Are you a student looking into the possibility of doing a degree in engineering? It’s a great career path to go down, and the work is incredibly varied. Being an engineer can mean very different things depending on which sector you work in.
All that choice can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for young people with no experience in the engineering industry. The industry is growing, so it’s about time you learnt all you can about the options open to you if you choose to pursue a career in engineering.
Where to Start
There are many different ways into the engineering industry for young people to take. If you’re still at school, good GCSE grades in mathematics, science and computer-related subjects give you a good head start.
Once you’ve finished school, you can either take up an apprenticeship in engineering or go to sixth form college. Both of those paths can lead to a job in engineering, or you could do a university degree in engineering before you enter the world of work.
The work available to environmental engineers is now increasing all the time. As the need to ditch carbon emitting systems in which to live and work increases, the more in demand environmental engineers will be.
Environmental engineering involves the designing and constructing of eco-homes and towns. The emphasis is on creating ways of living with little to no reliance on fossil fuels and CO2 emitting fuels. This can mean developing new methods of renewable energy generation or adapting existing methods for new uses.
Rail and Tunnel Engineering
Once you have some experience you could specialise in rail or tunnel engineering, there, is of course, a lot of overlap between the two. Designing and maintaining railway stations is one the most interesting and challenging roles an engineer can take on. You could also be dealing with building new railway lines.
You have to have some knowledge of geotechnical and structural engineering before you move into tunneling. It can be a dangerous and difficult job to undertake and can involve coming into contact with gas, so you’ll need H2S gas detectors. There’s also the chance of heavy rock falling, so there are a lot of safety measures to put in place.
This is where most young engineers will find themselves to start with. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to stay there, but you might want to. It allows you to get involved in either the technical aspects of the job or the design aspects.
It does what it says on the tin; you’ll be working on building projects, from start to finish. Through design and planning to implementation and construction.
Nuclear and Defence Engineering
There are all kinds of jobs that are done by nuclear and defence engineers. The main areas covered are military organisations and nuclear power plants. You’ll start at the bottom of the ladder, working in a team, but there is huge scope for career progression.
If you progress all the way through an organisation, you can end up in charge of a huge team of workers and huge multi-million dollar budgets. There is a great responsibility that comes with these jobs though. Nuclear power can be incredibly dangerous.