Engineering your career

Australian Engineering Week

It’s Australian Engineering Week from 5-11 August 2013, with engineering-related events, site tours and activities nation-wide. That may be great news for engineering students and professionals, but what about the rest of you? If you’re not even sure of what engineers do, now’s your time to find out.

Engineering is an incredibly diverse and dynamic area, but for laypersons it may all seem like a bit of a mystery. We’re here to shine a light on this exciting area, and possibly inspire you to explore it further.

Here’s a snapshot of the disciplines Engineering Australia is highlighting this year as part of Australian Engineering Week:

Civil engineering

Many people think of engineers as people who build bridges and buildings – and this is certainly part of what civil engineers in particular do.

Civil engineering is probably the most widely known form of engineering. It is also known as structural engineering and is responsible for the world’s iconic man-made landmarks. Civil engineering draws on a number of other engineering disciplines to create things like roads, bridges, canals, dams and buildings.

Average annual salary: $122,352

Major employers include: government agencies, builders and architects, land management firms and utility companies.

Resource engineering

Resource engineers, similar to environmental engineers, develop more sustainable methods of using and managing natural resources. This type of engineering protects cities from over-pollution and contamination and is pivotal to public health initiatives. Resource engineers develop efficient methods for recycling, water disposal, sustainability, solid waste management, water supply treatment and air pollution management.

Average annual salary: $121,812

Major employers include: government management bodies, mining and forest industries, civil engineering and construction companies.

Geotechnical engineering

Geotechnical engineering works in conjunction with a range of other engineering fields as it is used to assess earth materials, foundations and site conditions before construction can commence. These engineers calculate the risk of earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, soil liquefaction, debris flow and rockfalls. If a site is deemed suitable, they help determine the foundations required for any structure based on soil and rock mechanics.

Average annual salary: $132,645

Major employers include: geotechnical engineering firms, gold, coal and metal ore mining companies.

Pharmaceutical engineering

Pharmaceutical engineers design and operate the machinery used to produce medicinal products. These products are often manufactured on an exceedingly small scale and their production requires extreme precision. Pharmaceutical engineers play a key component in drug development and work alongside medical researchers.

Average annual salary (mechanical engineer): $107,453

Major employers include: pharmaceutical companies.

Aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineers are responsible for the aircraft, aerospace vehicles and propulsion systems used in aviation. This includes aeronautical engineering, for aircraft within the Earth’s atmosphere, and astronautical engineering, for spacecrafts.

Average annual salary: $95,303

Major employers include: civil aviation safety authority, airline companies, government defence departments and defence forces.

Computer systems engineering

Computer systems engineering integrates electronic engineering and computer science for the development of computer hardware and software. Computer systems engineers are responsible for the design and development of individual microprocessors, computers and circuit design.

Average annual salary (network engineer): $101,384

Major employers include: computer manufacturing and service companies, business consulting firms, information systems departments and government departments.

This week, watch out for our daily snapshots of Australian engineering innovations that have changed our lives.

You could help change lives too! For an exciting and innovative career in engineering, see our range of online engineering courses.

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