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Fields of Engineering

This paper highlights some facts about the three fields of engineering namely: Mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering. The study will explore its scope of work, work settings, employments, and salaries. This paper provide readers a basic comparison of these three fields. Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering focused on these three major areas of: energy, manufacturing, and engineering design mechanics. Mechanical engineers design, develop, and produce machines that make work lighter than ever whether at home, at school, offices, across the streets, and everywhere.

In addition, it’s also concerned with: energy usage and its economical conversion from one form into another. These engineers are working hard in studying different energy sources within our environment such as the heat of the sun, ocean waves, fossil fuels, oil, coal, and many others. They conduct creative planning for development of system for using energy sources and machines. They also educate and train technicians who help operate, maintain, and repair mechanical systems (Garner, p. 114).

The field of mechanical engineering acts as the interface between humans and technology. They are the authors of many technological breakthroughs which we are using nowadays. It has diverse fields of discipline offering flexibility, individuality, and breadth. The figure below shows the spectrum of activities engaged by mechanical engineers. Engineers can work at research, or at development, or at testing, or may handle different works at a time. The areas of research, development, design, and testing may require scientific, mathematical and technical competence.

Other areas deals with materials, people, and business matters require knowledge in business, economics, and people (Garner, p. 116). Mechanical engineers can work at many sectors within the society. Most of them are employed in large industries for automobile, chemical, industrial machinery, utilities, manufacturing, petroleum, mining, computers, electronics, publishing, printing, pharmaceuticals, oceanography, paper and wood products, textiles, and many others. Mechanical engineers also work as professors in many colleges and universities, at the government levels, in consulting firms (Garner, p. 118).

Mechanical engineers are receiving competent compensation. In the year 2000, the U. S. Bureau of Labor statistics had a median annual salary of $58,210, the lowest 10% earning less than $38,770, and the highest 10% earning more than $88,610 (Garner, p. 120) The demand for mechanical engineers grows with the demand for improved machinery, machine tools, and complex manufacturing processes, micro-electromechanical systems, computer technology, and bioengineering.

In addition, aging workforce and retirement will continue to increase the demand in the field (Garner, p. 120). Civil Engineering Civil Engineers provides us safe shelter, quicker transportation routes, sufficient water supply, stress-free working environment, and many other related structures. Civil engineers works on variety of technical specialties. This includes surveying and mapping, environmental engineering, structural engineering, water resource planning and development, highway and heavy construction, and many other related areas.

Civil engineers plans, design, and supervise major construction projects (Cohn & Hagerty, p. 57). Civil engineers build complex structures like underground tunnels, water systems, buildings, skyscrapers, transportation facilities like roads and bridges, and many other related structures. This field of engineering also requires knowledge on environmental factors. The American society of civil engineers has technical councils provides technical developments such as: computer applications, earthquake engineering, cold regions engineering, ocean engineering.

These are cross-disciplinary specialties aiming to resolve problems mostly associated with many nature-related catastrophic incidents in the past such as the collapse of many infrastructures like building, roads, or bridges (Cohn & Hagerty, p. 58). Civil engineers can work at various sectors of our society. Most civil engineers are employed in large private research and development firms, construction companies, and consultation firms (Fasulo & Walker, 79). Some are also serving at many college and universities as instructors or at consultation firms (Cohn & Hagerty, p. 58).

Some civil engineers also work on meeting the challenges on pollution, traffic control, urban and community development planning. Some of their major developments were their contribution to the development of Earthquake and Wind Hazard Code to ensure public safety at all infrastructure designs (Garner, 57). Like mechanical engineers, civil engineers also engaged in many activities. These activities may require science, math, technical competence, business, people, legal matters, environmental, and other related areas. Unlike other engineering fields, civil engineers spent most of their time outdoors at construction sites.

This field is one of the most pressured fields of engineering. Civil engineers often spent more times working to meet deadline (Fasulo & Walker, p. 78) The U. S department of Labor predicted average employment demand through 2014 (Fasulo & Walker, 78). The average salary for civil engineer with Bachelor’s degree was $43,679 and may increase up to $65,000 after 10 years. Civil engineers having master’s degree earns $48,050 and $59,625 for Ph. D holders, plus a 10 to 15% increase after a number of years (Fasulo & Walker, p. 79) Electrical Engineering

This field of engineering is composed of two distinct fields: Electrical and Electronics engineering. Electrical engineering specializes in the transmission of large amount of electricity. Electronics engineering largely deal with electronic components. In general, this field of engineering deals with electrical and electronic equipments, components, or systems intended for commercial, military, scientific, or industrial use. Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing and development of these items.

This field of engineering played a very important role in environmental science for its major contribution in solving energy-related problems. Some of its major contributions are the development of high-powered computer systems for scientific researches, and regular monitoring of processes in energy generation and delivery systems, electronic fuel-injected system for automobiles, technology for satellites and space exploration, geosciences and remote sensing technologies, microprocessors, high tech communication equipment, and many other related systems (Fasulo & Walker, p. 115).

Electrical engineers mostly work indoors at laboratories and other research facilities, manufacturing facilities, offices, to regularly inspect, repair, supervise, or solve electrical and electronics problems. Major employers of electrical and electronic engineers are manufacturing firms specializing in electronic equipments, professional and scientific equipment, business machines, aircraft, trains, and many related works. Private and Public Power utility companies also employ large numbers of electrical engineers.

Most electrical or electronic engineers work at regular 40 hour per week, or some may spend amount of time collaborating with other engineers in other fields such as planning and supervising electrical wiring installation for many infrastructure projects. In some cases, like civil engineers, electrical engineers may also experience pressure and work long hours per day to meet work deadlines (Fasulo & Walker, p. 118). Strong demands for electrical and electronics engineering grow with the continuing growth of technology. Salary for bachelor’s degree holder is $51,888 for starters, $64,416 for degree holders and $80,206 for Ph. D holders (Fasulo & Walker, p. 119).

Conclusion Engineering deals with the application of math and science in the design, development, and research to develop valuable items beneficial for mankind. Mechanical engineering deals with machines, civil engineering deals with infrastructures for transportation, shelter, buildings, and electrical and electronics engineering deals with electrical and electronic components. These fields collaboratively work side by side with each other in providing a comfortable and place for us to live. This profession belongs to the highest paid job with average starting salary greater than $30,000.

Employment opportunities for these fields including the other fields are still growing according to the United States Labor Statistics. Reference: Cohn, L. F. and Hageryy J. D. “Opportunities in Civil Engineering Careers”. Chicago, USA: McGraw Hill Professional, 1997 Fasulo, M. and Walker, M. “Careers in the Environment”. 3rd Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Garner, Geraldine. “Careers in Engineering”. United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2003 The United States Department of Labor. “Occupational Outlook handbook”. United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2006, p. 139

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