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What does it take to be an Engineer and what first steps should i take in highschool?

I want to be an engineer.

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Six answers:

First, you must be excellent at math.

Other skills required:

  • Be inquisitive & creative, engineers are always thinking of a better way to do something.
  • Attention to detail, sometimes it's just one small thing that causes massive problems.
  • Good communicator, you need to explain things to non-engineers, as well as work with other engineers.
  • Things change, you need to be able to adapt and learn constantly.
  • Be logical, you need to make sense of complex things, and see how problems arise.
  • Good at solving problems.
  • Be all around knowledgable.

I would recommend you start by taking advanced math classes in high school, then start looking into the various types of engineering fields to see what you find interesting.


Six comments

Hi, I found this link for you with good information on preparing for an Engineering career - Good luck!

http://tryengineering.org/explore-engineering/become-engineer Preparation Tips Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in engineering can prepare for the application process as early as middle school. By selecting a variety of science, mathematics, and engineering-related course work and participating in programs and projects that expose students to engineering concepts, students will have advanced exposure to university level work.


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Skills in mathematics is essential in almost every field of engineering, so strong math skills will be required to become and Engineer. In high school take the maximum numbers of math courses your high school offers. Science classes are also very important including physics and chemistry so try to concentrate on them.

Good luck in the future.


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Be curious about how everything around you works, why it works, how it is built, and how it can be fixed or improved! All the technology around you from your computer and phone to bridges and lightbulbs are designed and created by different types of engineers, who learn a lot of math, physics, chemistry, and problem solving to understand how things work, and then create new technology.

The first steps in high school, as others have said, is to take all the science and math classes you can, and try to understand (or ask your teachers) how everything you learn could apply to a real-world application. Train yourself how to solve complex problems by breaking down any task into smaller pieces and figuring out how to solve each individual piece, and how the pieces come together.


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Love your question. Engineering is a highly rewarding, wide and deep field that will allow you movement pending your interest (stay technical versus transition to more management) as example.

some helpful Q's, hints to test yourself with: - do you like to build things - are you good in math, science - do you like to problem solve - do you like working in teams, collaborating - are you good at communicating with others - are you inquisitive, want to understand - to narrow what field in Engineering - do you like Physics, do you like Coding, do you like to design (architect, build things)

Engineers are tasked to solve, design, build thing with others. it is rare that 1 individual does all. so having good people skills, good communication skills are also very good to have.

Take advance Math, Physics classes, Computer programming classes. if your high school has Robotics or Design product type classes take those.

hope this helps.


Two comments

Take all the math and science classes you can. Try to take Honors/ AP classes if you can since this will either let you get credit for college classes and lighten your work load or make the initial math and science classes your Freshman year much easier. I took AP Calc in high school and what I learned in that class applied to both Calc 1 and 2 in college. My Honors Physics class was equivalent to what was taught in Physics 1. Also depending on what engineering discipline you want to go into focus on those science classes. For example if you want to go in to chemical engineering take AP Chemistry/ Biology in high school. If you want to go into Electrical engineering take AP Physics because it goes more into the electrical side of physics than honors physics does. Also if your high school provides any programming/ engineering classes those would be helpful but not all high schools offer those type of classes.


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