Engineering is a broad, diverse field of study that encompasses various fields. They are united by their purpose, which is the practical application of science and maths to real world problems, particularly to building and manufacturing. The field is bigger than just charted engineers, their work is supported by experienced technicians and specialist operations staff.
The four main branches of engineering are chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical. But there is a vast number of areas to specialise in, if you’re interested in flight you can work as an aeronautical engineer while an interest in sound could lead to acoustical engineering. Working as an engineer requires many years of study, but there are roles as technicians with less demands. Many engineers will work on manufacturing processes, optimising the machinery and processes that manufacture goods.
The demand for those with engineering skills is high. While output from engineering courses has been growing in recent years these graduates are in strong demand across a variety of occupations, which may lead to difficulty sourcing candidates.
Specialist skills for certain science and engineering roles require extensive experience and although small in number they are required nationwide. Demand for those working in science and engineering occupations is driven chiefly by high-tech and related industries.
A significant majority of people employed in the industrial sector were working in manufacturing (250,600 people). Around half of this number were employed in what is classified as low technology, with another 24% employed in high technology manufacturing. Many of those working in high technology manufacturing are employed with pharmaceutical companies.
Engineering is a diverse field with many distinct disciplines outside of the four most prominent ones. This section will provide a brief guide to some of the other engineering areas you can work in.
Mechanical engineers work with machines. They are involved at all stages of their lifecycle, including designing, manufacturing and maintaining them as well as guiding their operation.
Roads, bridges, airports, railways and other significant construction projects are built and maintained with the input of civil engineers.
Manufacturing and industrial engineers take on the complex task of producing goods in large numbers. They are problem-solvers who make the entire process involved in manufacturing and distributing a product more efficient.
Many industries depend on chemical processes, particularly manufacturing and natural resource industries. These processes require chemical engineers who can safely design and execute design chemical processes.
Electrical engineering involves large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control. Electronic Engineering on the other hand is generally smaller in scale, involving the precision designing of electronic circuits that use components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors.
If you want to know more about working in the in the sector, hear what the experts have to say.