Choosing a career is hardly the most easy of tasks. Even if you know what it is you’d like to study for a future career, you might still be unsure of the specifics. Here’s a quick look at the potential career of an engineering student. If you’re interested in pursuing engineering, read this first!
What engineering requires of you
Engineering is a much more vague term than a lot of people realize. (We’ll look into that in the next section.) What exactly an engineer must do can vary wildly depending on their specialization. You might be spending all your time in a laboratory. You might be travelling all over the world and working in strange new places.
Whatever it is you’re going to be doing, you’re going to need a good head for numbers. A solid understanding of advanced mathematics is a must if you’re looking into any sort of engineering career. Algebra is just the start. You’ve got to get your head around trigonometry and calculus. The sciences, of course, as also a must. Chemistry, biology, and physics may all be required in your field. Some engineering types will place a premium on one over the others. But in general you’re going to need a strong understanding of basic sciences.
Types of engineering
People may see engineers as a homogenous mass. But engineering is a massive and very complex field that sees graduates able to look into so many areas of research.
The one that most people think of when they think of engineering is mechanical engineering. This involves the design, inspection, maintenance, and manufacturing of machinery. But there’s also civil engineering, which sees you take on large infrastructure projects for civil use. Biomedical engineering involves the design of devices that will be used in medicine. (You’d be working closely with doctors and researchers!) Petroleum engineers plan and execute the acquisition of oil and gas. We’re barely even scratching the surface when it comes to field potential, here! And within each of those engineering types, there are lots of different specializations for a great career.
Of course, a lot of people thinking about engineering are going to be wondering about the potential salaries. And hey, I don’t blame you. It’s important to know how much you could be looking to earn. While it’s important that you’re doing something that you love, it’s also important that it brings you a decent living. Thankfully, a career in engineering can definitely help you out in that regard.
Again, the field of specialization is going to mean that expected salaries will vary. But if we’re trying to keep in inclusive and realistic, the numbers still look good. Someone with an engineering degree could begin their career with a salary reaching in the $50,000-80,000 range. That’s not bad at all for a first full-time job! A decade of experience in the field can see you earning in the $100,000-150,000 range. There are some engineers who decide to get a law degree and become patent attorneys. $250,000 a year is a realistic sum for a patent attorney!
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