Engineers apply scientific and mathematical principles to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and commercial applications that meet the needs of society and consumers.
Many engineers develop new products. During the process, they consider several factors. When developing an industrial robot, for example, engineers precisely define the functional requirements; design and testing of robotic components; integrating the components to create the final design; and evaluate the overall effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety of the design. This process is used in the development of many different products such as chemicals, computers, power plants, helicopters and toys.
In addition to their involvement in design and development, many engineers work in test, production, or maintenance. These engineers oversee production in the factories, determine the causes of component failures, and test manufactured products to maintain quality. They also value the time and expense it takes to complete projects. Senior engineers are responsible for large components or entire projects.
Engineers use computers extensively to create and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure or system works; generate specifications for parts; product quality monitoring; and control the efficiency of the processes. Nanotechnology, in which high-performance materials and components are created through the integration of atoms and molecules, also introduces entirely new principles into the design process.
Most engineers specialize. The following are details of the 17 engineering occupations included in the federal government's Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC). Numerous other specialties are recognized by professional organizations, and each of the major engineering branches has numerous sub-divisions. For example, civil engineering includes civil and traffic engineering, and materials engineering includes ceramics, metallurgy, and polymer technology. Engineers can also specialize in an industry such as automotive, or in a type of technology such as turbines or semiconductor materials.
Aerospace engineers design, test, and oversee the manufacture of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Those who work with aircraft are called aeronautical engineers and those who work specifically with spacecraft are astronautical engineers. Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aeronautics, defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as structural design, command and control, navigation and controls, instrumentation and communications, and production methods. They may also specialize in a specific type of aerospace product, such as commercial aircraft, military fighter aircraft, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets, and become experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or command and control. systems
Agricultural engineers apply their engineering and technical knowledge to agriculture and the efficient use of biological resources. Accordingly, they are also referred to as bio and agricultural engineers. They design agricultural machines, devices, sensors, processes and structures such as those used for storing crops. Some engineers specialize in areas such as energy systems and mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and food and bioprocess engineering. They develop ways of conserving soil and water and improving the processing of agricultural products. Agricultural engineers often work in research and development, production, sales or administration.
Biomedical engineers develop devices and processes that solve medical and health-related problems by combining their knowledge of biology and medicine with engineering principles and practices. Many conduct research alongside medical scientists to develop and test systems and products such as artificial organs, prostheses (artificial devices that replace missing body parts), instruments, medical information systems, and healthcare and administrative systems. Biomedical engineers can also design devices used in various medical procedures, imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and devices used to automate insulin injections or monitor bodily functions. Most engineers in this specialty require a strong background in another technical specialty, such as mechanical or electrical engineering, in addition to specialized biomedical training. Some specialties within biomedical engineering are biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, rehabilitation engineering, and orthopedic engineering.
Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry to solve problems related to the manufacture or use of chemicals and other products. They design plants and processes for large-scale chemical production, plan and test methods of product manufacture and by-product treatment, and oversee production. In addition to chemical manufacturing, chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries, e.g. B. in those that produce energy, electronics, food, clothing and paper. They also work in healthcare, biotechnology, and business services. Chemical engineers apply the fundamentals of physics, mathematics, mechanical and electrical engineering, and chemistry. Some may specialize in a specific chemical process, such as oxidation or polymerization. Others specialize in a specific area, such as nanomaterials, or in the development of specific products. They need to know all aspects of chemical manufacturing and how the manufacturing process affects the environment and the safety of workers and consumers.
Civil engineers design and oversee the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. You must consider many factors in the design process, from construction costs and the expected lifespan of a project to government regulations and potential environmental hazards such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Civil engineering, which is considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines, includes many specialist areas. The most important are structural engineering, water management, construction, transport and geotechnical engineering. Many civil engineers hold supervisory or managerial positions, from site manager to municipal engineer. Others may be involved in design, engineering, research and teaching.
Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture and installation of computer hardware, including computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and related equipment such as keyboards, routers, and printers. Computer hardware engineers work similar to electronics engineers in that they can design and test circuits and other electronic components. However, computer hardware engineers only do this work in relation to computers and computer-related devices. The rapid advances in computer technology are largely the result of the research, development, and design efforts of these engineers.
Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture of electrical equipment. Some of these devices include electric motors; machine controls, lighting and wiring in buildings; radar and navigation systems; communication systems; and power generation, control, and transmission equipment used by electric power companies. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and airplanes. Although the terms electrical engineering and electronics are often used interchangeably in academia and industry, electrical engineers have traditionally focused on power generation and supply, while electronics engineers have worked on electrical applications for control systems or signal processing. Electrical engineers specialize in areas such as energy system technology or electrical equipment construction.
Electronics engineers, with the exception of computer scientists, are responsible for a wide range of technologies, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPS), which can, for example, give a vehicle's location continuously. Electronics engineers design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture of electronic devices such as transmission and communication systems. Many electronics technicians also work in fields closely related to computers. However, engineers whose work is solely related to computer hardware are considered computer engineers. Electronics technicians specialize in areas such as communications, signal processing and control systems, or have a specialization in one of these areas: control systems or avionics for example.
