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Why Choose Engineering

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Engineering is worth shouting about and to get rid of a few stereotypes, you’ll be glad to know that more often than not, engineering is not dirty, not boring and certainly not badly paid – in fact, the average wage for experienced petrochemical engineers is actually higher than most equivalently experienced office workers – including accountants and legal executives! So it should come as no surprise to learn that the same applies to those in most fields of engineering – including civil engineering, communications engineering and those in the mechanical engineering field.

What’s in it for you?

In addition to the nice pay cheque which can accompany an engineering job, engineering also offers a varied, intellectually challenging career with opportunities to travel, gain professional qualifications and even have the responsibility of running your own company.

Engineering can offer fantastic opportunities, for example, there are more engineers holding directorships than there are accountants, the salary is good (if you haven’t grasped that already!), international respect has never been higher and there are daily opportunities to make a real difference to the way we all live – think about the amazing buildings that civil and structural engineers and those in the construction sector have helped bring to the UK – The Gherkin, The Bullring and the impending arrival of the new and improved Wembley Stadium to mention just a few.

You’ll find that whichever type of engineering you choose to pursue, you’ll be in demand both here and abroad and shouldn’t find it too hard to find employment whether you’re starting out in your first engineering role or progressing up the ranks.

Engineers work for lots of different types of company, which opens up a whole range of opportunities and exciting new sectors to tap into - you can work for an industrial firm, a contractor, a consultant, a local authority, central government, the armed services or a non-government organisation – or perhaps if aeronautical engineering is your thing, a job with NASA might even be an option! Every single one of these organisations need engineers and are literally battling it out with attractive benefits packages to grasp the new talent (that’s you) who are entering the industry fresh out of school, college or university.

What do you need?

First and foremost it’s a good idea to have a decent grasp of the area of engineering you want to enter into, so if you’ve been tempted by a career in the industry but are a bit baffled by the wide range of choices the sector has to offer, it’s probably worth trying to find out the difference between the engineers that connect our phone lines to those who design cars and those who help get helicopters off the ground – not to mention all the others! Here are a few helpful websites:

Electrical Engineering www.iee.org
Mechanical Engineering www.imeche.org.uk
Chemical Engineering www.whynotchemeng.com
Civil Engineering www.ice.org.uk
Engineering Careers Information Service www.enginuity.org.uk
Institution of Structural Engineers www.instructe.orge.uk
Institution of Agricultural Engineers www.iagre.org
Women into Science and Engineering www.wisecampaign.org.uk

Just like many other jobs these days, engineering employers have a few key skills that they look for when recruiting new employees – as always it’s good to demonstrate a wide range of skills but some of those attributes most highly sought after include interpersonal skills, team working skills and IT ability. It’s also a huge bonus for any engineering job hunter to try and get involved with any work experience you can and your careers advisor at school or college should be able to point you in the right direction of employers that may offer you a placement – it’s also worth reading Get Smaart, Smaart Woman and Smaart Talent for a few tips as we’re always showcasing different employers! You can find our online versions of all our magazines on our website www.getsmaart.com

Inspired?…What to do next?

If you think that an engineering career might be for you, here’s a few suggested next steps for inspiration…

• Do your research – surf the web for info and speak to a careers advisor to discuss the options and routes into your chosen career.

• Do your homework – it’s no misconception that you need to work hard to get into to engineering, so by trying to get decent grades – particularly in maths and science related subjects you’ll be part of the way there!

• Do your networking – Try and contact those already working in the industry as it’s always useful to get their perspective and find out how they found their dream job, also try and contact employers for further information and potential work experience or job opportunities – this could prove invaluable in the future as employers love to see a keen candidate.

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