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what engineering job would be good for me if i want to work with my hands

I am a sophomore in high school and I like to work with my hands or have a hands-on job, I do not want to be sitting for most of the day. thanks!

#hands-on #engineering #carrer-path # #mechanical-engineering # #electrical-engineering

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Alexander! This is a great question that I have heard a lot. Unfortunately, most engineering jobs do involve time sitting at a computer doing detailed design work or documenting designs you have made. However, there are many jobs where you will spend significant time in the lab or in the field.

It is important to understand what "hands on" means to you. A site visit for a civil engineer might mean going to a future construction site to review surveys or do ground inspection. A site visit for a biomedical engineer might mean visiting doctors at a hospital or attending an OR case, or to repair critical equipment. So I would recommend first exploring what fields of engineering interest you, and then asking about active jobs you may be able to have in those areas.
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Blake’s Answer

Hey Alexander,

I don't know if there is a field specifically that is better than another, there are certainly jobs within Mechanical, Electrical and Civil engineering where you can spend a lot of time working with your hands. Of course there will be a good portion of time spent behind a computer for many of them, but if you are picky about the jobs you take and continue to build your hands on skills it is absolutely possible.

I worked in the bicycle industry for many years and was able to do a good amount of manual machining, product testing in the lab and outdoors along with assembly and teardowns in addition to my desk design work. A few collogues have strong backgrounds in vehicle dynamics and one of them basically rode and tuned motorcycles for a living.

Smaller companies or very specialized roles are probably your best bet. Smaller companies require everyone to wear multiple hats, so there is ample opportunity to get your hands dirty. Being a strong team player is also a big key as many of the hands on aspects of work are with groups or in the public eye.

Keep learning and having fun and you can absolutely make a hands on engineering career your reality.

Sincerely,
Blake Jenssen
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Joseph’s Answer

Perhaps a more practical career than the more academic side of engineering would be more suitable for you then?

Have you considered things like automotive repair or manufacturing in a machine workshop? Those sort of roles embrace the more hands-on aspects of engineering but avoid a lot of the desk work of the more academic and design oriented engineering fields, and tend not to require the college/university education that a lot of other engineering does.

Alternatively, if you want to go down the academic engineering route first, there are still many engineering careers where you spend a decent proportion of the time on practical work. Most if not all roles will still involve a proportion of your time at a desk detailing and documenting the practical elements, but a 50:50 practical-desk split is entirely possible.

From personal experience, I was previously part of a small (nuclear oriented) control and instrumentation company, and the engineers I worked with had a 50:50 split of designing and documenting vs workshop system assembly and testing tasks.
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Patrycja’s Answer

From my experience engineering jobs usually require more time spent at the computer screen rather that any sort of manual tasks, but that does not mean that it's impossible to find a suitable career path. I work in manufacturing industry and the job sometimes does require to get rather "handsy" - in most engineering areas the products are very often physical objects that need to interact with environment (e.g. production line, packaging, etc.) and they do need to be examined by hand. All new products that are introduced on the manufacturing lines need to be piloted and sometimes changes need to be made. You could try to pursuit career in: new product introduction, process engineering or mechanical engineering.
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