Environmental engineers use the principles of biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They deal with water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal and public health issues. Environmental engineers conduct hazardous waste disposal studies, evaluating the importance of the hazard, providing advice on how to treat and contain it, and developing standards to prevent mishaps. They design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems, research the environmental impact of planned construction projects, analyze scientific data and carry out quality controls. Environmental engineers deal with local and global environmental problems. Some study and try to minimize the effects of acid rain, global warming, car exhaust and ozone depletion. You can also get involved in wildlife conservation. Many environmental engineers work as consultants, helping their clients comply with regulations, prevent environmental damage, and remediate hazardous sites.
Health and safety engineers, with the exception of mine safety engineers and inspectors, prevent harm to people and property by applying their knowledge of systems engineering and mechanical, chemical, and human performance principles. With this expertise, they identify and measure potential hazards, such as the risk of fire or the dangers of handling toxic chemicals. Depending on the probability of damage and damage potential, they recommend suitable damage prevention measures. Health and safety engineers develop procedures and designs to reduce the risk of illness, injury, or harm. Some work in the manufacturing industry to ensure new product designs do not create unnecessary hazards. You must be able to anticipate, recognize and assess dangerous conditions and develop methods to prevent them.
Industrial engineers determine the most efficient ways to use the basic factors of production (people, machines, materials, information, and energy) to produce a product or provide a service. They are mainly concerned with increasing productivity through human resources management, methods of business organization and technology. To maximize efficiency, industrial engineers carefully study product requirements and then design information and manufacturing systems to meet those requirements using mathematical models and methods. They develop management control systems to support financial planning and cost analysis, and design production planning and control systems to coordinate activities and ensure product quality. They also design or improve systems for the physical distribution of goods and services and determine the most efficient plant locations. Industrial engineers develop wage and salary administration systems and job evaluation programs. Many industrial engineers move into managerial positions because the work is closely related to the work of managers.
Naval engineers and naval architects are involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of ships, boats, and related equipment. They design and oversee the construction of everything from aircraft carriers to submarines and from sailboats to oil tankers. Naval architects work on the basic design of ships, including the shape and strength of the hulls. Marine engineers work on ships' propulsion, steering, and other systems. Naval engineers and naval architects apply knowledge from a variety of fields to the overall process by which watercraft are designed and manufactured.
Materials engineers are involved in the development, processing, and testing of the materials used to manufacture a range of products from computer chips and airplane wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and compounds to create new materials that meet specific mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They are also involved in selecting materials for new applications. Materials engineers have developed the ability to create and then study materials at the atomic level, using advanced processes to replicate the properties of those materials and their components with computers. Most materials engineers specialize in a specific material. For example, metallurgical engineers specialize in metals such as steel, and ceramics engineers develop ceramic materials and the processes to turn them into useful products such as glassware or fiber optic communication lines.
Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Engineers in this discipline work on power-generating machines such as electrical generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. They also work on machines that use energy, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, machine tools, material handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. Some mechanical engineers design tools that other engineers need to do their jobs. In addition, mechanical engineers work in processing or agricultural production, maintenance or technical sales; Many become administrators or managers.
Mining and geological engineers, including mine safety engineers, find, extract, and prepare coal, metals, and minerals for use in processing industries and utilities. They design open pit and underground mines, oversee the construction of shafts and tunnels in underground operations, and design methods for transporting minerals to processing plants. Mining engineers are responsible for the safe, economical and environmentally friendly operation of mines. Some mining engineers work with geologists and metallurgical engineers to locate and evaluate new ore deposits. Others develop new mining equipment or operate mineral processing plants that separate minerals from the earth, rock, and other materials with which they are mixed. Mining engineers often specialize in extracting a mineral or metal, such as coal or gold. With the increasing emphasis on environmental protection, many mining engineers are working to solve problems related to land reclamation and air and water pollution. Mine safety engineers use their knowledge of mine design and practices to ensure worker safety and comply with state and federal safety regulations. They inspect wall and ceiling surfaces, monitor air quality, and inspect mining equipment for safety practices.
Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to take advantage of nuclear energy and radiation. They plan, develop, monitor and operate nuclear power plants to generate electricity. You may be involved in the nuclear fuel cycle—the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel, and the safe disposal of waste from nuclear power generation—or in the development of fusion power. Some specialize in developing nuclear power sources for warships or spacecraft; others find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials, such as in devices used to diagnose and treat medical problems.
Petroleum engineers design methods for extracting oil and gas from underground reservoirs. Once these resources are discovered, petroleum engineers work with geologists and other specialists to understand the geological formation and properties of the rocks containing the reservoir, determine drilling methods to be used, and oversee drilling operations and production. They design equipment and processes to achieve the maximum profitable extraction of oil and gas. Because only a small portion of the oil and gas in a reservoir flows through natural forces, petroleum engineers develop and use various improved extraction methods, including injecting water, chemicals, gases, or steam into an oil reservoir to force out more oil and gas. computer controlled drilling or fracturing to connect a larger area of a reservoir with a single well. Because even the best techniques used today produce only a fraction of the oil and gas in a reservoir, petroleum engineers research and develop technologies and methods to increase the recovery of these resources and reduce the costs of oil and gas exploration, drilling and production.
