Engineering is perhaps one of the most popular and broadest professional fields in the market. Engineers have been around for centuries and are very unlikely to go away anytime soon. The word Engineer comes from the latin ingenium which means cleverness or inventiveness, and that is just what defines them. It is the purpose of an Engineer to create new solutions to problems.
In order to come up and apply the best solutions to whatever problem an Engineer is facing, they need to possess vast knowledge of mathematical and scientific principles. It is commonly believed that Engineers work only with the machines they create or maintain. While it is true that their work revolves mostly around technology, Engineers also need to be aware of economic, social, and even environmental principles. An Engineer must be able to do the necessary research in order to come up with the best suited solution to each problem, taking into consideration the repercussions and consequences of their acts.
Engineering has many specializations that tackle different types of problems. Some of the most popular branches are Mechanical, Industrial, Civil, and Software Engineering. The different areas of Engineering are not mutually exclusive, however. As branches of the same tree, all Engineering disciplines are interconnected as one can learn and benefit from the work of the other.
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.
Since all areas of this field are extremely complex, all Engineers are required to have extensive levels of scientific knowledge and skills. There are basic concepts and skills that all Engineers must possess. However, depending on the specialization the candidate chooses, the list of subjects and skills to master will vary. A bachelor’s degree in Engineering is the most common way to start the road to becoming one. Once the aspirant has obtained their first degree, they usually proceed to pursue a specialization with a master’s degree or even a Ph.D.
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.