Understanding how careers in the engineering world work

Engineering is one of the most versatile careers anyone can choose and there are a huge number of industries where engineers make key contributions to how particular parts of those industries work. Without engineers the world would, almost literally, grind to a halt. There is a great demand for qualified and experienced engineers, and for those considering entering into the engineering world, job prospects are good. Starting salaries can also be good, depending on the industry, but gradual career progression means that earnings can be substantially increased over the years.


Below are some examples of industries that use engineers:




Covering everything in the aeronautical world, engineers could be working on space and satellite projects, such as developing new space telescopes, or working on military proposals for the next generation of fighter aircraft. There are also many civil applications for an engineer’s skills, such as designing commercial airplanes or helicopters.


Mechanical engineering


This type of engineering is about manufacturing things using a mechanical process and mechanical engineers can work right across the spectrum of industries to do with technology. Engineers could be involved, for example, in making transducers for use in a wide range of applications, with a company such as Transducer Techniques producing items such as load cells and torque sensors that convert mechanical actions into electrical output signals.


Civil engineering


Jobs in civil engineering span many different aspects of infrastructure, so engineers could be working on developing new road or other transit systems, being involved in the construction of sports stadiums and other buildings, such as skyscrapers, hotels and museums. New graduates would work on a team overseen by those with long experience, and continuing to learn while working is a natural part of an engineer’s career.


Industrial engineering


Industrial engineers are responsible for organizing people, workplaces, information and equipment to ensure that large and complicated systems work safely and effectively. Areas of responsibility might include seeing that a large clothing chain always keeps every size of shirts or jeans in stock, or making sure a hospital operating room runs like clockwork.


Nuclear engineering


This complex type of work could involve engineers working on the design and build of nuclear power plants or developing machines for nuclear medicine to help destroy cancer cells by imaging the human body.




People considering engineering as a career should engage with the idea from middle school or early high school so they can take the subjects they will need to get onto an engineering college course. Math and the main sciences are the major courses that should be taken, along with English and a foreign language – useful for working abroad.


Engineering courses, especially at top colleges, can be competitive to get into so students need to aim for the highest grades possible from school.


Working for the future


Engineers are imaginative and innovative people, the ones who invent new ways of doing things that bring immense benefit to the world. They’re tenacious and intelligent, and engineering can be an excellent choice for a long-term career.