Most engineers work in office buildings, laboratories or industrial plants. Others may spend time outdoors at construction sites and oil and gas exploration and production sites to oversee or direct operations or troubleshoot on-site issues. Some engineers travel a lot to factories or construction sites at home and abroad. Many engineers work a standard 40-hour week. Sometimes deadlines or design standards can add stress to a job, requiring engineers to put in more hours.
Almost all engineering jobs require an engineering degree. Graduates with a degree in science or mathematics may occasionally qualify for some engineering careers, particularly in high-demand disciplines. Most engineering degrees are awarded in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering. However, engineers trained in one industry may work in related industries. For example, many aerospace engineers have a background in mechanical engineering. This flexibility allows employers to meet staffing needs in new technologies and specialties where engineers are in short supply. It also allows engineers to move into fields with better career prospects or into those closest to their interests.
Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering degree, along with courses in both math and science and life sciences. Many programs also include general engineering degrees. A design course, sometimes accompanied by a computer or laboratory course, or both, is part of the curriculum of most programs. General education courses without direct engineering reference, for example in the social sciences or humanities, are often required.
In addition to the standard engineering degree, many universities offer 2- or 4-year engineering technology majors. These programs, which typically include various hands-on laboratory courses that focus on current problems in the application of engineering principles, prepare students for hands-on design and production work rather than jobs that require more theoretical and scientific knowledge. Graduates of 4-year technology programs can obtain similar jobs as graduates with a bachelor's degree in engineering. However, engineering graduates are not eligible to register as professional engineers on the same terms as graduates with engineering degrees. Some employers consider graduates of technology programs to have skills somewhere between those of a technician and an engineer.
A college education is essential for engineering school positions and some research and development programs, but not a requirement for most entry-level engineering jobs. Many experienced engineers earn an engineering or business degree to learn about new technologies and learn more. Many senior leaders in government and industry began their careers as engineers.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits college and university programs in engineering and engineering technology. ABET accreditation is based on a program's faculty, curriculum, and facilities. Coursework in a program; program improvements; and institutional commitment to specific quality and ethical principles. Engineers who require a license may require completion of an ABET-accredited program.
Although most institutions offer programs in the major branches of engineering, few offer programs in the smaller specialties. Also, shows with the same title may vary in content. For example, some programs emphasize industrial internships that prepare students for a position in industry, while others are more theoretical and are designed to prepare students for graduate work. Therefore, students should research study plans and carefully consider accreditations before choosing a university.
Admission requirements for undergraduate engineering schools include a solid background in mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus) and science (biology, chemistry, and physics), as well as courses in English, social studies, and humanities. Engineering majors are typically 4 year long, but many students find it takes 4-5 years to complete their degree. In a typical 4-year college curriculum, the first 2 years are spent studying mathematics, fundamental sciences, elementary engineering, liberal arts and social sciences. In the final 2 years, most majors are engineering, usually with a concentration in one subject. Some programs offer a general engineering curriculum; The students then study part-time or in graduate school.
Some engineering schools have agreements with 2-year colleges whereby the college offers an initial engineering education and the engineering school automatically admits students for the last 2 years. In addition, some engineering schools have agreements that allow students who spend 3 years at a liberal arts college with pre-engineering majors and 2 years at an engineering school with core subjects to receive a bachelor's degree from either school. Some colleges and universities offer 5-year master's programs. Some 5 or even 6 year collaboration plans combine classroom learning with hands-on work, allowing students to gain valuable experience and fund part of their education.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require a license for engineers offering their services directly to the public. Licensed engineers are called Professional Engineers (PEs). This license typically requires completion of an ABET-accredited engineering program, 4 years of relevant work experience, and completion of a state exam. New graduates can begin the licensing process by taking the two-tier exam. After completing the course, the first examination Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) can be taken. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly referred to as Engineers in Training (EIT) or Engineers in Training (EI). After gaining relevant work experience, EITs can take the second exam, known as the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Several states have mandated continuing education requirements for license renewal. Most states will recognize licenses from other states so long as the manner in which the original license was obtained meets or exceeds their own licensing requirements. Many civil, mechanical, and chemical engineers are licensed PEs. Regardless of license, professional organizations offer various certification programs to demonstrate competency in specific areas of engineering.
Engineering employment is expected to grow at the average rate for all occupations over the next decade, but growth will vary by specialty. Biomedical engineers should see the fastest growth, while civil engineers should see the largest job growth. In general, good career opportunities are expected in engineering.
Earnings for engineers vary significantly by specialty, industry, and education. The differences in median earnings and earnings distributions for engineers in different disciplines are particularly significant. The average annual salary for engineers in the private sector is $122,100. In the federal government, the average annual salary for engineers ranged from $101,085 in agricultural engineering to $146,788 in ceramics engineering. As a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those with a bachelor's degree.