Hands-On Careers in Engineering

The engineering field is comprised of engineers and engineering technicians who design things. Read about options for those who are interested in an engineering career that allows direct involvement in the building and design process.

Career Options for Hands-On Careers in Engineering

Hands-on careers are jobs that involve direct participation in the work and aren't purely theoretical. Engineering careers involve designing things like structures or engines and then building them. Read on to learn about several promising options in this field.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Biomedical Engineer $85,620 23%
Environmental Engineering Technicians $49,170 10%
Civil Engineering Technicians $49,980 5%
Automotive Engineers $84,190 5% to 8%
Mechanical Engineers $84,190 5%
Chemical Engineers $98,340 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information for Hands-On Careers in Engineering

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers must have a bachelor's degree and usually study biomedical engineering or a related subject. They create the equipment that medical professionals use. Their work involves coming up with design plans and installing the devices, as well as other tasks. They are actively involved in producing and maintaining healthcare equipment, which makes this an ideal occupation for those interested in a hands-on engineering career.

Environmental Engineering Technicians

Environmental engineering technicians play an important role in protecting the environment by having hazardous materials safely removed, performing tests to identify polluted areas, and using equipment that can help eliminate pollution. They work in a hands-on capacity to identify areas that are at risk of contamination, as well as taking steps to eliminate toxins or other pollutants that are harming an area. They can begin their career with an associate's degree in this field.

Civil Engineering Technicians

It may be possible to become a civil engineering technician without postsecondary training, but an associate's degree in this field is usually preferred. Civil engineering technicians work with civil engineers and participate with designing and constructing things like roads or bridges. They also do things like testing the soil. They are actively involved with the projects they work on, as engineering professionals with a hands-on career.

Automotive Engineers

Automotive engineers are the creative and constructive forces behind automobile design and manufacturing. They design automotive parts and are directly involved with testing their products. A bachelor's degree is required. Automotive engineers not only perform hands-on design and testing tasks, but they also prepare budgets and produce assessments of any issues that arise during the testing process.

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers must have a bachelor's degree in their field. Although it's possible to start out in this career without a license, one may be necessary to advance to senior positions. Mechanical engineers build mechanical products that they design, such as machines and engines, and play a direct role in testing them. This is a career option that allows for hands-on design opportunities and offers engineering professionals the opportunity to construct the products they design.

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers work to ensure that chemicals and other products are used and produced safely. They create safety protocols and then test systems and equipment, so they actively work with the products and procedures they create. A bachelor's degree is required, and with a master's degree in chemical engineering it may be possible to move into management. From 2014-2024, the BLS states that chemical engineers with backgrounds in biology will have the best job prospects.

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