Engineering FAQs

Frequently asked questions about engineering careers.
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  • Engineers are professional problem-solvers. They use math and science along with skills in communications, critical thinking, and management to find practical solutions that will benefit people or society. They DO things: design, create, build, improve, invent -- everything from heart valves and microchips to skyscrapers and space vehicles.
  • Salaries for engineers depend on what type of engineer they are, what kind of company they work for, how many years of experience they have. Many engineers with bachelors degrees start out making over $50,000 a year. Some engineers just starting out earn more than $70,000 a year!
  • You can start working as an engineer with a 4-year college degree. Many engineers go on to earn masters degrees (usually in another 2 to 3 years), and some get a Ph.D. (4 to 6 years beyond the bachelors degree).
  • Engineers work in lots of different places. Some work in large corporations, while others own their own small firms. Engineers are employed at manufacturing plants, hospitals, research labs, construction sites, and regular business offices. Some engineers work for government agencies and while others work in foreign countries.
  • Engineers who work in offices may wear business suits every day, others may dress more casually - even blue jeans occasionally! Engineers who work in manufacturing plants or on construction sites may wear hard hats and steel-toed boots. Some engineers wear special clothes to protect them from dirt or hazardous chemicals.
  • An engineer can work a regular 9-to-5 hours or much longer depending on what kind of company they work for and what kind of project they are involved with at the time.
  • Engineers are people, too! They work hard, but have families and friends just like everyone else. Look at the engineers profiled in the gallery: Many of these successful women have families as well as hobbies ranging from music and gardening to sports and world travel.
  • An engineering degree is good preparation for many different careers - especially ones that require problem-solving skills. There are several engineers who have chosen to become doctors, lawyers, or business managers as well as traditional engineers.
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