What does an Engineer do?
An Engineer can work across a wide range of different industries the exact job role depends on the sector. An Engineer will have a speciality, which determines their responsibilities and types of projects on which they work. Some examples of specialities include a Civil Engineer, Aerospace Engineer or a Software Engineer.
Regardless of the specific sector, an Engineer employs their scientific and mathematical knowledge to solve complex technical problems. For example, a Civil Engineer will focus on construction problems, such as spanning a river with a bridge. A Software Engineer may focus on designing new software to streamline a user’s online experience. An Aerospace Engineer will work on designing and testing new parts for aeroplanes.
Engineer skills and qualifications
A successful Engineer will have an extensive array of technical skills that they can use to problem-solve, design and build new products and analyse results. A successful Engineer will need strong communication skills, the ability to work well in a team environment and extensive knowledge of their own speciality or industry. They will require relevant engineering qualifications within their sector. A successful Engineer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, these include:
- Extensive mathematical and scientific knowledge
- Specific knowledge of their specialisation, such as knowledge of aviation if employed as an Aerospace Engineer
- Excellent analytical and reporting skills
- Knowledge of design, manufacturing and construction processes
- Knowledge of design and engineering software, such as CAD
- Ability to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand format
Engineer experience requirements
A successful Engineer will require extensive experience within their field. Entry-level candidates should demonstrate relevant work experience or placements. They can often arrange work experience through an apprenticeship, higher education college or university. Many university students will be able to demonstrate a year in industry, where they will undertake comprehensive on-the-job experience.
Senior engineering roles often require a minimum of four years of experience. Extensive experience within the correct engineering specialty is essential. For example, a Civil Engineer may work for a government planning department, while an Electrical Engineer may work for an energy provider.
Engineer education and training requirements
An Engineer needs a strong academic background, regardless of the field in which they specialise. Engineers require excellent GCSE and A-level results to progress onto engineering courses at university. Courses require strong results in maths and physics. A chemical engineering course would require a strong result in chemistry, while mechanical engineering would require further maths.
Candidates also require strong academic results in their chosen university course. Engineers usually specialise through their course. Strong candidates complete relevant training and work placements while they are at university. Postgraduate courses can help to further a candidate’s knowledge of their speciality. Professional engineering qualifications from reputed bodies, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers or the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, are helpful.
Engineer salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Engineer is £33,938 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.
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