12 Best Engineering Jobs With a How To and Reasons Why
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated October 23, 2022 | Published July 26, 2021
Updated October 23, 2022
Published July 26, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Engineers take scientific discoveries and put them into practical use in the world. This broad field includes many niche specialties based on specific interests and topics. Learning the responsibilities of the most in-demand jobs in engineering can help you decide which one is right for you. In this article, we learn what engineering is, review the benefits of starting a career in the field, and give a list of 12 of the best engineering jobs to consider.
What is engineering?
Engineering is a technical career field that uses math and science to solve problems. The primary duties of engineers are designing, evaluating, developing, modifying, testing, and installing products and systems. They may also make recommendations about materials for manufacturing and work on the construction and analysis of data. There are a variety of engineering specialties that allow you to work with different materials and in such fields as nuclear power, electronics, or transportation systems.
Why consider an engineering job?
Starting a career in engineering has a variety of benefits, including:
Engineers serve important purposes in areas of innovation, safety, and ethics. To complete their duties successfully, engineers use a combination of skills, education, training, innate curiosity, and common sense to provide the best quality solutions. In Canada, engineers must earn a license before they can use the professional title, adding additional prestige to the job.
The work that engineers do directly affects how organizations and societies function. Their work results in local, national, and even international impacts on areas like technology, communications, transportation, and environmental health. Their work often prioritizes how to make people's lives better and easier rather than earning personal accolades.
While much of an engineer's work may be analytical or methodical, there's also a large creative aspect to the role. Many engineers take ideas and turn them into tangible products or processes. They invent new things or modify existing ones so that they work better and are more adaptable to certain situations.
Engineers may find themselves with many job opportunities in their chosen specialties. Those who choose to enter the field do extensive preparation, such as completing specific education requirements, gaining work experience, and getting licensed. More requirements to enter an industry may lead to less competition for open positions.
Engineers may earn more money compared to other professions because of the required training and education to enter the industry. In most cases, more preparation needed to complete a job successfully means higher pay rates. Your location, employing company, and specialty may also help increase your earning potential.
How to build a career in engineering
Aspiring engineers must earn a professional engineer certification (P.Eng) from their province or territory to practice in the field. Steps to get this credential include:
1. Earn a degree
Those seeking a P.Eng certification must first have an undergraduate engineering degree from a Canadian Engineer Accreditation Board program. You can pursue a four-year degree from most universities. Consider talking with the program directors to make sure it fits the requirements and your personal needs.
2. Learn the licensing requirements
Each province and territory has its own engineering regulations. These boards set the requirements for professional engineering practices in their region. Review the guidelines for your employment area to ensure you meet all requirements.
3. Gain work experience
Except for Quebec, which requires two years, all provinces and territories require engineers to have four years of relevant work experience to apply for their P.Eng certification. One of those years must be in Canada under a licensed professional. Working as an engineer-in-training could help you gain the necessary work experience.
4. Take the tests
Depending on your location, the licensing board may require you to take both technical and academic exams to earn your certification. You must meet a good character requirement and be able to speak and write fluently in either English, French, or both. All engineering candidates must take and pass the Professional Practice Examination (PPE) to earn their license.
Related: How To Write an Engineer Resume
12 of the best engineering jobs in Canada
The best engineering jobs are those that are in demand for their services. This means that there are many available jobs to be filled by skilled professionals in these niches. The most in-demand roles may change yearly based on the economy, climate, and other national or international issues. The current best engineering jobs include:
National average salary: $44,072 per year
Primary duties: A quality assurance technician develops plans and procedures for delivering the highest quality products and services to clients or for production. They decide how to examine products and materials to verify that they meet a predetermined set of standards. Quality assurance technicians write testing procedures, perform inspections, and follow and enforce safety procedures for other employees.
National average salary: $54,002 per year
Primary duties: Project coordinators oversee smaller or individual aspects of a larger project. They perform similar tasks as a project manager, but on a smaller scale. Project coordinators monitor the efficiency of their team functions for the larger product. They may also work with the entire project team and clients to develop timelines, create schedules, and review goal setting and delivery times. They may also perform administrative tasks, such as tracking budgets or organizing reports and files.
National average salary: $61,902 per year
Primary duties: Mechanical engineers develop machines and systems for things that run on mechanical power, such as generators, vehicles, and manufacturing equipment. They evaluate, install, and operate mechanical equipment. They also conduct research and design processes for new creations. Mechanical engineers may develop maintenance standards and schedules for their equipment. They can work in a variety of niches such as nuclear power, automotive, and robotics.
Read more: How To Become a Mechanical Engineer
National average salary: $72,426 per year
Primary duties: Industrial engineers concern themselves with enhancing productivity and efficiency in manufacturing. They work to find the best use of resources, such as technology, materials, equipment, and employees. Industrial engineers plan and design layouts for facilities, analyze production costs, and study the reliability and performance of manufacturing plants.
National average salary: $73,051 per year
Primary duties: Civil engineers plan, design, and repair infrastructure projects such as buildings, bridges, and highways. They survey land for topographical projects and ensure compliance with building codes, guidelines, and regulations. Civil engineers may conduct inspections to ensure the safety of infrastructure.
National average salary: $73,232 per year
Primary duties: Electrical engineers work with electronic equipment and electrical systems. They design, plan, research, and test all aspects of creation and implementation for those products and systems. Electrical engineers may specialize in areas like commercial or industrial electrical installation, electrical power systems, or other related areas. They may conduct simulations to anticipate the success of a product or system rollout and troubleshoot systems already in place.
National average salary: $74,389 per year
Primary duties: Biomedical engineers design and create medical equipment and instruments for diagnostics to improve human health and functionality. They may work with technology programs, drug therapies, or prosthetics. They plan and oversee the acquisition and installation of medical equipment for a facility and create diagnostic plans and procedures with the use of those devices.
National average salary: $75,026 per year
Primary duties: Software engineers create, evaluate, maintain, and integrate software, digital workspaces, and operating systems. They are a segment of the information technology (IT) field. Software engineers collect information about users' requirements to develop software and systems to meet their needs. They also coordinate installation and integration efforts across an organization and troubleshoot products after a rollout.
Read more: How To Become a Software Engineer
National average salary: $77,740 per year
Primary duties: Project managers supervise and coordinate all aspects of an engineering project. They plan specifications, provide testing, and perform quality assurance. They work with clients and project teams to meet deadlines and monitor project progress. Project managers also conduct administrative work, such as setting schedules and preparing budgets.
10. Project engineer
National average salary: $83,363 per year
Primary duties: Project engineers focus on the logistics related to scheduling, preparing, creating, and delivering the outcome of a project. They focus heavily on project plans and work to create the systems and procedures that put them into action. They may ensure the accuracy of financial forecasts and budgets to make sure they align with scheduling.
National average salary: $107,055 per year
Primary duties: Engineering managers supervise an entire engineering team of one specialty in any industry. In management, they consult and negotiate with clients to prepare proposals or present reports. They develop and implement policies for the department, enforce safety and conduct regulations, and take part in the hiring process for the department.
National average salary: $139,726 per year
Primary duties: Directors of engineering manage an entire engineering department for an organization. They supervise managers from different engineering teams or specialties, give final approval for projects and budgets, and work most closely with other department directors in their organizations. Directors may also handle the hiring process for their division.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned are affiliated with Indeed.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing.
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