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What is the experience required to work as an engineer?

Annie Barnes

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Eric Morgan on July 8, 2019

The following is written by and according to the Department of Labor and particular to the education and training required for engineers. Engineers usually enter the sccupation with a bachelor's degree in engineering specialty, but some basic research positions may require a graduate degree. The engineers offer their services directly to the public must be licensed. Continuing education to stay up to date with the rapid evolution of technology, it is important for engineers. The education and training. A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. College graduates with a bachelor's degree in natural science or mathematics may occasionally qualify for some engineering jobs, especially in specialties in high demand. Most engineering degrees are granted in electrical, electronics, mechanical or civil engineering. However, engineers trained in one branch may work in related branches. For example, many aerospace engineers have training in mechanical engineering. This flexibility allows employers to meet staffing needs in new technologies and specialties in which engineers may be in short supply. It also allows engineers to shift to fields with better employment prospects or to those that more closely match their interests. Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. Many programs also include courses in general engineering. A design course, sometimes accompanied by a computer or laboratory class or both, is part of the curriculum of most programs. General courses not directly related to engineering, such as those in the social sciences or humanities, are also often required. In addition to the standard engineering degree, many colleges offer 2-year or 4-year degree programs in engineering technology. These programs, which usually include various hands-on laboratory classes that focus on current issues in the application of engineering principles, prepare students for practical design and production of the work, but for jobs that require more theoretical and scientific knowledge. Graduates of 4-year technology programs may get jobs similar to those obtained by graduates with a bachelor's degree in engineering. Engineering technology graduates, however, are not qualified to register as professional engineers under the same terms as graduates with a degree in engineering. Some employers regard technology program graduates as having skills between those of a technician and an engineer. Graduate training is essential for engineering faculty positions and many research and development programs, but is not required for most entry-level engineering jobs. Many experienced engineers obtain graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology and broaden their education. Many high-level executives in government and industry began their careers as engineers. About 1,830 programs at colleges and universities offer bachelor degrees in engineering that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Inc., and there are another 710 accredited programs in engineering technology. ABET accreditation is based on a program's faculty, curriculum, and facilities; the achievement of a program's students; program improvements; and institutional commitment to specific principles of quality and ethics. Although most institutions offer programs in the major branches of engineering, only a few offer programs in the smaller specialties. Also, programs of the same title may vary in content. For example, some programs emphasize industrial practices, preparing students for a job in the industry, while others are more theoretical and are designed to prepare students for postgraduate studies. Therefore, students should investigate curricula and check accreditations carefully before selecting a college. Admissions requirements for undergraduate engineering schools include a solid background in mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus) and science (biology, chemistry, and physics), with courses in English, social studies, and humanities. Bachelor's degree programs in engineering typically are designed to last 4 years, but many of the students that takes between 4 and 5 years to complete their studies. In a typical 4-year college curriculum, the first 2 years are spent studying mathematics, basic sciences, introductory engineering, humanities, and social sciences. In the last 2 years, most courses are in engineering, usually with a concentration in one specialty. Some programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize on the job or in graduate school. Some engineering schools have agreements with 2-year colleges whereby the college provides the initial engineering education and the engineering school automatically admits students for their last 2 years. In addition, a few engineering schools have arrangements that allow students who spend 3 years in a liberal arts college studying pre-engineering subjects and 2 years within an engineering school studying core subjects to receive a degree from each school. Some colleges and universities offer 5-year master's degree programs. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study and practical work, allowing students to gain valuable experience and to finance part of their education. Licensing. All 50 States and the District of Columbia require licensing for engineers who offer their services directly to the public. Engineers who are licensed are called professional engineers (PE). This licensure generally requires a degree from an ABET-engineering program accredited, 4 years of relevant work experience, and successful completion of a State examination. Recent graduates can start the licensing process by taking the examination in two stages. The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination can be taken after graduation. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EIT) or engineer interns (EI). After acquiring suitable work experience, EITs can take the second exam, the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Several States have imposed mandatory continuing education requirements for relicensure. Most States recognize licensure from other States, provided that the manner in which the initial license was obtained meets or exceeds their own licensure requirements. Many civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineers are licensed PEs. Independent of the license, several certification programs offered by professional organizations to demonstrate competency in specific fields of engineering. Other qualifications. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical and detail-oriented. You must be able to work as part of a team and communicate, both orally and in writing. Communication skills are becoming increasingly important as engineers frequently interact with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering. Certification and promotion. Principles of engineering graduates usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers and, in large companies, also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As new engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems and make decisions. Engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to the supervision of staff or a team of engineers and technicians. Some may eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial or sales jobs. In sales, an engineering background enables them to discuss a product, technical aspects and assist in product planning, installation, and use. Numerous professional certifications for engineers exist and may be beneficial for advancement to senior technical or managerial positions. Many certification programs offered by the professional societies listed as sources of additional information for engineering specialties at the end of this statement. For the source and more detailed information concerning your request, click on the related links section (u.s. Department of Labor) indicated directly below this answer section.


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