A day in the life of an engineer

<p>For those of you who are working as engineers, can you describe what your work is like (e.g. your job title, years of experience, daily tasks, how your company runs).</p>

<p>I feel like this thread can benefit those on cc who are students and preparing for the real world.</p>

<p>btw, I majored in Mechanical Engineering. As a recent grad, I felt like being a MechE really prepared me for the job market. My first job was with a software company doing some minor programming stuff, but now I’m working with a hardware manufacturing company.
My first company was a start-up and with lots of “intellectually stimulating” stuff to do. My current job is absolutely mindless, even as a engineer. My coworker warned me that most big companies are like this as they become bigger and eventually more bureaucratic. Always meetings, business, documentation, and the like.
Kinda wished I focused more on EE stuff in my undergrad so I could do the more exciting stuff in industry, like embedded and control systems design, mechatronics, or become a test engineer ;-)</p>

<p>A day as an engineer consist of:

  • meetings
  • going to work at 7 (only at my current job)
  • sit in front of a computer
  • answer emails
  • typing this post on my iphone.
  • talking to vendors about their product defects
  • writing up documents
  • rarely going out to field for inspections (or ask field services to do it but mostly end up doing it my self)
  • programming scripts so I can do my work faster…</p>

<p>Btw, i am ee in utilities…</p>

<p>Why not try another start up where you can make more of an impact? I starting working for an HVAC/MEP company after graduation. It only took me 7 months to realize I couldn’t stand it. Basically spend most of my days in emails, going on the web to waste time, and in excel/word punching in numbers in preformatted/predetermined sheets. It was a big shock coming from school where I led projects and came up with interesting technical solutions. It was a good motivator for me to realize I want a career in academics though.</p>

<p>Be careful spending too much time in a job or industry you hate. I heard so many horror stories at my job from other Engineres who HATED HVAC, but they had 3 or 4 years exp and couldn’t switch.</p>

<p>If you want to do Mechatronics or more electrical work, find a smaller startup doing that where you can lead interesting projects or think about graduate school.</p>

<p>Again this is just my experience’s, plenty of Bachelor’s right out of school are getting really cool jobs, just may be harder to find what you want exactly. I also have a dislike working my ass off for some faceless CEO and stock holders, but that’s another story…</p>

<p>Very true - thanks, SharpieMaker!
I’ve read some horror stories from other threads where engineers working for such established companies become complacent over time and lose their competitive edge. It only took me 2 weeks in my current company to realize that I hate it and the engineers there basically just custom-design the legacy parts - don’t need a B.S.M.E. to do that for sure.
btw, startups are the way to go for learning about what’s at the cutting edge in today’s industry. I don’t mind working for one actually. It’s just I thought it would be cool to work for a large company where I just show up to work everyday taking a cup of coffee and drawing a line and then call it a day – but now I absolutely hate this mindlessness!</p>

<p>Sounds like we had similar experiences then haha! I choose the graduate school path but I think studying what you like on the side and putting together some projects in that area would be very helpful for those types of jobs. </p>

<p>I could not stand the complacency either. Everyone wanted to do Engineering “by the book” and HVAC is notorious for that type of stuff. I felt like an assembly line worker in an Engineering department. Sure my degree got me a 55k a year job out of school, but I felt as bored as the jobs I had before school!</p>

<p>Thanks for your advice! I’ll steer clear of the HVAC path as well. You felt like an assembly line worker, but I feel like a clerical assistant under the title of an “engineer.”
It’s great that you’re in grad school now - you can definitely do R&D and other cool stuff for companies you’ll be working for in the future ;-)</p>