Engineering Careers

Can you describe the field of engineering?

Engineers perform various duties including

  • planning
  • designing and
  • overseeing construction and
  • maintenance of building structures, and facilities

Projects address roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems and waste disposal units.

What are some areas of specialization?

Specializations include architectural, earthquake, structural, traffic, ocean, and geotechnical engineers.

What job prospects are there in NY?

Based on the total number of annual openings and its growth rate, the employment prospects for this occupation are described as Very Favorable. During 2006, there were approximately 12,720 Civil Engineers employed in NY. It is estimated that there will be 14,100 employed in NY in 2016. This represents an increase of 140 jobs each year, and a total of 340 job openings each year.

What is a typical salary?

In NY, the average salary for this occupation was

  • $55,440 for entry level workers and
  • $89,790 for experienced workers.

What are the duties and responsibilities of an engineer?

  • Manage and direct staff members and the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site
  • Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel
  • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility
  • Test soils and materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel
  • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, and material stress factors to determine design specifications
  • Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems and structures, following construction and government standards, using design software and drawing tools.
  • Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data to plan projects
  • Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions
  • Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations and establish reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Conduct studies of traffic patterns or environmental conditions to identify engineering problems and assess the potential impact of projects

What high school courses are needed in preparation for university?

  • Engineering and Technology – practical application of engineering science and technology; includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services
  • Design – design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models
  • Building and Construction – knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads
  • Mathematics – arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications
  • English Language – knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar
  • Physics – knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes
  • Transportation – principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

This information was obtained from the New York Career Zone.

Additional information is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Engineer.

Additional information about UB's undergraduate engineering programs.