What does it take to become an engineer?
When it comes to making an impact, there are few professionals that do so as much as engineers. While their efforts often go unsung, our infrastructure – ranging from roads and buildings all the way to household appliances and mobile devices – wouldn’t be possible without them.
In a time of technological transformation, it’s a good job that the number of engineers is rising to meet the demand – according to data published by Statista, the number of UK engineering professionals increased by 17% in the past decade.
Could you join their ranks? Maybe. Keep reading to find out what it takes to become an engineer.
What do engineers do?
There are many types of engineers, each doing different things depending on their speciality. That being said, we can give a general description of what an engineer does. By applying scientific and mathematical knowledge, engineers solve real-world problems.
What qualifications do you need to become an engineer?
Like many other prestigious professions, it’s best if you get started on your path to becoming an engineer at a fairly early age. That’s because there are certain essential steps you need to take to get into a career as an engineer.
First, you need to get good grades at A-level. Exactly how good, depends on the details of the next step – for now, all we’ll say is that you want them to be as good as possible. Not any subject will do either. You’ll need to specialise in scientific subjects such as Maths, Further Maths, Physics or even Chemistry.
Great A-levels will help you get onto a good degree programme. Most redbrick universities have good engineering programmes. All the same, you might want to shop around to find out which city offers the best course for your chosen speciality.
After your degree, you might want to consider completing a post-graduate course. While this isn’t absolutely essential, it will deepen your knowledge, help you build sector-specific skills and forge industry connections. Similarly, you can complete professional qualifications – particularly important if you want to register as a Chartered Engineer one day.
What skills do you need as an engineer?
There’s a wide range of tasks that you might be required to work on as an engineer. As such, it’s helpful if you have lots of hands-on experience with all of the various tools and equipment you might need to use. Try to get involved with any project you can, whether it’s something complex such as programming robots or more simple like drilling particular surfaces with countersink drill bits.
In general, engineers need good Mathematical and analytical skills, but this isn’t all – strong imaginations, creative skills, and well-developed interpersonal abilities all come in handy. You’ll need these to come up with solutions to complex problems and work with all manner of professionals while doing so.
Would you like to become an engineer? Tell us why in the comments section!