What to Know About Starting a Career in Engineering

One of the many wonderful things about choosing a career is how many possibilities exist. Many sectors of the economy have a great number of openings for those with the right background and education. One such path is that of engineering. A career in engineering can be deeply rewarding and fulfilling. Engineers are people entrusted with the creation of new things as well as working to improve existing items of all kinds. If you are considering this lucrative field, there are a few things you should know before you make any future plans. With an average salary of over eighty thousand dollars annually, this can be a good career path for those who have the skills and drive to succeed. While engineers are amply compensated, you will need to have an education before you begin. You’ll also need to complete a series of highly crucial steps to join their ranks.

Required Education

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All those who are going to become engineers should think about starting their career plans in high school. A good high school education can serve as the foundation for an engineering career. With that mind, it’s a good idea to take lots of classes centered on math and science. All candidates for engineering school should take at least three years of math in high as well as biology, chemistry and physics. After that, it’s off to a college or university offering a program in engineering. Applicants should ideally have very high overall test scores as engineering programs are often deeply selective.

Types of Engineers

Another wonderful thing about majoring in engineering are the wide variety of potential career paths. There are so many types of engineers. People can major in subjects ranging from civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering to biomedical engineering and mining and geological engineering. Engineers can work in a great many fields and sectors of the economy. Those who are going to major in this subject should be aware it is a path requiring mastery of a great deal of information and the ability to synthesize it. Potential engineers typically take classes covering math and the hard sciences. Coursework includes both theoretical subjects and hands-on experiences. Engineering majors also take classes in the liberal arts. This is a full time program that needs a great deal of attention to detail. Many engineering majors find it hard to have fit in any kind of part time employment.

Places to Work

Engineers have many options when they graduate. Employment prospects are high and unemployment on the low side. Even an engineer fresh out of school can typically expect many offers of employment once completing his basic educational requirements. An engineer can work for the government or the private sector. Industries such as semiconductor manufacturing are extremely popular with grads looking for a chance to use their talents. Deciding on a specific area should be done carefully. It’s a good idea to weigh all the pros and cons first. Speaking with someone in a given industry, via an informational interview can be of great help. The private sector offers a great opportunity for advancement and the chance for a very lucrative salary that often includes high bonuses. An engineer can also become their own boss and start their own engineering firm. Public sector positions, on the other hand, allow grads to participate in important projects such building roads and bridges while offering a secure position.

Once the person has completed their general engineering degree, many choose to pursue the professional engineer option. Professional engineers are licensed by the state to work on many types of engineering projects. Becoming a professional engineer means working closely with a supervisor and mastering all aspects of engineering. Once the professional has completed an internship, they can take a professional engineering licensing exam. Professional engineers must continue to advance their education to retain their license.

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