Before pursuing any line of education, or any potential career path, it’s important to fully understand what it is you are getting into. The same holds for engineering, a robust profession that has continued to maintain it’s popularity with new students for decades on end.
There are many good reasons why engineering is so popular, especially in today’s educational and job climate. These include high graduate demand, rewarding and challenging work environments, the ability to work abroad, great salaries and more. Take a look at this guide to why you should become an engineer, and what it might offer you in your future.
Huge Diversity Of Engineering Specialties Available
One of the main reasons you should consider becoming an engineer is the diversity of engineering specializations, potential jobs, and the industries in which you could potentially find yourself. Even a very broad overview of the different types of engineers will reveal over a dozen different specializations in which you could find yourself. These fields are far reaching and diverse ranging from aerospace engineers to agricultural engineers; from petroleum engineers to computer hardware engineers; from civil engineers to nuclear engineers and on down the line from there.
This means that engineering is actually much broader than most people envision it. It’s not just about designing roads and bridges – although civil engineers are one of the largest groupings of engineering professionals, and they are both in-demand and well-compensated.
You don’t have to pick your specialization immediately, either. You can begin your studies in an engineering program, test the waters a little bit, and then see which direction you want to head in once you have a better understanding of what is involved. It could be biomedical engineering, or electrical engineering, or it could be a combination of several different fields, in which case you could double major or earn certificate training credits in addition to your main degree. The point being, the range of options available is absolutely huge!
Exciting and Challenging Career Opportunities
Once you’re ready to enter the job market, you’ll find that engineers have an array of exciting career opportunities awaiting them. Many are at the forefront of technology and advancement, and work in a competitive, entrepreneurial style setting. Others work for the government, for private contractors and large corporations, or go into their own consulting work. There are also many non-profit and public oriented engineering positions available.
Fantastic Salary Potential
The common denominator with all of these various outlets is that engineers are very highly paid. As a group, they have some of the highest starting salaries and average salaries across any degree, industry or educational background. This varies greatly from one engineering specialty to the next, but it’s high no matter which way you slice it.
For example, the average salary for a mining or geological engineer is over $80,000 according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics information, while computer hardware engineers earn over $98,000, and petroleum engineers earn over $114,000! Starting salaries for those same, specific fields were $64,000, $62,000 and $83,000, respectively, according to 2009 data.
In fact, according to the 2011-2012 PayScale survey engineering degrees dominated with seven of the top ten places topped by Petroleum Engineering with a median reported starting salary of $97,900 and a median mid-career salary of $155,000. Details of other engineering salaries can be found here.
High Global Demand For Engineers
Another important factor that needs to be considered when selecting a future career is the probability of actually being employed when you graduate. The good news is that the current demand for engineers is solid and the future projections are also very positive. Figures released by the BLS project that during the 10 years from 2008 to 2018 engineering jobs are projected to grow by eleven percent, which is well ahead of the ten year average for the workforce as a whole. They forecast the creation of 175,000 new engineering jobs during that time in the USA alone.
This is also a global trend particularly with the current world wide resource boom, the increased focus on environmental sustainability and further development in the realm of biomedical sciences just to point out a few examples.
The Ability to Work and Collaborate Worldwide
The majority of engineering work involves leading edge concepts that are being progressed constantly by engineers all over the world. This provides the opportunity to work globally but also to collaborate with other engineers or experts in your field who are not necessarily working for your company, or within the USA.
The flexibility this provides for graduates is exceptional as it enables you to take advantage of and be involved with projects wherever they are in the world. One good example of this is the recent development of Dubai in the Pursian Gulf which has undergone one of the largest transformations in history which attracted many of the worlds leading civil, architectural and construction engineers.
The beautiful thing about the field of engineering, and the main reason why you should pursue becoming an engineer, is that engineering can be anything you make of it. With dozens of focuses and a huge spectrum of industries to work within, there’s no shortage of options. Job opportunities are plentiful and expected to rise, and engineers are highly paid, as well. If all of this sounds good to you, then it’s time to get started walking that path towards becoming an engineer.