Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022

 

An Engineer, or Senior Engineer, uses math and science to solve different technical problems. Their main duties include developing new products for companies or individuals to use, providing maintenance to current products to enhance use and designing new machines to improve an organization’s efficiencies.

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Engineer duties and responsibilities

An Engineer’s duties and responsibilities ensure the safety and effectiveness of a process, system or product. Engineers work within a team and must be able to cooperate with other coworkers to ensure the success of a project. Effective communication plays a role between Engineers, customers and businesses. Other engineer responsibilities include:

  • Making plans using detailed drawings 
  • Preparing estimates and budgets
  • Creating accurate project specifications
  • Designing engineering experiments
  • Creating technical reports for customers
  • Completing regulatory documents concerning safety issues
  • Finishing projects on time and within budget
  • Communicating with clients and coworkers about analysis results

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Engineer Job Description Examples

What does an Engineer do?

Engineers work in a wide variety of industries and can specialize in many different areas of expertise. They work to develop new products for businesses and individuals by recording and analyzing material parts for testing. 

Engineers create valuable products for customers that pass quality assurance tests and benefit customer use. Engineers are highly trained on the latest engineering software, which is used to design and produce various machines, products or systems. The main areas of study an Engineer can pursue include civil, mechanical, managerial, geotechnical, chemical and electrical.

Engineer skills and qualifications

Engineers need to have the right skills for performing essential duties and meeting safety and regulatory laws on the job. Engineers must pay careful attention to detail and record this information for coworkers and customers to access so that they can perform their job well. Their skills and qualifications include:

  • Advanced skills using company software 
  • Proven ability to communicate well in written and verbal communications
  • Design thinking for product inventions and enhancements
  • Motivation and commitment to providing interpersonal customer service
  • Knowing and applying current industry standards and information
  • Soft skills including a positive attitude, flexibility and conflict resolution
  • The ability to solve problems creatively on time
  • Having up-to-date knowledge and technical skills

Engineer salary expectations

An Engineer makes an average of $85,720 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Engineer education and training requirements

An Engineer is required to have earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and most jobs working with the public require a license too. Bachelor of Science degrees are available in a wide selection of specialties, including aerospace, agriculture, biomedical and computer engineering. Many Engineers must complete a program accredited by ABET. This non-profit organization assures confidence in training programs that use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). By taking courses approved by ABET, students are prepared to enter the global workforce. Factors for success focus on safety, precision and quality of work. ABET approval is sometimes not necessary for employers.

Engineer experience requirements

Employers and professional associations require four years of related experience. Engineering candidates usually acquire experience after completing schooling. However, if an engineering student has worked in a related field during their studies, it may lessen the four-year experience requirement. If a person hasn’t studied at an accredited school of engineering, they may be required to have more than four years of work experience. The accepted experience credentials include one year of master’s degree study and two years, including the master’s degree, for a doctorate. Satisfactory work experience includes being in a supervised role in a major branch of engineering.

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Frequently asked questions about Engineers

 

What makes a good Engineer?

A great Engineer should have strong technical knowledge and experience using various software systems, as they regularly use different platforms to build designs and add updates to current products. They should also have strong creative thinking and problem-solving skills to brainstorm and build unique products that are valuable and practical for the consumer and stand out from the competition. 

Many Engineers are given several projects to complete at a time by certain deadlines, so they should have effective time-management and organization skills to ensure they’re remaining productive with their time and are finishing projects efficiently. 

 

What are the different types of Engineers?

There are various types of engineering specialties candidates can pursue. Aerospace Engineers focus on designing aircraft, satellites, missiles and spacecraft and test them to ensure the designs operate properly. Civil Engineers design, build and maintain city structures, like roads, bridges or buildings. 

Electrical Engineers design various electronic equipment, like GPS, remote-controlled and lighting systems. Mechanical Engineers develop solutions for different mechanical systems by analyzing motion, force and energy. 

 

Do Engineers have different responsibilities in different industries?

The responsibilities an Engineer holds typically depend on the current industry they serve in. They’re also expected to have advanced knowledge of the industry they serve in to build and enhance products more effectively. Many Engineers work in the science industry. Chemical Engineers use subjects like math, biology and physics to find answers to problems and better control substances’ reactions with each other. 

Biomedical Engineers work in both the science and healthcare industries, designing and updating different health care solutions and medical equipment. Some Engineers work in the technology industry, like Software and Hardware Engineers. These employees build software and hardware systems using subjects like science and math to test and update their current systems to improve user experience. 

 

What's the difference between an Engineer and a Scientist?

While many Engineers use science to help them effectively complete their work duties, there are some key differences between the two when it comes to their responsibilities. Engineers often use science and math to research more about the world and make discoveries that could benefit the human race. 

Engineers typically use the knowledge they already have, usually provided by scientists, to build and update equipment that solves common challenges in people’s work or professional lives. Scientists focus more on observation and research, while Engineers spend a majority of their time creating and inventing new, valuable products. 

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