Engineering is a profession composed of many disciplines as well as job functions. Someone who studies engineering is open to the many opportunities and rewards available in the engineering profession. Engineers are classified based on discipline and job function. Discipline in engineering is the academic specialization of an engineer. Some of the disciplines are industrial, computer, chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. On the other hand, job functions in engineering are kinds of jobs engineers perform. This paper focuses on the various job functions and disciplines performed by engineers. Job functions range from analysis, development, teaching, design, test, management and research.
Mechanical engineering is ranked as the second biggest discipline in engineering, behind, electrical and computer engineering. In this discipline, the engineers design machines, tools and engines. This discipline involves many job functions of engineers. In mechanical engineering, the discipline covers three broad technical subdivisions which are recognized as manufacturing, energy and motion and structures in mechanical systems. Therefore, mechanical engineers are responsible for the production, transfer and conversion of energy into different forms for use in industries and households. They also use their expertise in manufacturing industries where raw materials are converted into finished products. These engineers also plan and design structures like building and bridges and motion systems like industrial machines and vehicles. Mechanical engineers improve the life of human beings in many aspects. They are the brains behind manufacturing industries, structure design and development, energy production and conservation. Their wide range of job functions also makes the trained individuals versatile and can work in any of the subdivisions of mechanical engineering. Statistics show that mechanical engineering has the highest number of professional graduates compared to other disciplines of engineering.
Civil engineering is an old discipline in engineering involving several job functions such as design, planning and supervision of construction of different facilities. These facilities include systems of mass transit and high rise buildings such as water reservoirs and treatment plants, airports, off-shore drilling stations and space telescopes. Civil engineering is divided into seven recognized academic specialties which are; transportation, structural, environmental, geotechnical, water resources, surveying and construction engineering. Civil engineering is among the best disciplines in engineering because it plays a central in enhancing human life through its academic specializations. Individuals who specialize in each academic subdivision of civil engineering can perform several job functions in the field of civil engineering.
Industrial engineering is another discipline in engineering where professionals work on identifying effective methods of utilizing resources. Resources in this case include people, raw materials, machines, natural resources, energy and information. Their job functions include designing and managing programs of quality control, which monitor every step in the process of production in the industry. These professionals require high quality training on fundamentals of engineering, management practices and computer technology. Further job functions for these engineers are analysis and decision making in a wide range of industrial environments. These engineers are employed in a wide range in institutions because of their wide range of knowledge. Their expertise is versatile and is required in places like financial, agricultural, medical, governmental institutions and other commercial fields like retail, transport and wholesale. These are brains responsible for strategic planning, systems automation and database systems.
Therefore, engineering is one of the professions with a wide range of disciplines and job functions. The most popular and influential disciplines in the lives of human beings include mechanical engineering, civil engineering and industrial engineering. Individuals who specialize in these three disciplines of engineering have knowledge and skill to perform job functions like designing, management, analysis, testing, teaching, consultancy, research and development. These disciplines’ popularity is seen in the number of people who have graduated in the past into full professional. The impact of their expertise can be felt in the improvement of energy, structural, strategic planning and other technical areas under the three disciplines of engineering.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. 29 March 2012. 16 September 2012
TryEngineering.org. Engineering Majors. 2012. 16 September 2012