7 amazing engineering careers
Engineering careers can take you to all corners of the world, from high in the sky to deep in the earth.
#1 Stay Grounded
Median salary: $77,209
Earthquake-proof buildings and safe roads require geotechnical engineers to study soil types and rock structures to design the best solution. They can be found building wharves on coastlines or urban high-rises. “I have never had any two projects that are the same,” says David Lacey (above), senior geotechnical engineer at Foundation Specialists Group.
#2 Design Infastructure
Median salary: $72,097
Civil engineers collaborate with a range of people to plan and build the world we live in. “I work with clients from the Dubbo Regional Council to California’s High-Speed Rail Authority,” says Jillian Kilby of JL Kilby Engineering and Management. “A grounding in civil engineering can be combined with several other areas, including being a business owner.”
#3 Dig Deep
Median salary: $87,840
The world’s energy needs still rely heavily on extracting fossil fuels from deep within the Earth. Petroleum engineers work closely with geologists to find oil and gas and design machinery to extract and process them. “The best part of being an engineer is playing the problem-solving game,” says Bich Thuy Ngo-Hoang, an engineer at Santos.
#4 Fly High
Median salary: $74,842
These engineers make flying possible by designing and building everything from helicopters to spacecraft. Philip Brown (above) turned a passion for flying into an in aviation career at Padstow TAFE and is now a field service technician at Bankstown Airport, Sydney.
#5 Get Techie
Computer systems engineers
Median salary: $67,759
They don’t just design and build laptops and desktops. These engineers can also be found developing the latest supercomputers, navigation devices for cars, and gaming systems. Elena Wei Shao works at Nvidia in Silicon Valley. “We make graphics chips for PC gaming and high-performance computing,” she says. “Every day, I look forward to solving challenging problems.”
#6 Clean It Up
Median salary: $70,384
When it comes to a cleaner world, these engineers make it happen by focusing on the impact engineering activities have on the natural world. Kathy Thomas, Civil Project Engineer at UGL, has a passion for sustainable wastewater treatment. “I’ve had the chance to be involved in the construction of wastewater treatment plants, dams, fish ladders and ventilation shafts.”
#7 Build Healthy Lives
Median salary: $62,335
Whether it’s designing wheelchairs or artificial hearts, biomedical engineers combine medicine with engineering to help people lead healthier lives. “The spinal cord stimulator I’m working on is probably my most satisfying project,” says Matt Williams, research engineer at Saluda Medical. “Just seeing how much the technology has helped patients is really heartening.”