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Become An Engineer

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Working As An Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineer Do

An Engineer is a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or public works. Some job titles for engineers include chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, and computer engineers.

How To Become An Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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339 Engineer jobs

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
DBaas Engineer (JoinOCI-DBaaS)

$66,000 Estimated

Caci International
Ashburn, VA
Test Engineer

$82,436 Estimated

Dimension Data
Ashburn, VA
Virtualization Engineer

$99,968 Estimated

Curtiss Wright
Ashburn, VA
Mechanical Engineer

$71,885 Estimated

Caci International Inc.
Ashburn, VA
DevOps Engineer

$119,984 Estimated

Verizon Communications
Ashburn, VA
Software Engineer

$72,000 Estimated

Global Channel Management, Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Product Engineer

$81,400 Estimated

Verizon Communications
Ashburn, VA
Systems Engineer

$79,726 Estimated

SSP America
Ashburn, VA
Construction Engineer

$62,885 Estimated

Eagle Ray, Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Database Engineer

$79,000 Estimated

Globa Channel Management, Inc.
Ashburn, VA
NOC Engineer

$97,020 Estimated

Verizon Communications
Ashburn, VA
Security Engineer

$80,040 Estimated

Verizon Communications
Ashburn, VA
Security Engineer

$80,040 Estimated

Dimension Data
Ashburn, VA
Infrastructure Engineer

$99,271 Estimated

Rose International Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Network Engineer

$72,000 Estimated

Rose International Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Software Engineer

$72,000 Estimated

Bartech Group
Ashburn, VA
Network Engineer

$72,000 Estimated

Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Ashburn, VA
Mechanical Engineer

$71,885 Estimated

Verizon
Ashburn, VA
Security Engineer

$80,040 Estimated

Caci International Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Test Engineer

$82,436 Estimated

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Real Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Distinguished Engineer Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 08, 2016 $250,000
Engineer (Petrophysicist Advisor) Hunt Oil Company Dallas, TX Aug 23, 2015 $215,800 -
$250,648
Distinguished Engineer EMC Corporation Santa Clara, CA Aug 27, 2015 $213,209 -
$238,400
Western Hemisphere Cementing Engineer BP America Inc. Houston, TX Sep 28, 2015 $210,600
Distinguished Engineer Zynga, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2015 $200,000 -
$250,000
Platform Engineer KCG Americas LLC New York, NY Nov 23, 2015 $190,000
Platform Engineer Tigertext, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 12, 2016 $190,000
Soft Goods Engineer Facebook, Inc. Seattle, WA Jan 10, 2016 $186,140
Analytics Engineer Popsugar Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 23, 2015 $185,000
Soft Goods Engineer Facebook, Inc. Seattle, WA May 07, 2016 $185,000
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Top Skills for An Engineer

TestProceduresSafetyHardwareCADDataAnalysisWindowsCustomerServiceFacilityWebSQLServerTroubleshootPreventiveMaintenanceHvacRemoteProjectManagementStorageSetupTechnicalSupportLinuxControlSystem

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Top Engineer Skills

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Safety
  3. Hardware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Established test procedures and coordinated with Air Force project personnel.
  • Exhibit thorough knowledge of minimizing safety hazards within the power plant.
  • Documented hardware setup, procedures for storage allocation, reclamation, migration and replication.
  • Provided training for layout designers in Fremont and CAD/Layout engineers in Singapore.
  • Reviewed and deliberated newly engineered combat crafts and recommended future design improvements based on data analysis and visual assessments.

Top Engineer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Engineer

  1. Qualcomm
  2. Comcast
  3. Cisco Systems
  4. Hewlett Packard
  5. United States Army
  6. Verizon Wireless
  7. At&T
  8. Confidential
  9. Noc
  10. Jones Lang Lasalle
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Engineer Videos

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Engineer

Mechanical Engineer: Expectations vs. Reality

A Day in the Life of an Engineer (Real Footage, Not Propaganda)