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Engineering: A Dozen Reasons You Will Love Being An Engineer

Updated on December 17, 2016
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The Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies is an award-winning STEM specialty center that supports hands-on engineering education.

Thinking about a career in engineering?  It's a challenging and noble profession.  Here are a dozen reasons you'll love your career choice.
Thinking about a career in engineering? It's a challenging and noble profession. Here are a dozen reasons you'll love your career choice. | Source

12 Reasons To Pursue Engineering As A Career

Not everyone has the talent and perseverance to become an engineer. But you are rock solid at advanced math and science. Solving complex problems makes your clock tick. You're a leader among your peers, communicating well with others. (Okay, so maybe you don't spell all that well, but that's what spellcheck is for.)

Challenge? Bring it! Engineering yeah!

If you've put engineering on your short list of career options, then here are a dozen reasons to pursue engineering further.

Love the Career You Choose

Engineering consistently gets high ratings for job satisfaction.  Love the work that you do.
Engineering consistently gets high ratings for job satisfaction. Love the work that you do. | Source

Reason #1 - Love the work that you do.

Engineering is consistently given the nod for high job satisfaction. Depending on the type of engineering you pursue, you can select a work environment that suits your needs—from manufacturing plants to office settings to the great outdoors. Potential types of employers include:

  • Fortune 500 organizations
  • small and medium-sized businesses
  • government agencies
  • the military
  • engineering, consulting, and design firms or
  • hospitals and universities.

Find the right work environment, surrounded yourself with meaningful, challenging projects, and it will seem less like work and more like nourishment for your brain. And that's important. Considering that you may be working for almost 50 years, you need to love what you do!

Thumbs Up! Everybody Loves An Engineer

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Everyone loves an engineer, from this knight ... to this underwater diver ... to this audience member ... to this outdoors enthusiast ... to these runners ... to this monkey ... to this fella ... even Santa ... Mario and the cabbie behind him ... and the chef, too.  Engineers are awesome!
Everyone loves an engineer, from this knight ...
Everyone loves an engineer, from this knight ... | Source
to this underwater diver ...
to this underwater diver ... | Source
to this audience member ...
to this audience member ... | Source
to this outdoors enthusiast ...
to this outdoors enthusiast ... | Source
to these runners ...
to these runners ... | Source
to this monkey ...
to this monkey ... | Source
to this fella ...
to this fella ... | Source
even Santa ...
even Santa ... | Source
Mario and the cabbie behind him ...
Mario and the cabbie behind him ... | Source
and the chef, too.  Engineers are awesome!
and the chef, too. Engineers are awesome! | Source

Reason #2 - Make a difference by changing the world for good.

When legendary Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs recruited John Scully from Pepsi and wooed him to Apple, Jobs asked him if he wanted to “sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?”

With engineering and other STEM careers, that's your challenge. You can make a tangible difference in the world.

Engineers are the good guys (and gals). They add value, build new technology, create lasting change that matters in people's lives — whether it's a bridge, a prosthetic limb, or a wind turbine. Don't you want to be a part of that?

Engineering, YEAH!

Engineers add value, build new technology, create lasting change in people's lives.
Engineers add value, build new technology, create lasting change in people's lives. | Source

Wow! Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century

 
 
 
 
1. Electrification
6. Radio & Television
11. Highways
16. Health Techologies (e.g., medical devices)
2. Automobile
7. Agricultural Mechanization
12. Spacecraft
17. Petroleum & Petrochemical Technologies
3. Airplane
8. Computers
13. Internet
18. Laser & Fiber Optics
4. Water Supply & Distribution
9. Telephone
14. Imaging
19. Nuclear Technologies
5. Electronics
10. Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
15. Household Appliance
20. High Performance Materials (e.g., steel)
Source: National Academy of Engineering

Batman: He's Energized About Engineers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Batman loves engineers!  Just look at him rooting them on!Here are two future engineers!  They're superheroes!
Batman loves engineers!  Just look at him rooting them on!
Batman loves engineers! Just look at him rooting them on! | Source
Here are two future engineers!  They're superheroes!
Here are two future engineers! They're superheroes! | Source

Reason #3: Solve important problems.

As an engineer, your time is well spent on issues that are mission critical to economic success as well as health and human safety. You can help solve problems such as: preserving the environment, developing life-saving medical equipment, or pioneering low-cost building materials useful in fighting global poverty.

