Day in the Life
work a standard 40-hour week. At times, deadlines or design
standards may bring extra pressure to a job, sometimes requiring
engineers to work longer hours. Engineering students have busy
days as well.
Most engineers work in office buildings, laboratories, or industrial
plants. Others may spend time outdoors at construction sites and oil
and gas exploration and production sites, where they monitor or
direct operations or solve onsite problems. Some engineers travel
extensively to plants or worksites.
be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail-oriented. They
should be able to work as part of a team and to communicate well,
both orally and in writing. Communication abilities are important
because engineers often interact with specialists in a wide range of
fields outside engineering.
engineering graduates usually work under the supervision of
experienced engineers and, in large companies, also may receive
formal classroom or seminar-type training. As new engineers gain
knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects
with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and
make decisions. Engineers may advance to become technical
specialists or to supervise a staff or team of engineers and
technicians. Some may eventually become engineering managers or
enter other managerial or sales jobs.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.