability, drinking water safety, and public health issues and means of controlling pollution.

They design large-scale projects that will protect the environment. Also, they typically follow these through, obtaining permits, overseeing construction. It also includes monitoring the use of the facility and inspecting operations to ensure compliance with the appropriate regulations.

Modeling and assessments are also crucial to this position. So, engineers may need to know programs like AERMOD and AutoCAD. Besides that, permitting and compliance management are additional duties, and familiarity with air quality standards, OSHA, and EPA regulations is a must.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You like searching for creative solutions to big problems.
  • You have the drive to protect people and the environment.

In a wide variety of industries, environmental engineers can work, including technology, energy, construction, and manufacturing. Therefore, environmental engineers can work with government departments or with resource-processing companies as consulting engineers in the private sector.

Skills required:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • An interest in the outdoors
  • Team-working skills.

 

The Bottom Line

Often, people get a bit confused about the different types of engineers. This misunderstanding happens due to many of these disciplines working together or seemingly overlap.

Although the list of jobs mentioned in this article is by no means exhaustive, it provides a good cross-section of the current job market.

Engineering can be a rewarding career path for those drawn to acquiring and mastering technical information. Also, engineers are offering a wide array of specialty disciplines to develop mastery.

When it comes to deciding which engineering field will benefit you, check in the following four factors:

  • Interests
  • Strengths
  • Your desired income (both right after college and down the line)
  • Your employability and ease of finding a job in your chosen field

Overall, this is a great field to get into, with many unique options to choose from. You have to figure out which type of engineering will work best for you.

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AUTHOR: Sibil Aina
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