The term “engineering” encompasses a surprisingly broad and bustling category of distinct occupations, with workers responsible for an almost uncountable number of different tasks that make up the physical reality of our modern society.
If you’re driving a van with the headlights on down an interstate, while listening to the radio, checking your fuel gauge to make sure you have enough gas, you’re directly engaging with the work of at least six different types of engineers - all of whom we offer our recruitment services for.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable jobs in the industry and the skills required to be successful in them—while noting that, due to the various ways you can divide these fields, you may see some overlap.
1. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering jobs are among the most recognized, popular, and ancient in the industry. They involve the design of city and country infrastructure, in particular roads, bridges, dams, and buildings.
2. Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering deals with the design and construction of machines. Some of the most popular mechanical engineering projects of the last decade have been in the subcategory of robotics, but drones, cooling and heating systems, and some elements of transportation can also be considered types of mechanical engineering.
3. Chemical Engineering
Quite simply, chemical engineering is the combination of many different forms of engineering, employing such knowledge as physics and microbiology, as they specifically apply to the use of chemicals. Subcategories include jobs in pharmaceuticals, food processing, and industrial chemicals.
4. Petroleum Engineering
As it stands right now, the world needs oil. It’s nonetheless an essential part of our current society, used not only in cars, planes, and other modes of transportation, but also in the manufacturing of plastic and polymers.
Petroleum engineering involves anything from the analytical optimization of oil production (that is, figuring out methods to get the most oil out of the ground), to jobs which involve physically drilling into the Earth’s surface to recover the oil, to the maintenance of oil-rich areas—preventing natural disasters or keeping a tech-savvy eye on oil-pumping machinery.
5. Electrical Engineering
If you’re fascinated by the power-line-webbed metal arms that span through open fields or the shining silver discs of steam turbines in power plants, electrical engineering may be up your alley. The field often deals with the interconnectivity of electric-powered technology. Historically, it incorporates jobs that helped establish infrastructure for the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and computers.
Modern electrical engineering is subdivided into many more specific categories, which can require vastly different expertise. Those who deal in “electronics” tend to work with circuitry, such as that found in a radio receiver. “Microelectronics” involves much tinier circuits, while “instrumentation” involves devices that measure quantities, like the aforementioned fuel gauge in a car, or the meters measuring winds, speed, and altitude in the cockpit of an airplane.
6. Aerospace Engineering
You’re probably familiar with Orville and Wilbur Wright, the founding fathers of aerospace engineering. Whereas electrical engineering may include the devices in a plane, aerospace engineers are more concerned with the aerodynamics of the aircraft itself.
Aerospace engineering used to be more commonly referred to as aeronautical engineering, as it dealt with the mathematics and physics of airplanes. However, the field now encompasses space travel, as well.