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So you want to work in Engineering?

Engineers analyse, develop and evaluate complex, large-scale systems across a variety of fields. They can maintain and improve current systems or create brand new projects. They will generally draft and design blueprints, visit systems out in the field and manage projects.

One type of engineering is civil. Civil engineers protect, improve and create the environment we live in. They oversee the design and construction of buildings, structures and facilities including bridges, roads, airports, water and sewerage systems. They also work on extremely tall buildings or large structures that are built to last hundreds of years, withstanding all weather conditions.

Then there are mechanical engineers who provide solutions for the development of processes and products, ranging from tiny component designs to large plant vehicles or machinery. They will often work on all stages of a product, from research and development right through to final commissioning and installation. Most industries rely on some form of mechanical system which is why mechanical engineering is thought to be one of the most diverse disciplines, with engineers working across sectors like medical, construction, manufacturing and power. Engineers may also be required to manage people and resources, as well as working on the development and use of new technologies and materials.

Types of jobs in the Engineering industry include:

  • Computer Engineers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Civil Engineers

Personal Skills

Five key skills that will help you score a job in the Engineering industry:

  • Sound technical and mathematical skills including physics
  • The ability to think methodically, to design, plan and manage projects
  • The ability to keep an overview of entire projects while continuing to attend to small details
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Supervisory and leadership skills with the ability to delegate

Interview and Job Hunting tips

  • Make sure you research the company, the customers and types of products etc. Then relate your skills and experience to how you can make a positive difference to the company
  • If you are an engineering graduate you are probably looking for a challenging and exciting career in an area that interests you, so use the interview as an opportunity to ask a lot of questions that will help you work out whether this is the right job and company for you.
  • It will be important to show a solid understanding of technical concepts and how to apply them in a practical way. Be prepared to use sketches when explaining concepts and feel free to ask the interviewer questions to clarify the question.
  • If you don’t know the answer to something be upfront about it and don’t waffle. Ask some clarifying questions or say that you haven’t yet come across this type of issue in your studies, but explain how you would find the answer, or how you would solve a similar problem.