You’ll no doubt have heard that many areas have a shortage of engineers, and with good salaries and benefits on offer, you may be considering a career in this field. Not everyone is suited to being an engineer, you need real attention to detail and analytical skills, but that said, all sorts of different people are going into the engineering field. Is it the right career for you?
Engineers need to be committed to learning
Engineering isn’t something you get into if you don’t like to learn! While a lot of it is practical, engineers will need to spend time in the classroom. You should at least expect to study for a Bachelor of Engineering, and many engineers also go on to get master’s degrees in their specialist fields. You’ll also need refresher courses as new technology comes in and things change. If you enjoy learning new things, then engineering may be for you.
Maths skills are essential
You need to have pretty solid maths skills to be an engineer. Engineering requires a lot of calculations and problem solving, so improving your maths skills should be a priority if you feel they are weak. Don’t worry, you will have calculators and software to help you out, but you will need problem solving and logic skills to be able to use them.
You’ll also need some other skills
There are also some other skills that engineers need:
- An interest in how things work
- Communication skills
- Ability to work in a team
- IT skills
There’s often a stereotype that engineers work alone and tend to be introverted, but nowadays, they often need to have good communication skills and the ability to work closely with clients. If you’ve worked a part-time job while studying, you may well have learned some of these skills already, which will stand you in good stead for the future.
Engineering can take you to new places
While you can find engineering work in offices and work a nine to five, it’s also the kind of job that can take you to new places. Many countries have a shortage of engineers, so if you want to emigrate in the future, then this kind of job could take you new places. Some engineers work out in the field too, allowing you to travel for work and maybe see the world.
Working hours can be long
Engineering jobs can vary, and while they don’t have the same brutal hours as some industries, engineering roles can sometimes have long shifts. Some roles require shift work, for example, if you’re working on railways or in 24-hour operations, so you need to be prepared for that. However, these can be some of the most interesting jobs in the field as they aren’t just desk based.
Always wanted to be an engineer? While there are some misconceptions around these careers, they certainly have a lot of upsides. From good pay to interesting roles, engineering is a great career to get into, and there’s no telling where it might take you.