Work as an Engineer | Know the Options

By ACS Distance Education on May 1, 2019 in Built Environment | comments

Scope of Work

This type of work may be found in factories, on farms, in urban development, or any other industry. 


In engineering operations you will:

operate different equipment and machinery;

calculate the amount of raw material needed for a job;

develop or implement techniques for increasing productivity;

work with chemical materials, physical processes and manipulate tools, e.g. metal work, chemicals, heat;

work according to project schedules and budgets;

ensure conformity with specifications and plans, and with laws, regulations and safety standards;

test electronic components, circuits and systems;

communicate with internal and external stakeholders;

design, instal and maintain processes and equipment across a diverse range of industries;

be confident to work through basic engineering concepts and operations.


What Specifics You Need to Learn

Physics - electronic systems, mechanics,

Mathematics - algebra, arithmetic, calculus

Machinery/Equipment -  tools, engineering operations, repair, circuits, maintenance, operational efficiency

Communication skills - verbal, non-verbal, listening, written

Project management - risk assessment, project monitoring, reporting

Irrigation management - hydraulics, water drainage, equipment, installation, application, maintenance

Water Storage and Reticulation - equipment, installation, application, maintenance

Landscape construction - planning, innovation, construction,

Energy/electrical systems - energy efficiency, electrical concepts, renewable energy, installation, maintenance, repair

Healthy Buildings - materials, services, light, temperature, acoustics

Risk Management - first aid, work health and safety, emergency procedures, legislation


Starting a Career

The key to getting started is to see and experience a diversity of engineering applications. Formal studies can be part of this, but in today's world, you have a far better chance of success if you go beyond just doing a formal course.

Ways of getting started may include:

Volunteering on community projects where there may be an opportunity to learn and use engineering equipment and techniques (eg. any type of construction, survey work, and maintenance or renovation projects)

Learn and obtain licenses to operate different types of equipment -start with a car license; consider licenses for heavier machinery

Join a relevant club where you can interact with knowledgeable people (eg. a car club, young farmers, etc)

Visit relevant trade shows, exhibitions, events, meetings

Explore and develop a hobby. Set up a workshop at home. Pull machines apart. Examine them. Make new machines. Start with simple, safe things and gradually get more complicated.

Working as a sales assistant for a landscaping or irrigation business;

Starting a small part time business offering services in equipment repair or maintenance;

Working as an assistant in shops specialized in equipment for civil engineering businesses;

Working as an administration assistant for an engineering company;

Studying engineering or any related subject at the same time as gaining experience working in engineering/construction areas.


Progressing a Career

To progress in your career you will need:

Networking: build and expand your network by becoming a member of professional bodies, industry bodies and associations; participate in meetings, conferences, be active on social media sharing technology applied in the sector; this is crucial to extending your knowledge, for introducing you to people working in areas where you lack experience, and to give you insights into the working and expectations of other companies.

Great communication: work and communicate effectively; develop active listening skills and be able to converse well (technically and otherwise) with your internal and external stakeholders. Engage in new activities, innovate and collaborate with your colleagues. Work closely with senior staff, your mentors, to build leadership and communication skills. Demonstrable, effective, stake holder communication expands your job opportunities in the future.

Learning: can be informal or formal learning and it can lead you to a higher qualification. Enrol in a online or face-to-face course that will give the skills and you may feel weak at. Communicate with senior staff to understand their needs and to convey your learning needs and ambitions.

Experience:  Experience engenders confidence; demonstrable skills and knowledge means career progression - new roles within the same company (even if not a progression) also gives you the opportunity to advance your skills. Your willingness to take on new roles or jobs also shows flexibility and ambition. You may need to take several steps sideways and learn a lot before you move up!