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Job Descriptions

Engineer

Engineers apply the use of their knowledge in mathematics and/or other sciences to help solve problems. An engineer’s education is usually specialized in a specific field of knowledge, and it will be up to you to decide what type of engineer you want to be. Some of the options include: Architectural engineers, agricultural engineers, biomedical engineers, civil engineers, computer engineers, environmental engineers, industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, plus many more.   Engineers can work for construction companies, industrial companies, design firms, or any organization that requires the use of engineers. Engineers can also work in educational institutions teaching engineering to students.

Education

This job usually requires the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering. If you work in a university, many colleges or universities also require that you have a graduate degree (e.g., Master's or Ph.D.) if you are teaching courses.

To be considered a Professional Engineer (PE), licensure is also required by passing a written area-specific engineering exam.

Previous Experience

Previous experience working as an engineer is preferred. If you have the required education and skills, it is strongly encouraged that you apply anyways– everybody has to start somewhere!

Job Duties

  • Design, test, and maintain projects as laid out by your supervisor that are related to your specific area of expertise.
  • Consult team members (including other types of engineers) to come up with the best solutions to any problems.
  • Ensure that specifications and calculations are accurate for any projects.
  • Use computer programs to help test and/or maintain solutions.
  • Your employer may ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work ‘Out of the Scene.’  If you are working as an engineer, you may not be working with the public on a regular basis.   However, you may be required to speak with and interact with team members (co-workers) as well as your supervisor.

Skills / Abilities

Critical Analysis and Complex Problem Solving - This job requires the ability to critically examine complex problems by analyzing information or data to develop solutions.

Knowledge of Area-Specific Tools and Related Equipment– You will need to know how to use specific tools in your area of expertise. For example, knowing how to use spectrometers if you an electrical engineer.

Computer Knowledge - You will need to have knowledge of computer usage and knowledge of very specific computer programs.

Attention to Detail - It is important that you are able to be accurate and precise for this job, as you are responsible for designing or maintaining components of objects (including large structures).

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Oral Expression - You will be required to speak clearly and effectively to explain your ideas to your co-workers or supervisor.

Organization and Prioritization - This job requires the ability to clearly organize and categorize work priorities to complete your work.

Manual Dexterity - This job requires the repeated and coordinated use of your hands, wrists, and fingers to use tools and computer equipment  (e.g., pencils, pens, computer programs).

Environmental Demands

Location - An engineer’s work location will vary based on their area of specialization. They may work indoors in an office environment or outdoors where they will be exposed to the weather elements.

Noise Level The noise level will vary depending on location and area of specialization.

Lighting Level - The lighting level will typically be florescent lighting or natural lighting if an engineer works indoors.  If they work outdoors, they will be exposed to natural lighting (e.g., sun).

Work Hours - This job may have fulltime hours (40 hours per week).

Amount of Movement - This job’s amount of movement will vary depending on your area of specialization. It may require that you sit for long periods of time. However, it may also require that you are often moving to examine objects, or test designs.

Cleanliness and Odors - This job setting is typically quite clean, although it may be dependent on how well you maintain the cleanliness of your office or cubicle if you work in an office. Depending on your area of specialization, you may also be exposed to the outdoors and may have to get used to mud or sand.

Work Attire Work attire will vary. Sometimes you may be required to wear business casual clothing in an office environment. You may also be able to wear casual clothing (e.g., jeans and a t-shirt) depending on where you work.

Structure and Predictability This job will typically have a moderate degree of predictability and structure.  This means that you might not do the same tasks each day, and these tasks might be completed in a different order each day.  Sometimes, you will not always know ahead of time how long each task will take to complete.  You might not work in the same areas or location each day, although you may interact with the same people each day. 

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

 
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