A World of Their Imagination: Engineers

Categories: EngineerEngineering

When it comes to the formation of the earth, some people believe God created it whereas others believe in evolution and the Big Bang Theory. People who agree with the creationism view of formation realize that someone formed the earth as well as other celestial bodies. As it is with the earth and space, each and every single tangible object in today’s world has a creator. Nothing can be made without a designer to plan and then follow up by completing the construction process.

In the past, these people were the ones who set the stage for future generations. Today, they are known as engineers. Engineers are extremely intelligent people who have created the world society knows today by working with different machines and processes as well as by designing products in order to make things in life easier. The reference of “engineer” is rather broad, though, once everything is considered. There is more to engineering than one might think and by looking deeper into a few areas, the difference becomes obvious.

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Engineers have a wide range of jobs and career paths to choose from depending upon the discipline majored in and the preparatory course taken.

In order to become an engineer, as it is with all professions, the proper education must be taken beginning in high school. Most recommendations are common between all disciplines of engineering. For example, experts suggest that in high school students prepare for this course by taking as many math and science classes as possible, especially the courses of calculus, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, as well as others.

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English and speech classes are also very important in the preparation to become an engineer due to the fact they develop communication skills. Also recommended is a computer sciences class at some point during the high school career. Foreign language can prove to be very helpful down the road as well, especially since essays or paper that are assigned to read may be written in a different language. Students should take upper level courses, such as those labeled “honors” or advanced classes (Morkes). ~ this source is a book but I don’t know how to cite the page number in the in text citation if I combined the information from different pages in different sections of the book (it’s a book about different engineering disciplines/careers) ~ Knowing this, students can better prepare for college by taking the aforementioned courses during high school.

Not only are there specific recommendations for high school students, but when it comes to college there are a few guidelines that should be followed. The same book, Careers in Focus: Engineer edited by Andrew Morkes, details these specifications and precautions that should be taken. First of all, when choosing a school to attend, it is imperative to choose one with an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited program, because many states require graduation from one approved by ABET in order for people to become licensed engineers. In all, there are hundreds of schools to choose from with this requirement fulfilled. Also, at least a bachelor’s degree is needed in ordering to obtain a license. Master’s and doctorate degrees can be helpful when it comes to earning a higher title, starting in a certain position, or increasing an engineer’s salary (Morkes). ~ I have the same problem here with page numbers that I had before ~ From this, it can be assumed that education is taken seriously when it comes to majoring in the field of engineering. Sometimes, as one continues to work, further education is may be required by employers. This can be obtained through seminars and keeping up on reading material in the subject area that covers the work being done (Morkes). ~ same problem again….any suggestions on other places to find this information?- Basically, this means that an engineer’s learning is never done. There is always new information being discovered and released that could affect the jobs and type of work done by many engineers.

Although the education process is relatively the same for all types of engineering, at least until all of the fields branch off to major on specifics, the multiple disciplines of engineering specialize in different things. Even with this being the case, there is still overlap when it comes to projects. In order to gain an understanding of this, the areas of aerospace, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering will be explained in detail when it comes to what each field’s jobs entail. The versatility and variety of jobs will also be expanded upon as well as the major employers of people in each of the five previously mentioned areas.

The first discipline to be delved into is aerospace engineering. According to an encyclopedia, this field focuses on the construction and examination of vehicles inside of and beyond the Earth’s atmosphere (“Aerospace Engineering”). From this, it is noticeable that there are two types of vehicles aerospace engineers work with: aircraft and spacecraft. A book edited by Andrew Morkes over careers in engineering explains that professionals who focus on spacecrafts are called astronautical engineers and those who specialize in aircrafts are aeronautical engineers (Morkes 5). The only difference that can be clearly seen between the two subsections is that one focuses on vehicles in space and the other one focuses on the ones used in the atmosphere. Another source makes it known that aerospace engineers work both with aircraft used in the military and by commercial companies. In addition to this, they even take part in building wind tunnels that enable the testing of crafts that are still in the developing process.

Sometimes the research has to do with looking for quieter plane design and others it is to find materials that will last in the radiation and temperatures found in space. They even have the abilities to work with guided missiles (Busch-Vishniac). Most often, aerospace engineers are called upon to utilize their knowledge in multiple subjects and apply it to the problem at hand (Morkes 5). This knowledge allows them to assist other areas of engineering. According to professionals, aerospace engineers can work well with electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, and others as well (Busch-Vishniac). Along with the compatibility of aerospace engineers and other areas, one will also notice just how versatile job responsibilities are within this field alone. The book Careers in Focus: Engineering, edited by Andrew Morkes, provides insight when it comes to the variety of jobs choices. Analytical engineers provide answers to the questions that come up during the designing process. Design aerospace engineers design the structure of parts and entire vehicles. Marketing and sales aerospace engineers are the ones who interact with customers and detail the products and how they perform (Morkes 5-6). There are many more options, but a few have been provided to give an idea of the variety of jobs available.

