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What does a Creative Director do?

A creative director oversees a creative team and project design and handles presentation concepts. Your creativity, strong communication and management skills, and ability to meet deadlines will provide a strong start for gaining the qualifications you will likely need to be successful in this career.

creative director

Creative director job requirements

Even though creative directors can work in graphic design, film, fashion, media, they are usually found in advertising, where they develop the client’s strategy, assign projects to staff, and meet deadlines. As a creative director, you might help with research or oversee product design, but you may be performing a wide variety of tasks–these can include anything from shaping an entire ad campaign to designing coupons.

Creative directors need strong communication and management skills, since they work with and direct a wide variety of people. They also must be able to make sure projects meet their deadlines and that each client’s needs are met. Flexibility is a must, since travel is often necessary, and some projects may require long hours.

Education for creative directors

Creative directors may need a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, or a related field. Coursework will usually be in liberal arts, since many creative directors work in graphic design, film, advertising, media, or entertainment. Being a creative director usually requires at least seven years of experience in one of these industries, because experience is needed to troubleshoot problems and ensure the completion of a successful project.

Creative director jobs

Professionals entering the field can benefit by applying within job sectors hiring the greatest number of creative directors. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the following were the top three job sectors hiring the most creative directors:

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers

Job growth

Employment as a creative director is expected to grow about as fast as average. But since these positions are coveted, be prepared to compete for one. You also may need to relocate; according to the BLS, the states with the best employment prospects for a creative director are New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.

What does a Design Engineer do?

Attention math and science geeks–engineering may be your perfect career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that salaries for engineers are among the highest for college grads. Engineering offers multiple specialties requiring design capability. They use math and science for reviewing a problem and developing solutions using design and analytical skills. Design engineers may create machinery, tools, technology, systems and structures.

design engineer

Design engineers: using math, science and computer skills for finding solutions

Although BLS does not define design engineers as a career title, professionals within most engineering categories participate in designing products, equipment and technology used within their specialties. Engineers use math and science for researching product needs and design problems and developing solutions according to their specialization.

Engineers also use computers and engineering software for making calculations, designing and modifying product models. Design engineers test their designs and refine them as necessary for achieving maximum durability, functionality and efficiency. Engineers also solve problems relating to cost efficiency for producing their designs.

Learning for earning: what design engineers need to know

Design engineers typically have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although degrees in math and sciences related to high-demand engineering jobs may be acceptable.The BLS notes that most engineering degrees are awarded in the categories of civil, electrical, electronics and mechanical engineering. These degrees allow graduates to seek careers within more specialized segments of engineering as well as their areas of study. Engineering degree programs typically require taking courses courses in any of the following areas:

  • Advanced mathematics
  • Physical and life sciences
  • Design
  • Engineering methods
  • Engineering technology

Courses in liberal arts, fine arts and social sciences enhance critical thinking and analytical skills useful in engineering. You will likely work as part of design and manufacturing teams, and strong verbal and written communication skills enhance team performance while reducing errors. Your engineering degree program may provide for selecting an area of concentration, which provides for selecting courses and research projects directly related to your career interests.

The BLS notes that all 50 states and the District of Columbia require licensing of engineers directly serving the public, so check with your state for specific educational requirements related to licensing.

Careers for engineers: sizzling job opportunities

Since each engineering specialty is responsible for design, whether biomedical engineers, who design for life and health systems, electrical engineers, who design electrical equipment, or computer software engineers, who design software programs, your salary potential varies greatly depending on the specialty you choose.

Earning any type of engineering degree allows you to focus your interest in design toward specialized fields within engineering. General engineering and design concepts and principles can also be applied to fields including architecture and manufacturing.<br.
Turn your skills and interests into an engineering career. Admissions and career counselors can assist with finding an engineering program matching your interests and career goals.

What does an Environmental Engineer do?

Environmental engineers work every day to protect the planet, in a real and practical way. Whether it’s designing environmentally friendly, energy-efficient structures that work in harmony with their environment, or helping communities to rebound from flooding by developing storm water mitigation measures, environmental engineers use their knowledge of science and math to create infrastructure projects or design systems that help protect our world for future generations. And as we continue to strive for less reliance on fossil fuels, their work will increasingly be in demand.

environmental engineer

Environmental engineers at work

According to the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE), “Environmental engineering provides limitless opportunities as to type of work, for whom you work, and where you work.”

The wide variety of work settings includes both the indoors and the outdoors; however, the AAEE indicates that, since the majority of pollution problems occurs in urban settings, much of the work environmental engineers do will take place there.

Possible job titles include researcher at a university, city or regional planner, manager of a pollution control or water treatment facility, official with a government regulatory body (such as the Environmental Protection Agency) or an engineer for a private engineering firm.

Although you could work for many types of employers, most of them will require a high level of formal training.

Preparing to become an environmental engineer

Most engineering jobs can be attained with a bachelor’s degree in engineering (usually civil, mechanical, chemical or environmental), four years of relevant work experience and a state exam, all leading to a Professional Engineer (PE) license. Following that, a certain amount of continuing education (determined by state) is required to maintain licensure.

The AAEE also indicates that a master’s degree in environmental engineering is increasingly preferred by employers in this specialty, and you may even be encouraged to earn a Ph.D., which could help you in pursuing this highly research-intensive career.

Environmental engineering is a hot career

CNN Money ranked environmental engineer as #5 on its list of the 100 Best Jobs in America. And the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says that while engineering jobs are growing at an average rate of 11 percent, environmental engineering jobs are growing at an extremely rapid 31 percent.

With the ever-present push to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, and an increasing focus on green building and energy efficiency, the need for environmental engineers should continue to grow for many years to come. One factor that may slow growth is government regulation, since environmental protection policies often take many years to be adopted.

Salaries in environmental engineering are relatively high. Perhaps the AAEE puts it best when it says, “A career in environmental engineering provides a comfortable salary, job security, and considerable personal satisfaction.”