Before delving into what the various types of engineering are, it is important to know what exactly an engineer is and what his or her roles and responsibilities are. An engineer is the person who implements scientific principles to bring theories to ground realities. He or she is proficient in mathematics and other sciences and continuously strives to discover, study new technologies to introduce advanced and innovative products or services for consumers. In the simpler terms, an engineer is a convergent thinker who uses the rules of mathematics and takes basic science information to solve problems and manufacture new products.
Engineers influence different aspects of modern life, and it is likely that today you’ve already relied on the expertise of an engineer or engineers. Perhaps you used a bus or a train, watched television, or maybe you have listened to an iPod? Do you have a computer, a video game, or an alarm clock in your home? These have all been designed and developed or manufactured by one or more engineer.
There are various types of engineers as well as their sub-types. The major areas where engineers specialize are mechanical, electrical, aerospace, marine, and civil engineering. And there are also other fields where more and more people are entering; these include software, electronics, nuclear, biomedical engineering, etc. The following are the different types of engineers today:
Mechanical engineering is all about machinery and how it works. A mechanical engineer is concerned with the design, implementation,
and maintenance of various machines used throughout the industry today. Mechanical engineers are also responsible for manufacturing tools and devices related to the machinery. The major courses a mechanical engineering student studies are: Thermodynamics, Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Technical Drawing, etc. A mechanical engineer earns a hefty salary wherever he/she works and this type is one of the oldest and the essence of all technology-based companies.
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Electrical engineers are responsible for developing electrical systems that may be consumer based (like MP3 players, iPods, digital
cameras, DVD player, etc.), as well as power-based like airline navigation system or the electricity grids in cities. Electrical engineering is once again, a major engineering discipline and the major subjects studied are: Power generation, Distribution, Energy/Alternative energy, Thermodynamics, Control systems, etc. An electrical engineer has many options to go for in specialization, from computer networks and robotics to wireless communications and even medical imaging.
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Civil engineers have everything to do with the design and building of roads, bridges, buildings, and other infrastructure present today.
They plan out the infrastructure before designing, then design it, supervise the construction, and after that maintain the project. Civil engineers have to take into account factors such as earthquakes and environmental hazards before designing public infrastructure projects. Other civil engineering projects include water dams, railways, reservoirs, and sanitation plants. Subsections of civil engineering are geotechnical engineering, materials, coastal, structural, environmental engineering, etc.
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Marine engineers design and develop marine structures (like docks, harbors, drilling platforms etcetera), as well as ocean vehicles, marine propulsion systems, and oil drilling supervision. All the other equipment used in boats and ships is designed and maintained by marine engineers. There are diverse applications of marine engineering; one of them is communication systems on ships being used to transmit information in real-time to remote locations, by the use of satellites or optical fibers (which can be laid on the sea floor).
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Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design, analysis, modelling, simulating as well as testing of aircraft, space vehicles,
satellites, rockets, and missiles. The applications are not restricted to space and aircraft only; these engineers can also do work in designing high-speed bullet trains, deep-sea vehicles, or race cars. Whether an aeronautical engineer works on designing space missions and controlling ground equipment or designing/developing powerful telescopes for some serious stargazing, he is never bound to get bored in his/her career.
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Other Types of Engineers
Software Engineers: They develop the software that runs businesses around the world today. From online ticket booking systems, to account management systems or social networking websites, we rely on software engineers to provide us with these technologically advanced and amazing services.
Nuclear Engineers: These engineers are responsible for the design, maintenance and supervision of nuclear power plants. Also, there are research opportunities for nuclear engineers to work on new ways in which nuclear energy can be obtained and used.
Mining Engineers: Mining engineers are involved in extracting and purifying minerals from the mines. They are also responsible for designing equipment that helps in the extraction and purification process.
Agricultural Engineers: They work on machinery and equipment that help in the agriculture field. These engineers can also work on food sciences that do advanced research on how to make seeds more productive (genetically modified food grains, etc.).
These are just some of the common engineering disciplines today. If you are a student, it is your responsibility to find out beforehand which discipline attracts you more and then choose a field of study.
Some engineers make a lot of money and some less. But if you want to become rich, perhaps engineering isn’t the right game. CEO’s, bankers and people in other non-engineering professions earn many times more money than engineers, with a very few exceptions.