Many employers look for and hire people in aerospace engineering. Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the employment of aerospace engineers to be 78,450 people (Bureau of Labor Statistics). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the government provides the most job opportunities for aerospace engineers. Most of these positions consist of work on military vehicles. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known as NASA, also employs engineers to conduct research and develop vehicles as well as maintain the current ones (“Aerospace Engineering”). According to other experts, government run agencies employ about fifteen percent of the aerospace engineers. Aside from the government, other employers would be services that include engineering as well as research or testing and manufacturers of electronics (Morkes 8-9). With this stated, there are many options and opportunities to consider when looking for an employer.

The next type of engineering to be explored is chemical engineering. This type of engineering is involved with processing chemicals to make products used by different industries and the general public (Busch-Vischniac). In addition to this, chemical engineers oversee and are directly involved in developing different processes as well as designing and operating the plants where changes to a materials chemical state or physical state occur (“Chemical Engineering”). Furthermore, these engineers not only manufacture processes and plants, but also work to make the processes more efficient and economically suitable. An example of one such process is crystallization and another would be distillation. In addition to this, chemical engineers must be equipped to control and move massive amounts of chemicals at a time. They must also understand how heat transfers work, evaporation, and how substances absorb into others (Busch Vishniac). As one can see, chemical engineers have a variety of things they can do, as well as understand, and in order to accomplish this feat, they must study multiple areas in order to understand how things work. These engineers rigorously learn the subjects of chemistry, mathematics, physics, and other sciences (Morkes 30). With this stated, there is a wide array of jobs in which a chemical engineer can work. Some of these, found in the book Careers in Focus: Engineering, include: research engineers, project engineers, production engineers, and technical sales engineers. Research engineers are involved in designing new processes or products, as well as improving current products. Project engineers supervise new plants being built and plants while new equipment is being installed. Production engineers oversee the plants on a daily basis as operations take place. Technical sales engineers work directly with customers in order to figure out what best suits their need (Morkes 30-31). The career of a chemical engineer has many paths it could take, and each has different requirements for the job.

Chemical engineering is a diverse field that allows for many different employers to hire graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 28,720 employees are currently hired as chemical engineers (Bureau of Labor Statistics). When looking into this number one notices that a little more than 70 percent are employed by manufacturing industries. Others find employment by working for the government, schools, and research and testing services (Morkes 34). This just goes to show how wide the variety is for employers of chemical engineers. With this being the case, there are many opportunities for jobs that focus on different areas of study under chemical engineering. The Encyclopedia Britannica details some less traditional career path options that chemical engineers can work in. These areas include: plastics, polymers, and synthetic fibers, all of which have problems during manufacturing that entail the use of the reactions chemicals have (“Chemical Engineering”). Knowing some less traditional focuses, the most common uses of chemical engineers are even vaster. Ilene Busch-Vishniac expands on these in her article chemical engineering. She notes that job options can include the areas of cosmetics, fertilizers, and food products (Busch-Vishniac). The aforementioned options are merely a few to bring about an understanding of the versatility of this type of engineers. In addition to this, the book Careers in Focus: Engineering, details that it is rather easy for a chemical engineer to take up a job in a completely different field if wanted or needed because of their training and background (Morkes 34). By entering into the chemical engineering field, one is setting himself or herself up to find a job in almost any circumstance and specific area that suits the interests of the person.

Moving on, the next area to be investigated is civil engineering. A civil engineer provides a service to the public by planning and creating the structures used daily (“Civil Engineering”). To explain further, the book Careers in Focus: Engineering, notes that civil engineers plan communities and the layout of cities in the United States by utilizing the knowledge they have and applying it to realistic situations (Morkes 38). Building off of this, Ilene Busch-Vishniac lists several of these structures being built and maintained by civil engineers. These include, but are not limited to, structures such as dams, bridges, airports, and even sewerage systems. They also play a part in the construction of buildings, as well as participate in projects such as the construction of highways. In addition to this, one could specialize in areas involving rocks and foundations and must understand how construction equipment operates (Busch-Vishniac). Going further, the Britannica Encylopedia explains that different aspects of civil engineers’ work may be placed under different headings. These are anything from construction to power to public health. In these areas, engineers have a hand in designing and building the works that serve the aforementioned purposes. Along with this civil engineers have different functions that they perform, which are then broken down into three categories: ones executed before construction, during construction, and after construction. The functions performed beforehand include feasibility studies, looking at places to build, and the designing process. The functions that occur during construction are interacting with clients, seeking out engineers and contractors. Those that take place after construction are research and maintenance (“Civil Engineering”). One can see that there are many places along the process that allow for different jobs, making this a very diverse field.

Job opportunities that flow from civil engineering are endless. About half of the civil engineers end up working for companies that interact with consulting services and around 33 percent of civil engineers work for the government at one level or another. Another kind of employment is construction or manufacturing businesses. A minimal amount is even self employed (Morkes 42). Knowing this and the previously mentioned information, one finds that there are plenty of options for civil engineers when it comes to choosing a career. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 249,120 people employed in the field of civil engineering (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Each one of these employees works to make civilization a better place. Experts specify that some are even directly involved in the planning that goes into cities and renewing urban areas (Busch-Vishniac). By looking at this, one can observe the variety of jobs that civil engineers have the opportunity to participate in.