All of this requires engineering—powerful, diligent, mind blowing engineering! It takes being a math and science ninja, a warrior of logic and creativity. Are you game?

In very real and concrete ways, engineers save lives, prevent disease, and protect our planet. Are you up for those types of challenges?

Engineers Make the Impossible Possible

Someone had to dare to dream that space travel was possible then work to make it a reality.  It took lots of engineers to make this happen.
Someone had to dare to dream that space travel was possible then work to make it a reality. It took lots of engineers to make this happen. | Source

Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.

— Albert Einstein

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Reason #4: Stretch your imagination and creativity.

Artists, writers, and photographers aren't the only creative professions. If you've ever seen the Eiffel Tower or marveled at drones or rockets, you can appreciate that engineers combine science with creative ideas that no one once thought were possible.

Engineers and their ideas help push the bounds of technology forward. What was once un-freaking-imaginable can become a reality because engineers dare to ponder it and set about to make it true. For example:

  • fuel cell vehicles (zero emission vehicles that run on hydrogen)
  • neuromorphic technology (computer chips that imitate the human brain)
  • the digital genome (your genetic code on a USB) and
  • autonomous vehicles.

Engineers are behind the cars we drive, the pills we pop and the way we power our homes.

— James Dyson

The Eiffel Tower: An Engineering Gem

The Eiffel Tower:  it's an architectural and engineering marvel but also creative and artistic.
The Eiffel Tower: it's an architectural and engineering marvel but also creative and artistic. | Source

Reason #5: Travel the country or the world.

While many engineers opt to work in manufacturing facilities or lab environments, others enjoy a travel component with their work. Civil engineers must venture to project work sites to deliver their expertise. Field service engineers travel to customer locations to help solve problems.

There is also demand for engineers in technical consulting firms and corporate technical sales. Your education as an engineer means you don't have to be tied to one location if that's not what you want.

Some engineering jobs have a travel component to them.  You may have an opportunity to travel nationally or even internationally as a part of your job.
Some engineering jobs have a travel component to them. You may have an opportunity to travel nationally or even internationally as a part of your job. | Source

Reason #6: Earn a competitive salary.

Thank goodness you excel in math, because you're going to need it to keep track of that money you'll be making as an engineer. Right out of college, engineering majors are consistently the highest-paying college majors at the bachelor's degree level.

As a group, engineers are surpassed later in their careers by doctors and lawyers. However, consider all the additional years of education and massive debt that those professions typically amass. In comparison, engineering looks like a very good investment!

Others Can Be Bored With Their Career Choices, But Not You!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This guy chose something else.  You chose fantastic engineering.Don't get stuck with a repetitive job you don't enjoy.  As problem solvers, engineering jobs often involve job variety.  That means more interesting work!  Don't be this guy!
This guy chose something else.  You chose fantastic engineering.
This guy chose something else. You chose fantastic engineering. | Source
Don't get stuck with a repetitive job you don't enjoy.  As problem solvers, engineering jobs often involve job variety.  That means more interesting work!  Don't be this guy!
Don't get stuck with a repetitive job you don't enjoy. As problem solvers, engineering jobs often involve job variety. That means more interesting work! Don't be this guy! | Source

Reason #7: Job variety.

Because of the problem-solving nature of their work, engineers often face lower repetitiveness in day-to-day operations than many other occupations. When jobs are less routine and more complex, employees typically find the work more engaging and satisfying.

Depending on the type of engineer you are, you could be doing mental gymnastics to solve a problem, performing hands-on work with tools, making a presentation, creating a CAD diagram, and visiting a customer work site — perhaps all in one day! That's a lot of variety for one job. Who could get bored with that?

Fun Stuff for Engineers

Fun stuff for engineers.  Work with your mind, get a little dirty, have a lot of fun.
Fun stuff for engineers. Work with your mind, get a little dirty, have a lot of fun. | Source

Reason #8: Employment stability

Everyone wants career stability, especially in an uncertain economy. Unemployment levels are generally lower for those in science and engineering, compared with those in other fields. In addition, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational outlook for specific types of engineers (e.g., civil, petroleum, environmental, biomedical) tends to be particularly bright.

Engineers drive technological ideas forward.
Engineers drive technological ideas forward. | Source

Engineers as CEOs

Engineers make terrific CEO material. For example: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, and Mary Barra of General Motors. Engineering has long ranked as the most common undergraduate degree among Fortune 500 CEOs.

