You might have heard the old engineering joke: Engineers aren't boring people, they just get excited about boring things. You see, being an engineer isn't a boring job -- if you love things like problem solving, math and reasoning. If you hate anything to do with logic, numbers and mechanical drawings, then yes -- you may find engineering boring. Then again, you could be building spaceships for NASA, and what's boring about that?
Engineering Your Career
Engineering covers a load of different careers. For example, construction engineers work on everything from roads to skyscrapers. Software engineers build computer programs -- including world-changing online tools such as Google and Facebook. None of these areas need necessarily be boring. And the jobs involved can be fascinating. In fact, a 2012 article by the jobs website Careercast included seven types of engineering careers in the top 100 best jobs to have -- with software engineer ranking No. 1.
Boredom is Boring
People have different definitions of boring. As an engineer, you need to take pleasure in getting the details right. Solving complicated problems should give you a buzz. You're going to need to love your math. Number nerds will be more than happy. The digit-phobic need not apply. So, it's really up to how you see the world when it comes to how boring an engineer's job can be.
The Boring Bits
Like any job, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. Some entry-level mechanical engineering jobs involve laboriously processing data and drawing dull diagrams every day. And let's be honest: Endlessly rendering the same CAD drawings or working out a thousand joist angles can be boring. The question is whether you're able to stick with it and move on to more inspiring projects. After all, it's difficult to get bored if you know the outcome of your effort is a Mars explorer robot, lifesaving new medical equipment or the scariest roller coaster ever created.
Ultimately, many of the coolest things in the world and some of humanity's greatest achievements come from engineers. Engineers got Neil Armstrong to the moon. Engineers designed the Golden Gate Bridge. Engineers created the push-up brassiere. According to the National Society of Engineers, engineers were responsible for everything from snowboards and running shoes to the Ferris wheel and water slides. All are fun things in most people's books -- and nowhere near boring.
2016 Salary Information for Architecture and Engineering Occupations
Architecture and engineering occupations earned a median annual salary of $77,900 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, architecture and engineering occupations earned a 25th percentile salary of $57,540, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $104,130, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,601,000 people were employed in the U.S. as architecture and engineering occupations.
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.