Continuing on, the final field of engineering to be looked at is mechanical engineering. According to the book Careers in Focus: Engineering, this is the broadest discipline of engineering (Morkes 83). Mechanical engineering is then defined as being involved with planning, creating, installing, and controlling different engines or machines (“Mechanical Engineering”). Adding to this, experts explain that these engineers work with both systems and material characteristics of fluids and solids. They also develop different mechanical processes, everything involved with mechanical power, and control different operations pertaining to mechanics (Busch-Vishniac). What this means is that basically anything that has a motor in it has had a mechanical engineer working on it at some point in time. The Encyclopedia Britannica catalogs the four functions that mechanical engineers can participate in. The first is to know and being able to work with mechanical science bases, such as dynamics, the flow of fluids, and materials’ properties.

Another is research, devising, and development of new or revised products. Creating manufactured goods and power is a third function common to mechanical engineers. The last option is the coordinating, which involves management and promotion of goods and services (“Mechanical Engineering”). In addition to this, experts state that mechanical engineers aid the human body by creating good that help studies or even stand as a substitute for a body part. They have even played a role in the designing of compact disc players. In order to complete their work, mechanical engineers utilize both physics and mathematics principles (Bush Vishniac). It can then be inferred that the requirements place on a mechanical engineer are vast and the best idea when entering into this field would be to major in one specific area because the knowledge needed to understand every single problem would be more than one could learn in the amount of time presented. By understanding this, one can see just how diverse the pool is for someone entering the field of mechanical engineering.

As it has been with the previous three areas of engineering, mechanical engineering also has a variety of jobs one could participate in. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that there are approximately 234,400 employees in the mechanical engineering field (Bureau of Labor Statistics). If one were to look into this number, they would notice that the majority of mechanical engineers are employed by various manufacturing industries including areas such as petroleum, automobiles, computers, cosmetics, and farm equipment. Those who do not work for manufacturers have four other options: self-employment, consulting agencies, the government, and a university or college (Morkes 88). This being stated, the different employers will have different requirements on their engineers and may need someone who specializes in a certain area. Requirements and employers will then have an influence on the salaries made by each type of engineer in general and each person specifically.

One common aspect of the salaries of engineers is that as a whole they have an extremely high salary. Carole Hedden, published author in Aviation Week and Space Technology, notes that aerospace engineers begin making $61,379 a year on average and by the middle of their career the average has soared to about $106,756. Chemical engineering is very similar to this coming in with the average entry level salary at $59, 141 leaving the mid career salary to be $100,635. For mechanical engineering the average starting salary is $58,709 and the salary at the mid career level is approximately $101,515 (Hedden). After looking at the previous numbers, one will notice civil engineering was not mentioned as it was not included in the study in Hedden’s article. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, though, that the average starting salary for a civil engineer is about $52,048 and no salary for the middle of the career is listed on this website. This site also provides some other interesting statistics when it comes to the income of the four types of engineers previously named. All aerospace engineers make $99,000 on average a year. For chemical engineers this number is $94,590 and civil engineers make about $82,280 on average a year. Mechanical engineers land near civil engineers at $82,480 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). As the numbers show, engineers earn a high salary for the work they do, but as it can be understood from the descriptions of the four areas, the job of an engineer is difficult and involves a lot of critical thinking. These numbers also show the wide salary range for engineers not only in the four fields mentioned but also give an idea of what occurs in the others as well.

By looking at the four fields of engineering, the education that goes into them, and the salaries earned by engineers in these fields, one has began to understand what engineers do and the work that goes into accomplishing these feats. Engineers are the ones who have created the society known today. Most people do not understand how many engineers have helped to create the products used daily, from cosmetics to vehicles to utilities. Without them, nothing new would be created that aids people in everyday life. This understanding allows for an appreciation of what engineers do. The same thought process goes into deciding which creation theory one believes in. Some believe in the Big Bang theory and evolution which allow for billions of years to create the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the rest of the universe that remains unknown. The other belief is the one that follows a similar though process as the appreciation of engineers, and that is creationism. People who believe in creationism are basically saying they recognize the fact that everything has to have a creator and that someone, God, formed the world, space, and everything in them alone and in a shorter amount of time than the Big Bang theory allows for.

Works Cited

  1. “Aerospace Engineering.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.
  2. Busch-Vishniac, Ilene. “Engineering.” World Book Advanced. 2011. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.
  3. “Chemical Engineering.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.
  4. “Civil Engineering.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.
  5. Hedden, Carole. “Pay Day.” Aviation Week and Space Technology 173.30 (2011): 49. Business Source Premier. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.
  6. “Mechanical Engineering.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.
  7. Morkes, Andrew, ed. Careers in Focus: Engineering. Chicago: Ferguson, 2003. Print.
  8. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. 2 Jan. 2012.

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A World of Their Imagination: Engineers. (2021, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-world-of-their-imagination-engineers-essay

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