The Engineering field is full of myths that involve women not being able to become Engineers, that men working in the field have no social skills, or even that it’s all about machines and tools. However, there’s definitely more to it. Engineering is all about solving problems using specialized technical and practical skills. It also involves using math and science principles, doing research, designing and making prototypes, carrying out maintenance, and being involved in production processes.
Society in general and every industry out there depends on the precise and efficient work of Engineers. They provide technological solutions to problems, issues, and ideas that affect every area of our lives. Engineers design, manufacture, and maintain what people and industries use on a daily basis, from computers to buildings. Without Engineers, technological advances would never happen. Therefore, the people working in this field are extremely important for society’s future developments.
Engineering professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Conducting specialized research and implementing strategic and technical solutions to the problems at hand.
- Using specialized computer-aided design (CAD) software to design and create products and solutions.
- Taking into consideration costs, government regulations and legislation, potential environmental hazards, time schedules, and other factors.
- Ensuring plans and projects meet the specific guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations.
- Supervising and working with Technicians, Technologists, and other Engineers.
- Carrying out advanced calculations.
- Assessing, testing, troubleshooting, documenting, upgrading, and developing maintenance procedures.
- Keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and developments within the Engineering industry.
All professionals working in the Engineering field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having exceptional creativity in order to create new products and solutions.
- Having outstanding mathematical skills.
- Being organized, analytical, and having great problem-solving skills.
- Having outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
- Being able to work cohesively with a multidisciplinary team of Technicians, Technologists, and other Engineers.
- Being great at multitasking and establishing priorities; being able to manage time efficiently.
- Being able to handle various projects at the same time.
In addition to having a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, as well as a master’s or Ph.D., each Engineering specialization requires professionals with a very specific set of skills. Since all areas of this field are extremely complex, all Engineers are required to have strong mathematical skills, logic, and the ability to rise to intellectual and practical challenges.
All candidates applying for any Engineer job must be proficient in specialized CAD software, especially AutoCAD, and MS Office Suite, as well as being a registered professional in their corresponding province. Only licensed Engineers can practice this career in Canada. The provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies are the constituent associations of Engineers Canada and are the ones in charge of regulating the profession and licensing professional Engineers in Canada.
Career progression for any type of Engineer depends on overall experience, performance, and completion of professional qualifications. Furthermore, becoming a freelance Engineer or opening their own consultancy firm is a feasible option when they have enough experience and an established reputation in the Engineering world.