T Nation

Any Engineers Here?


Hey ya'll. Next year I'll be a senior in highschool, and am already pretty sure I want to go into engineering (electrical, mechanical, or aeronautical to kinda narrow it down a bit) or, if I change my mind (always that small possibility) exercise kinesiology and sports performance, or something of that nature.

Anyways, just want to know what kind of engineers are here, what you do, what you did for college, how college courses were, etc. Can't hurt to scope stuff out in advance ya know?

Thanks in advance ya'll!



I'm a structural engineering student at Drexel, engineering is an extremely tough course study. The general courses make people reconsider all the time, especially at Drexel where only 1/3 of freshman engineers graduate as engineers. The jobs are lucrative, and with the right job description, interesting. Be ready for the most comprehensive math and sciences you have ever seen, and don't become discouraged. If it's hard for you, it's hard for everyone.
It's the right field for you if you see yourself as a problem solver that thinks outside of the box. Good luck.


Civil Engineer here in Alaska and a sister who is Mechanical. I enjoy the career as I am always working on new projects so things never get monotonous. I also enjoy being challenged by my projects. Always trying to figure out a better solution or a different way...really making you need to think.

Schooling is pretty tough but if you use the teachers and work in groups then you can do well.

My biggest advice would be to start doing internships as soon as possible. Not only does it create experience for a resume but it familiarizes you with real world engineering which, unfortunately, can be SIGNIFICANTLY different from your schooling. Same principles....but schooling is quite theoretical at times and I honestly only use about 25-50% of my education (although you do need the basic principles to do the job).

Good luck. Although I don't plan on being an engineer till I retire it is great to know that I always have the degree and career to fall back on should other business ventures fail.


Types of engineering:

1.) Mechanical
2.) Electrical
3.) Chemical
4.) Aerospace
5.) Industrial
6.) Biomedical
7.) Civil

I did biomedical engineering. I am currently in an MD/PhD program (medical school and graduate school; the PhD is not engineering related).

Engineering is a great education. It is a very well respected profession, and you will be well compensated for your efforts (good pay).

Engineering classes are math intensive. For the most part, calculus and physics are the meat of the education. For chem-e, chemistry is included.



I'm a Civil Engineering student. Engineering kicks much ass, but sometimes you'll wish you weren't in such a tough major. My advice is whatever engineering field you pick, get involved with cool groups/teams. For example, I'm involved in the concrete canoe team. Mechanical engineers at our school actually build sweet little race cars. I don't know what the electricals/chemies do, but they probably don't have time for fun seeing that they are the ones studying on friday/saturday nights.


I'm an aerospace engineer... that's weird to say.


I'm a Chem E, currently working as a process engineer in Pittsburgh. School was brutal. Like the previous poster said, make sure you end up in a solid group. It makes studying and homework a lot easier. You will do a ton of both.


I'm an Electrical Engineer. I had a lot of trouble finding a job after I graduated (2 years ago) since I didn't have enough experience. So now I'm back in school and trying to get some technical certifications to improve my resume.

Anyways, my advice is to just be sure to get as much experience as possible. Make sure you choose a school with a good internship program. And Network with everyone. My friends who didn't have experience only got jobs through their contacts.


Wow, a lot of civil/structural engineers here! Yeah I'm currently studying Civil Engineering (specialising in structural design) at the University of Western Australia. It's a tough course yeah, but if you put the time in then you can definitely achieve a lot. I enjoy it, and with vacation employment coming up, I'll be getting a lot more experience. Not long to graduate.

I'd recommend it if you like structures, skyscrapers etc, and are interested in things like steel, concrete, and the design of structural systems etc. Or other fields of civil include hydraulic engineering like offshore platforms and stuff, or geotechnical engineer like foundations and retaining walls etc. I chose strucutral tho, my personal preference.


I'm a Computer Engineering student. Graduating in May and already have a job lined up. When you're looking at schools I'd definitely recommend you find one that has some sort of Cooperative Education program. This will help you build up your resume while you are in school and make your job search much easier. Also, I hope you like math...a lot because if you choose Engineering you'll never escape it.


