Engineers are problem solvers, no matter what specialty they choose. Read about the careers that tap into these unique problem-solving abilities below.
A Career in Engineering
If you love learning how things work, designing solutions to problems, and using science and technology to meet a multitude of needs, engineering might be a great career path for you to consider. There are many different engineering specialties; it’s important to consider the career paths available in different specialities before deciding to embark on this educational venture.
Let’s talk about engineering careers and median salaries. Remember, salaries may change depending on cost of living and years of experience.
Software Engineer- Median Salary $84,000
Have you ever been curious about how the apps on your phone work? Wondered about what it takes to make a computer run? If you’re curious about the “why” behind technology, software engineering may be a good career path for you to consider. Software engineers work with software developers to create a desired outcome for a technological application. Software engineers are great at working out the kinks of computer programs, such as crashes or run issues.
When software developers come to a bump in the road, they turn to an engineer to help them find a solution. Software engineers need to be able to think outside of the box, and be able to come up with unique solutions to problems. It’s key for software engineers to stay on top of the latest trends in technology so that they can apply these trends and practices to keep their company at the top of its game.
Most software engineers work in an office, but some may work from home, depending on the nature of their company. If you’re an introvert who prefers solo work, software engineering may be a good fit for you. People in this job tend to spend much of their time quietly solving problems, rather than working with a large team.
Industrial Engineer- Median Salary $66,000
An industrial engineer regularly evaluates manufacturing processes companies and/or factories. In this job, the engineer is looking for ways to simplify, speed up, and lower the cost of the entire manufacturing process. Industrial engineers are always looking for ways to better utilize employees, technology, and machinery within a factory.
Priding themselves on increasing efficiency, it’s important for industrial engineers to look for solutions that other people haven’t considered. Some industrial engineers are focused strictly on safety, and look at every aspect of the manufacturing process to consider how it could be made safer for employees.
Others strictly work with shipping and packaging, observing the company’s distribution process to find ways to make it less expensive and more efficient. Industrial engineers usually spend most of their time evaluating processes alone, but it’s still important for them to have strong communication skills, as they regularly need to present their suggestions regarding efficiency and safety to high level executives.
Mechanical Engineer- Median Salary $69,000
Mechanical engineers are key players in helping companies to create and develop new products. These engineers develop, test, and create mechanical devices that aid in the manufacturing process. It’s important for mechanical engineers to be experts on the properties of different materials, so they’re able to successfully and safely create new machines.
People in this career field need to have excellent knowledge of the principles of physics. Communication knowledge is also key, as mechanical engineers may be tasked with writing handbooks and guidelines for how to operate machinery properly. He or she may also be in charge of giving training seminars to employees who will be working with the machines the engineer has created.
While the main part of a mechanical engineer’s job is creating new machines, her or she also needs to have some knowledge of the finances involved. When tasked with creating a machine to solve a problem, engineers are often given a budget to which they need to adhere. An engineer’s solution is only helpful if the company can afford to create it.
Many mechanical engineers work in factories, but some work in corporate offices, designing solutions to be used in the corporation’s factories.
Civil Engineer- Median Salary $65,000
Civil engineers create, design, and execute construction projects. Civil engineers work on projects of varying scales, including small (roadway and bridge repair) to large (constructing entertainment venues). Civil engineers need to have a wealth of knowledge in order to safely and effectively design new structures.
Not only do the structures that these engineers design need to be sound and able to withstand the test of time- they also need to be able to be constructed safely and efficiently within budget. In the past, civil engineers worked with blueprints and created drawings to show the buildings they were planning to create.
Today, civil engineering is done with computer-aided design (CAD) software. It’s important for civil engineers to be extremely comfortable using this software. Civil engineers must also be excellent communicators, so that they can relay the goals of the project to the construction team and other interested parties (such as the financial backer for the construction project).
It’s also important for civil engineers to be familiar with building and construction codes in their area, so that they stay within the legal requirements of creating a new structure.
Civil engineers tend to have a varied work environment. Some days are spent on a construction site evaluating projects, while other days are spent doing design work in front of a computer.
Storage Engineer- Median Salary $87,000
As more and more processes in business become streamlined through technology, it’s important to have a safe, organized way to store technological data. This is where storage engineers are experts.
A storage engineer comes up with unique, effective, efficient ways to store technological data. He or she works to make sure that data is only available to people who have been granted access. This can be a very high pressure job, as mistakes can be incredibly costly, and could even impact the future of the entire organization.
Storage engineers are not only responsible for securing data, however; they are also responsible for finding a way to retrieve data that has been lost. Creating a solid data disaster recovery plan is an important part of being a storage engineer. Most storage engineers work in an office, and do not spend much of their time working with others. If you prefer to work alone and enjoy technology, this may be a good career path for you to consider.
Systems Engineer- Median Salary $102,000
Systems engineers work to help corporations keep their technological systems and data storage safe and up to date. Often, a senior systems engineer is the person who chooses what type of servers and storage systems a corporation will use, and is responsible for the upkeep of these systems on a day to day basis.
Like storage engineers, it’s important that system engineers have a solid data recovery plan in place in case something goes wrong with the server. Systems engineers are often part of a larger technological services team at a corporation. People in this position are often responsible for ensuring that all the software used by a corporation is outfitted with the latest updates available.
There are many different options when it comes to careers in engineering, but they all have one thing in common: they involve problem solving. If you’re a creative, out of the box, solutions oriented thinker, engineering may be the right path for you. It’s key for engineers to have patience, as finding solutions for long lasting problems at corporations can take time. If you’re willing to put in the effort, a career in engineering can be extremely rewarding!