How to Become an Engineer

Engineers are thoroughly trained professionals who carry out tasks as per their field of specialization. It is a broad field, and cannot be elaborately discussed in short. You just need to concentrate on the principal aspects in one particular area.

Reasons to Become an Engineer

There are several good reasons why one should think about this career. The first thing is that it is a wide field, and its services are required in almost all sectors of the economy, be it manufacturing or Information Technology (IT). Therefore, engineers are generally very rarely out of jobs and projects. Secondly, it is a fact that engineering careers are believed to be one of the highest paying jobs in the industry. Thirdly, one gets exposed to the best knowledge available in the chosen field. Following are some major areas in engineering.

Fields in Engineering

  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Electrical
  • Industrial
  • Mechanical
  • Aerospace
  • Oceanic
  • Nuclear
  • Biomedical
  • Environmental
  • IT

Academic Requirements

When it comes to becoming an engineer in any field, you need to decide on the choice of your career when you are in high school. It is better to concentrate on subjects such as math and all areas of science. Along with high GPA scores, you also have to perform well in exams like SAT. This will greatly help you gain admission in a top undergraduate engineering school. Focus on the job description in the field you like, choose a particular field that interests you, and do a research for the best schools that offer related programs.

Make sure the school of our choice is recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Gain admission to a bachelors degree in the specialized fields. These bachelors programs last from two to three years. Some of these college degrees even have internship periods, which would give you hands-on experience relevant to the job of your specialization.

Learn as much as possible in internships. Once you have a degree in hand, you can consider continuing education to a masters degree, or look for a job directly. During career planning, remember that job prospects rise substantially if you possess a masters. If you have specialized in fields such as software development, you will not require to obtain a license.

In case you specialize in fields like civil, mechanical, structural, industrial, or environmental engineering; you will need to get a license. This is required as professionals in these fields provide services directly to the public and majorly work in government settings. For the license, you have to gain four years of experience, and appear for Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) examinations.

Other General Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements, you also need to possess some general characteristics to enter the engineering field. Be it in any specification, you need to be very intelligent. You have to be a logical thinker, a quick and precise decision maker, highly analytical and detail-oriented professional, and a good communicator. Your creative and imaginative skills are also significant. As your career moves forward, you will develop some invaluable additional skills that cannot be gained through training.

Annual Average Salary

  • Aeronautical Engineers – $100,000
  • Biomedical Engineers – $85,000
  • Mechanical Engineers – $82,000
  • Chemical Engineers – $89,000
  • Civil Engineers – $89,000
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineers – $83,000
  • Biomechanical Engineers – $90,000
  • Photonics Engineers – $81,000
  • Computer Software Engineers – $90,000
  • Computer Hardware Engineers – $95,000
  • Nuclear Engineers – $90,000
  • Mineral Engineers – $78,000
  • Agricultural Engineers – $70,000
  • Industrial Engineers – $80,000
  • Environmental Engineers – $84,000
  • Oceanic Engineers – $90,000

As the worldwide education system is widening, there are many miscellaneous courses and trainings available that may help you get an engineering job of your choice.