Mech-E student, junior year.
I love the stuff. It sucked pretty bad my first two years, but it improved a bit along the way. This year was great, with the classes becomming more focused and no more need to weed out students. Plus, if you decide to switch majors, you already have all the math and science requirements taken care of for most other majors. And after engineering, everything else seems kind of easy. Also, you will hate your friends who have bullshit majors and party 4 nights a week while you are studying.

Engineering really seemed to open my eyes to how EVERYTHING works. Really a great feild of study, best of luck to you.


Nobody has mentioned computer engineering. I'm offended lol j/k, but I'm a computer engineering student right now. I like it a lot, but it all depends on what field you're interested in.


Mech E here. Going in senior year at CSU.

Here is an interesting link:


Engineering majors are in very high demand: 4 out of the top 10 highest demand jobs are engineers, with ME toppin the list.

What are you interested in? It seems that a lot of people get in to engineering expecting something completely different from what it actually is. It looks like there are a lot of Warrior Nerds here that can give you plenty of advice.

Jeff- Proud Enginerd


In high school I wanted to be a Computer Engineer. I was good with computers, I was good in math.

Natural ability will only get you so far.

Make sure engineering is what you WANT very badly. Please listen to my advice. Engineering is TOUGH and gets tougher every semester.

You have to be dedicated, hard worker, study 2 hours a day at least. It NEVER gets easier.

It's taken me 3 years to realize that this is not something I want.

B.A. in Philosophy here I come.


I'm 1 month from being a telecom engineer and the profession look very cool. Probobly one of the more generalized engineer types. You have know about a very broad specter of disiplines that makes the course both very interesting and hard.

Radiowaves, antennas, electronics, desk/client-server and mobile programming, networking, optical com, digitalized music/voice, digital signal processing and sound compression are among the thing I've been into so far.

Being a natural math genius is not a pre-requisite, as I've seen people who did very bad in math in high school, pass the degree. But it do require a lot of work. Untill I came to this course I never did any homework at all in math, as I thought it was fun and understood everything by seeing the teacher do it. But in the first semester of engineering I almost failed.

A question to the other engineers here. What types of engineers in the states are in demand these days? I know in norway you'll make a fat salary in the oil industry if you're a processing/chemical engineer. Earning 60-100$ a year, working 2 weeks on and 4 week off (damn, why did I have to pick telco!). Allso construction engineers are in. Not to mention quality engineers are very in demand within larger enterprises (like ESA and BMW).


Civil engineering student here. Graduating Fall 2006, can't wait!


I believe the 2005 average starting salaries listed Chemical as the highest with Computer and Electrical engineering following very closely in 2nd and 3rd. It probably depends highly on where you are located. I know I'm starting well above average for Computer Engineering because I'm in the NYC area and we're in high demand here.


Don't let people "scare" you away from engineering. While it is harder then almost all other majors, it is by no means out of reach for most college students.

I think that other majors are simply too easy. Many of my friends did little to no homework, while I did maybe 20 hours/week. All it takes is a little discipline (just like weight training).


My degree is in Chemical Engineering, but I've never had a ChemE job a day in my life.

The job market for ChemEs is extremely cyclical. And it was in a serious down cycle when I graduated from Clarkson in 1996. But in 1998, one company came to Clarkson and offered every single graduating senior ChemE a job merely for surviving the ChemE program there.

I have no idea how to describe my current position. I've been a software test engineer by job description for a while. But now I'm doing more business case/post sale profitability work now.

And I'll always wonder what it would be like to actually do ChemE work in the real world. My professors at Clarkson made learning the stuff a living hell, but it was an interesting living hell!


Civil Engineer.

Just passed my PE exam this year. Boy am I glad to be done with that.

Does it bother anyone else that EVERYONE seems to be an "engineer" nowadays?? I have one of those little signs you han on your door in a motel that I took from a place that my wife and I stayed at that says "Engineering request".