I need help understanding the job of an engineer particurly an civil, aerospace, structual, aeronautical or mechanical engineer.
Hello I'm wondering if anyone out there can help me in decided where I should focus my energy towards in college because I don't want to go into something and hate it later on. #college #mechanical-engineering #civil-engineering #aerospace #aeronautics #structural-engineering
Civil Engineering is a very broad subject and includes structural, environmental, geotechnical, and transportation engineering. You work on projects for the world around you...roads, bridges, dams, landfills, buildings, tunnels, airports, water treatment, environmental remediation etc. The nice thing is you take a breadth of those subjects in a civil engineering program so even if you think one strikes your fancy, but find through your course work you prefer something else, you get the chance to switch up you specialty area without changing majors.
I have a background in mechanical engineering. Mechanical Engineering is a very broad application of engineering. You take class in a lot of different areas such as structures, thermodynamics, fluids, heat transfer, physics and lots of math classes. The great thing about mechanical engineering is that you can apply it to a lot of different industries out there. I have worked as a facility engineer, a engineer doing flow analysis for an oil company, a quality engineer in a manufacturing plant, and a product engineer designing parts for car engines. Each is very different and you can explore different types through coops or summer jobs with companies. Currently I work as a patent engineer and help inventors at Ford document their ideas and help evaluate them for patentability. There were classes that I really didn't like at college so when it came time to look for a permanent job, I looked for jobs in the class areas that I really did like. I think you have to look at the types of jobs that you would be interested in working in and then work back on to what type of degree you would need to obtain a particular position. You can see what types of jobs are out there by visiting any of the job posting sites and searching for engineering jobs.
Let me give you a brief overview of "engineering". Engineers solve problems. These are usually large problems that take many person-months or years to solve, and usually involve a higher mathematical understanding of the nature of the subject matter.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Arts degree in adult education. My understanding is that, in engineering, you need to prove the solution works before you can use it. Therefore, engineers do a lot of mathematical modeling of the draft solution, making adjustments along the way until they find one that works, for the budget allocated, and has the specified reliability, maintainability, and the other 'ilities. usually, they have to make trade offs and help the customer get the most important elements of what they are looking for because the budget and the schedule are limited and can't give them everything they are looking for when they need it by.
Engineers always work for a business and are paid a certain amount per year. You are very unlikely to get wildly rich being an engineer unless you are in a profit sharing scheme and your company does very well. Business people are the ones who employ engineers and they are the ones that can get wildly rich when the company is profitable, depending on how they structure the profits of the company.
There are two resources that I recommend to help you figure out the types of careers you should go into. One is the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This measures how you (as a person) take in information, how you process it, and how you output it. Engineers fit into certain categories of personality types. A good book to read about this is Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. Your school career center may know how you can take the MBTI assessment, and may be able to provide help in interpreting it. Even without taking the assessment, the book can give you a good idea of the personality type you have, and you can read about the kinds of careers that people with that personality type do well in.
The other resource is Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The cost of the assessment is built into the cost of the book, so if you get a used one, be sure it has an unused access code. The basic idea of this book is that you come into the world with certain strengths, and it won't make much difference on how hard you work on your weaknesses, you will get a lot more results by putting the same effort into working with your top five strengths. Page 9 says, "You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you already are. " It does not give as much advice about what careers to choose, but if your strengths are different from those that are supportive of engineering, you should look elsewhere for a career.
All of the types of engineers you listed, (civil, aerospace, structural, aeronautical or mechanical ) all have to do with structures of things. Civil engineers solve problems related to the earth and people, such as reservoirs, bridges, roads, etc. Aerospace engineers deal with getting things to fly in the atmosphere and in space, the structures of the flying machines, missiles, spacecraft and etc. Aeronautical engineers are mainly concerned about airplanes in the atmosphere. Mechanical engineers are mainly concerned with machines, such as the baggage carriers at the airports, or robots that carry specimens inside an automated blood testing machine.
hope that helped.
Here are sites that will tell you about many areas of engineering. It is very wise to do research about careers. I used to do college recruiting, and it was very frustrating to find a college graduate going into a job that was not right because no exploration was made.
Send thank you notes to those who help you. Keep me posted! I would like to follow your progress!
If you are interest to civil engineering, I recommend you structural engineering but this field is difficult. If you are looking for an easier topic with a lot of chance for finding job "Construction Management" is the best.