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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.

diesel mechanic

What does a Diesel Mechanic do?

Some unfortunate people know how complicated life becomes when a much-needed car breaks down, especially in the peak of rush-hour traffic. Now imagine how difficult things can be when mechanical woes force truckers and their goods to stop trucking, or sideline packed public buses. When these auto disasters strike, it is diesel mechanics that restore order, getting crippled engines humming again, or just preventing failures in the first place.

diesel mechanic

What do diesel mechanics do?

Diesel mechanics maintain and repair diesel engines, a task that requires extensive knowledge of diesel engines, their systems and components. Because these technologies are always progressing, they must remain on the cutting edge of the technical changes that impact their work. Specific duties range from simple oil changes to total engine overhauls. In either case, these mechanics must be equipped to work with a variety of tools and diagnostic equipment, computerized or otherwise. They must also be able to relay sometimes overly-complicated technical information to customers with little to no repair experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some diesel mechanics specialize in heavy duty vehicles, like bulldozers and cranes, while others in passenger transports, like light trucks and boats. While most begin working in others’ repair shops, some eventually go into business for themselves, making this a solid career option for mechanically-savvy entrepreneurial types.

How do I become a diesel mechanic?

Chances are you know someone who likes to tinker with cars or trucks in their spare time. Many diesel mechanics begin as hobbyists, but professionally repairing a broad range of engines, particularly heavy diesel engines, requires training.

According to the BLS, most begin with a community or trade college training program ranging from six months to two years in duration. They get a great deal of hands-on training with equipment and become familiar with the newest technologies. Some walk away from their training with employer-sought certifications, but others need to hone on-the-job experience to earn these credentials. The few diesel mechanics who forego formal training must often invest three to four years in a shop before they can become technicians.

What is the career outlook for a diesel mechanic?

The BLS reports that positions among diesel mechanics are expected to grow a bit slower than average. Note, however, that those who receive formal training through a community college or trade school have a significant edge over those who train on the job, making education an important investment in their careers.

The Association of Diesel Specialists, a professional trade organization, provides additional tools that can boost your job prospects, including scholarship and training information.

What does a HVAC Technician do?

One of the most remarkable advances of modern civilization is our ability to remain protected from the vagaries of weather in carefully calibrated indoor climate environments. Today’s advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technology is more sophisticated than ever before, and an ever-increasing workforce of skilled HVAC technicians is needed to help keep the world’s residences, institutions and commercial buildings pleasantly cool in the warm summer months and cozy and dry in the winter. If you have a knack for technical tasks and are looking for a professional path with great prospects for growth, becoming an HVAC technician could be the right job for you.

hvac technician

HVAC technician: Primary responsibilities

HVAC technicians are tasked with the responsibility of installing, maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing residential and commercial heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. The exact nature of a particular HVAC technician’s job depends upon the setting in which he or she is employed. For example, HVAC technicians who work for institutions may focus primarily on repairs and maintenance of existing systems, while those employed by repair companies may also focus on selling and installing new systems.

HVAC technician: Training and education options

The increasing sophistication of today’s HVAC systems means that those technicians who have formal training are most likely to land lucrative positions in the field. There are many training options from which students interested in pursuing HVAC careers can choose, including certificates and associate degrees.

Although training is increasingly a requirement for HVAC technician jobs, most jurisdictions do not impose formal education requirements on practitioners of the trade. However, most do require that prospective HVAC technicians pass some sort of examination or test validating their skills in the field. Many states also require that HVAC technicians must be engaged in an apprentice relationship with a certified or highly experienced mentor.

HVAC technician: Professional outlook and earnings potential

According to the most recent information data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technicians are likely to enjoy excellent employment prospects in the years ahead. The salaries associated with HVAC positions are also notable as being some of the highest among the trades.

If you think a career as an HVAC technician may be right for you, don’t delay–find out more about that training and education opportunities that can help you get a head-start in this fast-growing field.