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Working life as an engineer

What is working life like as a graduate engineer?

Engineering has been shown to be one of the ‘happiest’ professions. A survey by Engineers Ireland stated that 94 per cent of members said they were happy with their career choice.

A career with variety

Variety is a key aspect of engineering, with a range of different working environments to choose from.

A typical day as an engineer very much depends on the type of role and sector you are in. A designer may work on one project for a long period while a mechanical or applications engineer might have several projects on the go all at the same time. On a daily basis you will be asked to communicate or present your work and ideas to colleagues, management and/or clients. You will also be given plenty of responsibility and the opportunity to take on leadership roles.

You may have the opportunity to travel, working for international companies or on overseas projects. The range of project locations could mean, however, that you end up travelling a lot and being away from family and friends for extended periods.

A profession where you are always learning

In the engineering profession you will always be challenged to learn more. Ongoing technological, legislative, economic, environmental and social change will make sure of that. Engineering is about ‘experiential learning’ and putting things into practice as well as the underlying theories. You will get to work on practical projects with tangible results.

An agent for change

You can also be an agent for change in industry and society, providing guidance, direction and leadership in the way people live. Engineers play a leading role in environmental change. Your focus on new technologies and innovations will result in more sustainable projects and designs and an emphasis on harnessing renewable energy sources.

You will gain great personal satisfaction from knowing that you are involved in worthwhile projects which impact on the world and people’s everyday lives. You could improve someone’s daily commute. You might improve access to power grids for those in remote areas. Or you could be a vital team member or project leader developing a third-world irrigation system.