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The engineering field encompasses different concentrations such as chemical, nuclear, aerospace, civil and mechanical engineers, to name just a few. Despite the many types of engineering disciplines, engineers often have a lot in common. For starters, most engineers need at least a bachelor's degree to enter the field. But they often share more than just the basic qualifications. Most engineers share certain personality traits that help them succeed in their field.
Engineers must be natural problem solvers. Solving problems is an essential part of an engineer's job. Environmental engineers are responsible for using their scientific background to come up with solutions to environmental problems. Agricultural engineers try to find solutions to issues such as water erosion, agricultural production and developing safe farm equipment. Civil engineers use their problem-solving skills to work on major infrastructure projects such as airports.
Whatever engineering track you take, you’re guaranteed to be working on a team with others. You might even be working with other types of engineers. For example, nuclear, mechanical and electrical engineers often work together to design nuclear energy systems. No matter the situation, you'll need to be a team player to succeed.
An engineer must be a good communicator, whether he’s a biomedical engineer interacting with patients and medics alike, a marine engineer giving instructions to his team on a ship-building project or an electronics engineer explaining his design to technicians during the product development process. Engineers also need to be good listeners. Agricultural engineers need to be able to listen to different kinds of people including clients, laborers and professionals. Similarly, the industrial engineer must listen well to customers, vendors and production workers to effectively increase worker productivity.
Engineers often need to be creative to get the job done. A mechanical engineer must be creative enough to turn scientific ideas into real machines and equipment. Health and safety engineers use their creativity to produce designs demonstrating hypothetical problems and their solutions to prevent accidents. Computer hardware engineers need creativity to come up with cutting-edge designs for new information technology products.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architecture and Engineering Occupations
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become an Environmental Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become an Agricultural Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Civil Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Nuclear Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nuclear Engineers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Biomedical Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Marine Engineer or Naval Architect
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: to Become an Industrial Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Mechanical Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Health and Safety Engineer
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer
- Try Engineering: Environmental Engineering
- Sloan Career Cornerstone Center: Industrial Engineering Overview
- Try Engineering: Computer Engineering
- ASME: Diverse Career Opportunities in Safety Engineering
Based in London, Autumn St. John has been writing career- and business-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "Guardian" and "Changing Careers" magazine. St. John holds a Master of Arts in Russian and East European literature and culture from University College London, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Oxford.