How to Become an Engineer: A Career Guide

Become an Engineer

Did you know that engineering jobs can earn you an average salary of $80,000, with room to grow well above $100,000?

If you want a career that’s exciting and offers stability, then engineering might be the path for you. Of course, it can take a bit of elbow grease to turn that ambition into a reality.

Are you wondering what steps you need to take? Keep reading to learn all about how to become an engineer with this in-depth career guide.

Decide If It’s Right for You

The last thing you’d want to do is spend a long time pursuing a goal you’re not truly passionate about. This is why it’s a good idea to do as much research as possible. That way, you can determine if being an engineer is something that you’d like to do for the rest of your life.

Of course, it’s possible to make a career switch later on in life, or even while you are in school. However, the sooner you can do that, the better. So, you might be asking yourself, “What does an engineer do?”

Put in the simplest terms, an engineer is tasked with designing and building structures. This often involves structures that are too complicated for the untrained individual to build on their own.

The structure can be physical, such as a bridge or building. It also can be something else, such as software. The main goal of every engineer is to innovate by creating something new or improving on something old.

In general, there are many different types of engineers. Most of these types can fit into one of four main categories, such as civil, electrical, chemical, and mechanical. Job titles include aerospace engineer, nuclear engineer, and environmental engineer, among others.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering

One of the biggest steps toward becoming an engineer involves formal education. You could try learning as much as possible on your own but a potential employer requires proof of expertise with an actual degree. The good news is that there are many schools across the United States that offer one kind of engineering degree or another.

At the very least, you’ll need your bachelor’s degree. While it depends on the school and exact field of study, a general engineering degree is a time commitment of around 4 years or more. If you go to school half-time instead of full-time, then it could take you twice that number of years to complete your degree requirements.

Some of the subjects you might study include engineering mathematics, physics, logic, decision analysis, and risk analysis, among others.

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Submit an Application

It’s an unfortunate fact that you can’t walk into a university and start studying what you’d like. Not only can a degree cost quite a bit of money, but you’ll also have to earn acceptance. Some of the requirements for getting admitted include a high SAT or ACT score, an application essay, impressive grades in high school, and more.

Other qualifications will depend on the type of engineering field you’d like to study. For instance, a software engineer should already have a solid foundation when it comes to computer literacy.

Depending on the school you apply to, you might have to shell out for application fees. This can add up to a small fortune, especially if you’re applying to multiple schools.

The good news is that there is a significant amount of money out there for the purpose of helping out potential students. While you’ll need to apply to those scholarships as well, anything you win can go toward applications, books, and other school-related fees.

Get an Internship

While formal study at an accredited college or university is essential, you’ll also need to get as much hands-on experience as possible. With both, you’ll have the opportunity to kickstart your engineering career and leave your competition far behind.

This is why you should try getting an internship with a company as soon as possible. While your chances of an internship are low when you first start studying, the likelihood increases with each year. However, you might find that the workload is too much.

Sometimes it’s best to wait until your last year of study to start looking for a good internship. Not only do internships give you valuable real-world experience but they can also turn into full-time jobs after you graduate. Even if the internship ends without an offer to stay on, other employers will love seeing how much of a go-getter you are.

Research the Best Job Openings

It should come as no surprise to learn that there are many engineering jobs available. If you’re willing to travel within the United States or even abroad, then your pool of potential jobs will end up being huge.

It’s always a good habit to research a company before you apply to their job listing. This is can save you and the potential employer plenty of time. After all, you shouldn’t apply to work for a company that doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, whether it’s the job title, the location, or even the pay.

Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow students or professors for recommendations. They may know of the perfect job opportunity for you.

Now You Know How to Become an Engineer

Now that you’ve learned all about how to become an engineer, you can pursue your passion and make a name for yourself. Your friends and family members are sure to celebrate your success. Best of all, you’ll create financial stability for your loved ones.

There are always more tips and tricks you can use to level up your career to new heights. Our site is dedicated to making everything as easy as can be by breaking down the process into manageable steps.

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