If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in engineering, there are a few things that you need to know.
A lot of people are attracted to this career field, and for good reason.
A lot of engineers make pretty serious money.
Plus, what’s not to like about the idea of building new things, solving problems, and designing technology that’s going to be used for years to come?
Well, these are great things.
However, as it turns out, a lot of people who are just getting started in engineering (especially self employed engineers) end up realizing pretty quickly that there are a lot of particulars about this career field that they wish they would have known earlier.
Knowing these things could save you a bit of trouble. Or at the very least, it could help you to keep your mind and options open as you explore the career path that’s perfect for you.
So let’s dive into it and talk about five things to keep in mind before pursuing a career in engineering.
Table of Contents
1. Do Your Research
There are many different variations of the engineering process—and there are a lot of different jobs out there that utilize different engineering fields of study.
The more research you do to understand these different methods of approaching problem solving, the better you’ll get at picking up on new technologies and new opportunities within the engineering space.
In other words—make sure that you do adequate research, and that you understand all relevant engineering fields before making a leap into one specific avenue of work.
2. There’s A Ton Of Opportunity
A lot of engineers don’t realize that pretty much every industry has a need for people who can design and build things.
When we think of engineers, we sometimes tend to think of the people who design cars, build solar farms, or draft plans for new spacecraft.
However, engineers are needed in virtually every industry—from toothbrush manufacturing to building artistic kitchen tables, to figuring out how to hang pictures on the walls in modern apartments.
It’s really surprising how much opportunity there is out there.
And as an engineer getting ready to enter the field, it pays to understand the different types of opportunities available to you.
3. Getting Real World Practice Is Key
Studying engineering, in its many different forms and disciplines, is all well and good.
However, without real world experience, your knowledge of the field as a whole is just going to suffer—and that could cause you to set yourself back by choosing a direction that you’ll later come to regret.
So try to get your foot in the door with some real projects before branching out on your own, to help you understand exactly what you’re getting (and not getting) into.
4. Your Time Will Get Wasted
A lot of engineers don’t realize how much of their time is going to get wasted by non-engineer-related things.
- Budget meetings
- Meetings where you’ll need to try to describe what you’re doing to management
- Trying to get authorization for things that you know need to be done, but that other people don’t understand
These are all things that can give engineers real-world headaches. But—that’s all part of the process.
5. You Still Need To Have Some People Skills
As an engineer, you may be surprised to learn that you’re going to spend quite a bit of time working closely with other people.
This means that you’ll need to put at least a bit of energy into developing your social skills.
A lot of people mistakenly think of engineers as people who work in cold, dark laboratory basements—but that’s not the truth at all.
You’re highly likely to be working right alongside other non-engineer personnel. So get ready to explain a lot of technical stuff to non-technical people—and be ready to be at least somewhat personable while doing it!
There you have it.
Five things to keep in mind before pursuing a career in engineering.
With this knowledge, you can move forward into your career with the best possible outlook for success.
The world needs engineers—so get out there and make it happen.
Engineering is an awesome career choice. You’ve got this!