Reason #9: Work with other smart, innovative individuals.

Engineers are logical problem solvers, and in their quest for elegant solutions to vexing problems, they collaborate with other bright "idea" people who are also at the top of their game. Depending on their exact job, engineers may work in small groups of other engineers, directly with customers and suppliers, or with experts in allied disciplines who have a stake in delivering results.

Work with other people who are smart, creative and good at what they do.
Work with other people who are smart, creative and good at what they do. | Source

One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering.

— Robert A. Heinlein

Reason #10: Enjoy the respect of others.

Engineers are consistently among the top occupations garnering public respect. For example, Pew research studies have found that more than six in 10 Americans surveyed view engineers as contributing "a lot" to society's well being.1

Others recognize that it takes skill and diligence to become an engineer. Not only do they admire the engineer's adeptness at solving difficult problems but also the profession's ethical requirements.

Engineers help drive innovation forward.
Engineers help drive innovation forward. | Source

Reason #11: Job and career flexibility

Jobs that are more flexible provide employees with greater discretion regarding how long, where and when they work. As salaried professionals, engineers often have the flexibility to take time off to attend to family or personal obligations. This leads to improved work-life balance.

Having a degree in engineering can also lead to solid opportunities in other fields: business, medicine, law, design, government, and entrepreneurial ventures. No matter what way you look at it, engineering can be your springboard to success because it teaches you to creatively solve problems.

This high school student at the Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies is lending her engineering creativity to a rival high school's theater project.
This high school student at the Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies is lending her engineering creativity to a rival high school's theater project. | Source

Engineering is a fantastic base for any career.

— Chris Liddell

Reason #12: Never stop learning.

As passionately curious people, engineers must understand that nothing grows in a comfort zone. To develop a lifetime of expertise, engineers must focus on both the scope and detail of their technical competence.

Much of their learning is on-the-job in dealing with more experienced engineers or technical experts. They continually educate themselves on new methods and materials and changing technology, develop rules of thumb based on their extensive practical experience, and learn from failures.

Once you stop learning, you start dying.

— Albert Einstein

Summary of Reasons To Pursue Engineering

 
 
1. Love the work that you do.
7. Job variety
2. Make a difference by changing the world for good.
8. Employment stability.
3. Solve important problems.
9. Work with other smart, innovative individuals.
4. Stretch your imagination and creativity.
10. Enjoy the respect and recognition of others.
5. Travel the country or the world.
11. Job flexibility
6. Earn a competitive salary.
12. Never stop learning.

Notes

1"Public Esteem for Military Still High." Last modified July 11, 2013. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/07/11/public-esteem-for-military-still-high/.

© 2016 Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies

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    • GAES STEM profile image
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      Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies 6 weeks ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

      Mary - Thank you! We agree that we need all need more female STEM students.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great article. We need to encourage more kids especially female to take up this course.

    • GAES STEM profile image
      Author

      Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies 19 months ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

      DreamerMeg - It's a shame that naysayers still exist, especially for girls because engineering opens up fantastic career paths. My own 16 year-old daughter is in a high school engineering program that shows students that although engineering is challenging it is also a lot of hands-on fun. Later this month, they are headed to the worldwide FIRST Robotics tournament. I have never seen so much pride and excitement in a group of young people. The academy also has clubs specializing in rocketry and other engineering endeavors. My husband and I started telling my daughter from an early age that math is connected to everything and that math can change the world. I hope your daughter has a change of heart!

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 19 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Great hub, a real cheer leader for engineering. Not everyone who COULD be an engineer is rock solid at maths. Many possibly good maths students are put off maths at an early age by family or friends who tell them how much hard work it is or how difficult it is. My granddaughter, aged 9, wants to be a Lego engineer but thinks she is no good at maths because her mother tells that she was no good at maths so the same will happen to her. It is a real battle to get her to understand that yes, she IS good at maths. I think sometimes schools or colleges maybe need to encourage the fun side of maths as problem solving to help those youngsters in this situation.

    • GAES STEM profile image
      Author

      Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies 19 months ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

      Deeda - Thanks! Engineers have terrific options as career problem solvers, whether they stay in engineering or choose other paths like management, law or medicine.

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      Deeda 19 months ago

      Great Hub on Engr'g! Opens up all the options available.

      Deeda