Engineering is the science behind design, technology, and innovation, and it permeates every aspect of our lives. Engineers helped create many of our modern conveniences, from your phone and your car to the air conditioning that keeps you cool. With new inventions constantly at the threshold, we need engineers to develop the technology that keeps our society going — finding innovative ways to improve people’s lives and bring new technological resources to our growing communities.
Because of the broad range of industries that need engineers, students pursuing this degree path have a variety of career opportunities available to them. If classic engineering careers like those in manufacturing or computer science don’t seem like the right fit for you, then read on to discover seven unique career paths engineering students can pursue.
1. Audio Engineers
Have you ever wondered how musicians can be heard across massive stadiums? Before every concert, an audio engineer spends hours coordinating and setting up amplifiers, speakers, microphones, and audio mixers to create that perfect sound — playing a key role in making every concert as exciting as possible. Audio engineering is a highly creative career that incorporates engineering principles and music to create a dynamic performance for fans to enjoy.
Audio engineers also work at recording studios to properly record and mix the songs that we hear every day on the radio or our favorite streaming apps. As an audio engineer, you’d play a crucial role in helping musicians share their art to entertain audiences with great music.
If you’ve ever used a GPS for directions, then you’ve enjoyed the work of a cartographer. Although the need for physical maps has decreased, cartographers still play an important role in our society by collecting geographic data, preparing maps for digital and physical use and updating current maps and systems. Keeping our digital maps up to date can help drivers find safer routes, avoid traffic, and prevent car accidents — As a cartographer, you would be helping keep our roads and communities safe!
Modern cartographers need a background in programming, geology, geography, and surveying. They must have the knowledge and skills necessary to collect, measure, and interpret the data used to create accurate maps and charts. The products of their work are used by scientists, regional planners, and so many more every day. If you enjoy traveling, programming, and geography, then you should look at this underrated but critical career, which benefits so many areas of our everyday life.
3. Candy Engineer
Candy engineers may not be Willy Wonka, but they are an important part of the process of producing our favorite sweets. Candy companies need someone to program and operate the machines that mold, make, and package their products. Candy is small and fragile, which is why machines need highly accurate programming to do their job properly. Furthermore, engineers must ensure that those processes are food-safe, shelf-stable, and most of all, tasty, which is what makes this type of manufacturing engineer so unique. If you have a background in chemical engineering, you could even get what might be the sweetest career out there ¬— a job creating exciting candies in new shapes, flavors, and combinations! You should probably do another taste test… for science, of course.
UB offers multiple engineering programs that focus on flexibility and hands-on experience. Learn more about which program is right for you!
4. Digital Fabrication Engineer
Digital fabrication engineers, also known as 3D printing engineers, work to build new 3D printers, find innovative ways to print using new materials, and program printers to create exciting new products. 3D, or additive, printing is a rapidly growing industry with exciting new advancements every year. 3D printers are now used in manufacturing, medical centers, research laboratories, and more to change how we create and design everyday products and lifesaving equipment.
Did you know that digital fabrication engineers have found ways to print meat products in the hope of eliminating industrial farming? There’s even a project to create a 3D printing pen to heal injuries! Imagine what exciting developments you could be a part of if you pursued a career in digital fabrication engineering.
5. Technical Drafters
If you love drawing and mathematics, then why not do both with a career as a technical drafter? If you’ve ever seen a blueprint, an architecture plan, a technical drawing in a textbook, or a concept sketch of a new machine, then you’ve seen the work of a professional technical drafter. Drafters need a strong background in engineering to translate the precise technical information given by other engineers into a clear visual representation that can be used by builders, manufacturers, and students.
6. Racecar Engineer
Formula One and NASCAR can make racecar drivers famous, but as any fan knows, behind every great driver is an even better pit crew of highly trained mechanics and auto-engineers. If you love the excitement and rush of a good race, then consider becoming an engineer who gets to work hands-on with these powerful cars and skilled drivers.
7. Amusement Park Engineer
Speaking of an exciting rush, have you ever rushed to get in line for an adrenaline-pumping rollercoaster? Coasters and other amusement park rides don’t come out of nowhere — they first need to be designed by an engineer who understands mechanics, physics, and safety. New technology such as trackless and artificial reality rides are entering parks every day, and with a degree in mechanical engineering, you can join the industry that gives thrill rides their name.
UB offers a variety of career-focused engineering programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Learn more about why #UBelong at UB!