Engineering is a great profession. Your first two years will be general engineering subjects that will give you a taste of mechanical, chemical, electrical, and civil engineering, and mathematics. During my first year I showed how water hyacinths could be used as tertiary treatment for waste water. That led me into environmental engineering which was taught through the chemical and environmental engineering department. I was in the Navy (active and reserve) at the time. When I graduated I went to work for U.S. EPA for twelve years as a project engineer in air and enforcement engineer in water. I also became a Commissioned Engineering Duty Officer where I worked in shipyards and industrial activities. While at EPA I earned my MBA and began a consulting practice. After I left EPA, working as a consultant for manufacturers, I soon learned that Industrial Hygiene and Safety Engineering would be necessary compliments to my environmental engineering practice. With my enforcement experience I gradually became a forensic engineer. What I learned in those first two years has served me well. I first learned how to apply those skills to solve problems in the next three years of environmental engineering (MEng). I have always had an insatiable appetite for learning which has let to an impressive array of credentials. In addition to two Master's Degrees, I'm a licensed Professional Engineer in several states and Board Certifications in Environmental Engineering, Forensic Engineering, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Engineering. I retired from the Navy as a Captain. In Georgia, as in most states, at 62 college tuition is free. Now I am working on a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering to better understand what I learned in shipyards and industrial activities, and to complement my Forensic Engineering Practice. Engineering is a wonderful adventure no matter where you start.
The rest of my life has been equally rich and rewarding, but you didn't ask about that. There has been plenty of time for fun and family.
Drew recommends the following next steps:
- If you are in high school, study math and science.
- If you have started engineering school, pick what you like. Any field will be as rewarding as you want. Just keep you eye out for the next challenging opportunity.