Overview of Engineering and Surveying
Engineering and surveying is an attractive industry for people who like solving problems and putting their analytical skills to the test. Engineering is a broad industry with four main fields – civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
Surveying deals with the measurement, management and analysis of information describing the Earth, its physical features and structures.
Getting into engineering or surveying generally requires a tertiary degree. You may also need to be certified with the appropriate association before you can start working, if your degree doesn’t already provide it upon graduation.
Studying Engineering and Surveying
Students can choose to study engineering as a degree, apprenticeship or as a certificate as part of their ongoing professional development, depending on the career path they wish to follow.
Some universities will let you spend one year doing a general engineering degree before specialising, however with others such as Melbourne University, you will have to decide your specialisation before enrolling.
Most of the major universities in Australia offer engineering courses accredited by Engineering Australia to make sure you are studying to an international standard.
For surveying, you can take a Certificate III to become a survey assistant and a diploma to become a surveying technician.
However, graduating with a bachelor degree is the only way to become licensed with the relevant state surveyors’ board.
Studying by distance and traineeships are also available from some institutions.
Careers in Engineering and Surveying
Engineering has many different specialisations, including aerospace, materials, computers, civil, chemical, environmental, mechanical and electrical.
Engineering is an attractive career choice because of the variety of work available. Engineers can find themselves using computers to design new technologies or structures, or out on site directing a build.
Many surveyors are attracted to the job because it has a good balance between indoor and outdoor work. In some cases, surveying can even take you to places like Antarctica. They enjoy collecting and analysing data, and can end up working for the government, mining companies, or running their own business.
The job prospects in engineering are excellent; the government expects very strong growth in most engineering sectors until at least 2014.
There is also strong and continuing demand for graduate surveyors. According to a Graduate Careers Australia study in 2007, the average full-time starting salary was $48,000 for surveyors and $50,000 for civil engineers.
Skills needed in Engineering and Surveying
People who work in engineering love finding creative solutions to real-world problems, and therefore need imagination, judgment and technical skills, and should enjoy working in teams – being good at maths and physics is also an advantage.
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