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I recently saw Lil Wayne live. While I’m sure he’d gladly accept all the credit for his tour being awesome, I think some credit is due to the engineers who built each theater he performed on, his stage set, and the acoustics. While not every engineer’s work supports the world’s self-acclaimed #1 rapper, engineers do solve real world problems and improve the lives of people, using their knowledge of math and science.
Engineers use their knowledge of math, economics, and science to solve real world problems and improve the lives of people. To do that they design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials, and processes.
Engineering careers offer a range of more than 25 specific fields ranging from environmental engineering, which deals with the prevention and control of environmental health hazards, to civic engineering, which designs city building structures, road systems and facilities. A popular field for engineers now is “green”, an area of the job market that is on the rise.
Engineering has four main branches:
On a typical day an engineer may spend time:
The median starting salary for applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in this field is $53,400. It is one of the highest paid majors and on average you can expect to make between $56,000-$119,000 as an engineer. Maybe you’ll decide to go into Environmental Engineering ($63,000/yr), Chemical Engineering ($79,000/yr), Electrical Engineering ($70,000/yr), Computer Engineering ($79,000/yr) or Structural Engineering ($66,000/yr).
These hot spots have the highest salaries for engineering:
To be an engineer you’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree which will cover courses in math, computers, science, and engineering. And you’ll have to select a specific type of engineering to study. Beyond that you’ll need to become a certified professional engineer if you want to provide services to the public. To do this, you’ll need to pass an examination called the Fundamentals of Engineering examination. Then you will have to gain up to four years of work experience before taking a second examination, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering. And continued studying and learning credits are sometimes required on an ongoing basis for professionals.
If engineering still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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