• Question: I would love to be an engineer but do you ever get to do practal, hands on things?

    Asked by putpail01 to Carrie, Becky, Kelly, Robin, Usaid on 20 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by ashraf549.
    • Photo: Robin Stafford Allen

      Robin Stafford Allen answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      @put: Oh yes. If something breaks or doesn’t work then everyone wants to know why, and if it is your device or thing you get to either take it to bits or watch as a technician do it so and then you tell everyone, either in words at a meeting or in a written report, what you found and how you will sort it out with a change of design… That’s good fun, if it interests you. Sounds like the sort of thing you would like?
      If you want to be fully hands-on, then aiming at being a Technician is probably a good match; if you want a good mix of interesting problems to solve and some hands-on then an engineer is my recommendation and I would start by lookiing at Mechanical Engineering, and finally if you like the theoretical work, but are not so keen on hands-on, then I would suggest going for a qualification as a Physicist, which requires high levels of Maths skills, and an ability to think in an abstract way, but is very challenging none-the-less. Regards Robin

    • Photo: Becky Selwyn

      Becky Selwyn answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      Yes – I designed the equipment for my experiment and got to assemble all the bits together. Once I have tested all of the parts I will be running experiments most days for the next year so that is quite a lot of practical work!
      Some engineers don’t do as much practical work because they are in charge of doing calculations, and others just do lots of hands on design and testing of products, so it does depend on what specific engineering job you pick.

    • Photo: Usaid Rauf

      Usaid Rauf answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Yes, you certainly can work on practical stuff. In the power industry you can choose to work on a power station or at the central engineering offices. On station, you will get involved with practical work everyday.

      Most engineering jobs will develop into two routes: technical or management. If you want to lead people and projects, you go up the management ladder. If you want to become more technical and have more opportunities for hands-on stuff you go up the technical ladder.