Interested in a career in engineering but not sure which area to specialise in? Education requirements for engineering apprenticeships can vary depending on your chosen specialisation, so it’s crucial to consider your options carefully.
If you’re not sure how to guide your career in the right direction, learn more about the different types of engineering below.
Electrical engineering is focused on the study, design and installation of electrical equipment and systems. Responsible for evaluating electrical systems, finding faults and testing equipment, electrical engineers need advanced problem-solving skills.
By choosing this engineering discipline, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in a range of areas, such as:
- Renewable energy
- Computer engineering
- Control systems.
No matter what type of electrical engineering you want to focus on, this industry offers strong job growth. According to Grad Australia, around 2,000 new electrical engineering jobs will emerge between 2015 and 2022.
Civil engineering deals with the planning, design and execution of infrastructure projects. From commercial office blocks and hospitals to bridges and highways, civil engineers oversee the construction of essential structures and public works. They also manage maintenance projects to keep public services running, providing a major contribution to society.
These are some of the routine responsibilities of a civil engineer:
- Developing designs for infrastructure projects
- Carrying out feasibility assessments
- Optimising safety procedures
- Providing cost estimates for projects
- Project management.
Civil engineering offers a strong job market. Job Outlook predicts the number of people working in this profession will grow from 53,300 in 2018 to 60,500 by 2023.
Mechanical engineers are tasked with designing and building energy-consuming machines, such as fridges, turbines and air conditioners. They also specialise in processing materials and improving the efficiency of mechanical systems. Mechanical engineering apprenticeships are a great option for getting qualified if you want to acquire these skills in a hands-on learning environment.
The job responsibilities of a mechanical engineer can vary depending on the type of mechanical components they specialise in, but tasks typically include:
- Assessing the performance of mechanical devices
- Maintaining and repairing equipment
- Product testing
- Providing clients with technical advice
- Modifying devices to increase their efficiency.
Data from Grad Australia shows that job growth in mechanical engineering is expected to remain steady.
Chemical engineers rely on the principles of chemistry, mathematics and physics to design and produce materials and systems. The primary aim of chemical engineering is to change one substance into another to achieve a beneficial outcome, such as increased efficiency.
This type of engineering covers several sub-disciplines, including:
- The production of chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals and other substances
- Design of chemical processes
- Plant operation
- Pollution control
- Hazard assessments.
The projected growth rate for chemical engineering jobs is expected to remain strong, with Job Outlook predicting around 4,000 job openings over the next 5 years.
Industrial engineers focus on the optimisation of largescale processes and systems. Working across a range of industries including manufacturing, technology and construction, they’re required to have advanced knowledge of mathematics and physics in addition to creativity and critical-thinking skills.
In an age where keeping up with rapid changes in technology is crucial to surviving as a business, industrial engineers play an important role in maximising efficiency.
Some of their typical responsibilities include:
- Reviewing processes and procedures
- Implementing technological upgrades
- Increasing the efficiency of production schedules
- Manufacturing parts and equipment
- Undertaking quality control procedures.
As industrial engineering is such a broad specialisation, it provides a pathway to job opportunities in many different industries.
If you’re interested in an engineering career, Major Training is a trusted RTO with extensive experience in facilitating courses. Learn more about our Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade and Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication Trade courses today.