5 Popular Engineering Roles in 2017 - Career HQ
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5 Popular Engineering Roles in 2017

Engineering is an innovative and dynamic industry. It’s not just about building hotels or designing cars, although thanks to engineering feats like the Ice Hotel or Elon Musk’s’ Tesla, those areas are pretty amazing. There’s so much happening across the engineering industry, new and amazing projects being taken on, and so many different roles and specialities. Even if you thought engineering wasn’t for you, it’s worth taking another look around the industry.

Engineering job description

Here’s a quick summary of some of the popular engineering roles you might want to think about:

Industrial engineers plan and streamline operations and production processes. They maximise the efficiency of workspaces, resources used and time taken for processes to happen. In creating these systems they also assess potential changes in labour requirements, costs and safety standards. A key part of an industrial engineer’s role is to maintain quality control and improve performance. Industrial engineers are problem solvers, creative thinkers, strong communicators and technically minded. They might work in manufacturing plants, healthcare facilities or energy businesses. Usually industrial engineers have a degree in engineering with a major in mechanical or manufacturing engineering.
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Engineering draftspeople work alongside both design and engineering professionals to create blueprints and technical drawings of projects. Using computer aided design and 3D imaging software, draftspeople form scale plans utilising the calculations, specification and preliminary concepts given to them. As part of their role engineering draftspeople consider building codes, site requirements, relevant by-laws and space concerns, to see if they will affect engineering designs. Draftspeople have an eye for detail, need to work precisely, and identify and solve problems at the start of engineering projects. Engineering draftspeople work both in an office and at project sites, generally with their computer on hand. To become an engineering draftsperson usually a VET in civil construction design or engineering is required.
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Mechanical engineers design, develop, inspect and test mechanical systems and technologies. Their role ranges from designing the smallest component to focussing on the entire machine production process. They consider maintenance, equipment lifespan, labour costs and installation issues as part of each design and process. Mechanical engineers create and interpret complex design drawings, using computer aided design and mathematical modelling softwares. Mechanical engineers work across all industries and may work in mining operations, construction sites, engineering facilities, power plants or manufacturing businesses. To become a mechanical engineer usually requires a degree in engineering with a major in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology.
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Civil engineers plan, design and supervise construction projects, varying from buildings, to bridges, airports or highways. Exploring the feasibility of projects is a large part of a civil engineers role. They must consider costs, timings, environmental factors, labour requirements and health & safety risks. They also monitor each project’s progress to ensure there are no holdups. Civil engineers use computer aided design and 3D modelling to understand blueprints and technical drawings, and explain designs and infrastructures to their clients and contractors. Civil engineers split their time between being in an office and at the site of their projects. To become a civil engineer usually requires a degree in engineering with a major in civil engineering.
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Types of Engineering jobs

Mechatronics/Robotics engineers design and build robotic systems and machinery processes. To do this they use a combination of various engineering disciplines including mechanical, electronic and electrical systems. Robotics engineers develop and build prototypes and final versions of automated systems and machinery which can complete tasks with little or no human intervention. They may work on automating high risk tasks to increase safety for workers. Robotics engineering is a developing field with new technologies evolving all the time. These engineers are creative but also highly technical and need strong computing and software skills. They work in labs, offices, manufacturing plants or even outdoors, depending on their project. To become a mechatronics/robotics engineer generally requires a degree in engineering with a major in mechatronic, mechanical or electronic engineering.
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Engineering is at the centre of the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the shops we visit, our power supplies and foods we buy. For a wider look at what roles the industry has to offer