Engineers Australia

Building, Construction & Engineering

Solve the problems of tomorrow, today!

Engineers are at their core, clever creators. They see the world not as it is, but as it can be – using a blend of science and technology to change the world around them for the better.

Click here for a list of Engineers Australia accredited programs

What is engineering? 

Engineering is an occupation with an extremely wide reach. The term ‘engineering’ covers many fields and, by extension, many skills. Engineers are scientists, inventors, designers, builders and great thinkers. They improve the state of the world, amplify human capability and make people’s lives safer and easier. 

Engineering skills include: 

  • the scientific method 
  • Social, cultural and economic awareness 
  • mathematics 
  • biology, chemistry, physics and other areas of science 
  • creativity 
  • teamwork 

Engineering disciplines cover: 

  • Mechanics and the construction of tools and machines of all sizes, from the nanoscale to entire manufacturing facilities. 
  • The creation of cars, trains, ships, boats, aircraft and all other vehicles. 
  • The design and production of chemical compounds. 
  • Operations of businesses and cities. 
  • Entertainment, industry, construction, transport, healthcare, defence and more! 

Engineering is part of your everyday life… making it better! 

From the moment you wake up, you utilise engineers’ creations. The food you eat for breakfast has been grown with fertilizers that chemical engineers have helped to develop, and brought to you by harvesters, trucks and fridges that mechanical engineers had a part in designing. 

You might scroll through your Instagram feed, courtesy of software and electrical engineers, or head to school using the roads, bridges and rail networks all designed by civil engineers. If you’re really lucky, you might be driving your own car, thanks to the work of decades of mechanical engineers. 

If you watch a movie, you can expect to see engineers’ work there – from practical effects and techniques like Steadicam, pyrotechnics, sound, lighting all the way to special effects and CGI. 

Pathways to Engineering

Associate Engineer 

2-year advanced diploma/associate degree (VET or University) 

Associate engineers are qualified engineers, who are responsible for designing, developing, manufacturing, operating and maintaining products, equipment and processes. Normally completed via a cadetship where you are able to work and study simultaneously. 

The common factor is that all associate engineers use their technical knowledge to perform engineering tasks, such as performing calculations, operating machinery and preparing reports. It is likely that you will contribute to large, complex projects and that you will manage smaller projects on your own, under the supervision of a senior engineer. 

Engineering Technologist 

3-year degree University (some states – VET) 

Engineering technology programs are oriented toward application and provide their students introductory mathematics and science courses, and only a qualitative introduction to engineering fundamentals. Engineering technology qualifications require a three-year University degree (available in some states through VET) and require industry/education collaboration on practical project work. 

Engineering technologists are more likely to work in testing, fabrication/construction or fieldwork and are the does who resolve problems and keep things working.

Professional Engineer 

4-year full-time University Bachelors degree 

Professional Engineers essentially have an Engineers Australia accredited or recognised four-year, full-time engineering degree through university. 

Professional engineers focus on overall systems, develop and apply new engineering practices, apply leadership and management skills, pursue engineering outcomes that ensure environmental, community and social issues are all considered. 

Engineering Careers

Aerospace Engineering 

Aerospace engineering ranges from designing aircraft such as powered lighter-than-aircraft, gliders, fixed-wing aeroplanes and jets, autogyros, and helicopters, to exploring the science and technology of spacecraft and launch vehicles like satellites, space capsules, planetary probes, missiles and rockets. 

Biomedical Engineering 

Biomedical engineers design, create and maintain devices and computer systems for use in healthcare. This includes artificial limbs, organ implants, or diagnostic equipment. This has contributed to the development of prosthetics, surgical devices and systems, and implanted devices. 

Chemical Engineering 

Chemical engineers are helping save the environment by developing alternative technologies to combat acid rain, lead pollution and the greenhouse effect. Chemical engineers understand how to alter the chemical, biochemical or physical state of a substance, to create everything from face creams to fuels. 

Civil Engineering 

Civil engineering focuses on structures and buildings of all kinds; towers, roads, dams, bridges and pipelines are designed and constructed by civil engineers. Not to mention all our transport systems, gas and water supply.

… and more!

There is an engineering pursuit to match most areas of interest. The list below gives you an idea of just how many opportunities are available within engineering.

  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural
  • Biomedical
  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Coastal and Ocean
  • Electrical
  • Electronics and Telecommunications
  • Environmental
  • Food
  • Geotechnical
  • Industrial
  • Marine
  • Mechanical
  • Manufacturing
  • Minerals
  • Mining
  • Petroleum
  • Resource
  • Risk
  • Software
  • Structural
  • Transport
  • Water

Career Planning & Advice

Preparing your chronological resume

The purpose of a resume is to sell your skills to a potential employer, think of it as a marketing tool rather than a report. It needs to grab the reader’s attention by demonstrating that you are qualified to do a particular job.

Preparing your chronological resume

The purpose of a resume is to sell your skills to a potential employer, think of it as a marketing tool rather than a report. It needs to grab the reader’s attention by demonstrating that you are qualified to do a particular job.

Preparing your cover letter

A good cover letter can help you get a job interview by convincing an employer that you have the skills to do the job. It will also demonstrate your written communication skills.

Engineering Skills Matrix

A table that matches personnel, or other resources, with desired skills to provide views of the need for additional development, training or the acquisition of new resources.

Download a Skills Matrix template

Career Planning

Outline of how to develop a career plan — regardless of where you are in your engineering career.

Career Development Guide

Download the Career Development Guide

Selecting referees

Referees are used by employers to check your suitability for a position and to verify your previous employment.

Who should I choose?

You should choose people who are in a position to comment on your skills, experience and achievements. Depending on how long you have been working for at least one of your referees should be someone to whom you’ve directly reported.

Always ask permission to nominate someone as a referee first. (Previous employers/managers are not obliged to provide you with a reference). Referees should be people who will support your application. If you have any doubts, ask most people will be honest if they feel they can’t support you.

Ensure you have up to date contact details for your referees including current job title, telephone numbers and email address, nothing is more frustrating for a prospective employer as well as showing a lack of attention to detail.

How many should I choose?

For new graduates, two is the minimum number of professional referees recommended. As you obtain more work experience you should develop a pool of around 5-6. This gives employers a choice in who they speak to, and also gives you a fallback if one of your referees is unavailable for some reason.

Briefing Referees

  • Ensure they have an up to date copy of your resume.
  • Let them know in advance when they are likely to be contacted and by whom. This is particularly important if you have nominated a university lecturer or somebody else who might be a referee for a lot of people. Tell them what you learnt about the position at the interview. Remind them about relevant bits of your work experience.
  • Notify them when you’ve been successful.

Tips

  • Don’t give out the names of your referees until asked. This gives you the opportunity to brief them first.
  • Only allow reference checking after you’ve had an interview for a position and you know you are on the shortlist and you’re interested in the position.

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