Why you should consider careers in engineering
Engineering jobs in South Africa offer exciting opportunities for qualified professionals. A large field of study, careers in engineering are both challenging and rewarding, offering those who pursue it with passion and enthusiasm a special type of job satisfaction.
Today we take a quick look at what engineering is, some types of engineering fields there are to specialise in as well as seven reasons why engineering careers might be the perfect option for you.
What is Engineering?
Engineering is a combination of different fields of study including mathematics, science, technology and in some cases even economics. These fields of study are applied in order to plan, design, create, construct, maintain and improve systems, structures, existing technologies and tools, to name but a few examples.
The types of engineering in existence today is a testament to the wide fields of application it has. From the design of a bridge to the planning of a machine and an electrical system, engineers take on many forms and responsibilities, finding solutions to everyday problems and obstacles.
So, what is engineering in short? Very simply put, engineering can be described as the use of different skill sets and knowledge – like science, technology and mathematics – in order to solve problems like building a bridge.
Types of Engineering and Fields of Study
The field of engineering is big and, because of this, there are many types of engineering careers to be chosen from.
Civil Engineering for example is concerned with engineering roles surrounding infrastructure. These professionals are involved in everything from the planning and designing phases, straight through to the management and completion of a project. The type of projects you’ll find these professionals working on include the construction of roads and bridges. Also note that these professionals are aimed at creating sustainable cities that are efficient in every way.
Mechanical Engineering jobs in South Africa and abroad shifts its focus to the design and construction of machines. Think of any machine or mechanical piece of equipment that has moveable parts – from an air conditioner to steam turbines – a mechanical engineer is involved.
Chemical Engineering is another specialised field within engineering and entails professionals applying principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology to solve our real world problems. You’ll find these professionals in various industries – from food and drug industries to fuel and chemical production fields.
An Electrical Engineer takes on electricity and electronics, working with a range of different tools and devices. Taking on responsibility and applying their electrical knowledge, these engineers are involved in a range of projects – from small electrical devices to supercomputers and power stations. Note that these types of professionals are involved in the design and planning phases, as well as the projects itself.
Other careers in engineering include Mining Engineering, Petro Chemical Engineering and Electronic Engineering, to name but a few examples. The list of career options go on and, if you want to learn more about the different types of engineering and career options there are to choose from, check out the Engineering Blog Tag on the Job Mail Blog.
7 reasons why careers in Engineering is a good option
There are multiple reasons why choosing an engineering career might be the right option for you. Remember that, before you dedicate yourself to a certain field of study, weigh all your options and make sure that it is truly a field that inspires and drives you.
To help you get started on your pro’s list, here are 7 reasons why careers and engineering jobs in South Africa might be for you:
1. A large field of study to choose from
There are many types of engineering and fields of specialisation to choose from – from construction and electronic to chemical and mining industries – which means that you have a large pool of engineering careers to choose from. Though academic engineering programmes are strenuous and by no means an easy feat, it is a rewarding one offering a field and specialisation for just about every interest.
2. Working in different environments and with different people
Because careers in engineering are so closely tied to the needs of communities and individuals, you will have the opportunity to work with different people, with different skills and specialisations. This is not only true for your on-the-job duties, but also in terms of who the design, planning and final deliverable is for.
3. Working in varied industries and facing different challenges
Depending on the field you do choose, engineering jobs offer you the ability to work with and develop the newest technologies. From working in the field of green energy, to working with state-of-the-art transport solutions, you’ll have the opportunity to plan, design and construct something that can truly make a difference in the world.
4. The type of employers
From smaller private engineering firms to big names like Google, Microsoft and Sasol, qualified engineers with the right skills can have great job opportunities to choose from. Remember to do your research about the field of engineering you want to go into. From here, check out the type of employers that need these skills before making your final decision.
5. The engineer salary and work environment
Your work environment as well as the engineer salary you can expect to earn depends on the engineering careers themselves. While a Civil Engineer might be required to be on site, a chemical engineer might be required to be in the lab, work in a processing plant or in an office environment.
According to PayScale a Mechanical Engineer can expect to earn an average annual income of around R 351 100 while an Electrical Engineer salary comes in at around R 350 200 per annum. Civil Engineers can expect an average annual income of around R 331 300 while an Industrial Engineer can expect an average salary of around R 279 000 per annum.
Note that average annual incomes will vary depending on your skills, your field and your work experience.
6. Challenging field to work in
Though facing a challenge everyday might not tickle your fancy, there are people out there that live for a challenge – something careers in engineering can offer. While some projects might be straight forward, others require creativity, mad skills and a passion for the job at hand.
If you are motivated, skilled and ready to take on a challenge, the field of engineering might be a great option for you.
7. A continuous education
Working in the field of engineering also means adapting to new technologies, policies and rules. Our world is ever changing and, because you design, plan and build for the world around you, you will have to keep up to date with the latest developments in your field.
Remember that, choosing to pursue a career in engineering should not be taken lightly. Engineering and engineering jobs in South Africa and abroad requires expertise, skills, knowledge and individuals that are passionate, creative and dedicated. Though the job itself can be challenging and stressful, the rewards and job satisfaction might, in your case, outweigh these factors.
Engineers are needed in a vast range of fields, ready to come up with a solution that will solve our everyday problems. Respected and essential to our communities – from roads to information technology systems – engineers will have a place in our lives.