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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Are you an engineer?

Hello, Tigerpawed got me thinking about this. So how many of you on here are engineers? Going to be an engineer? Were an engineer? What type of engineer? How rough was the schooling? Any recommendations for someone newly looking into this? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

Bill

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_milstead View Post
Hello, Tigerpawed got me thinking about this. So how many of you on here are engineers? Going to be an engineer? Were an engineer? What type of engineer? How rough was the schooling? Any recommendations for someone newly looking into this? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

Bill
Been an Engineer is OK, but to be successful you need to be in the right department in an organisation.
Worst is Maintenance guys, where you handle all the s*#* from the production guys.End of the day they go for meeting and boast about their production result.

What ever you are intending to do mate.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 10:09 AM
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Not sure I have any advice, except "dont do it!" but yep, although done a few other things. did surgical lasers, X ray, worldwide, last 5 years. molcular engineering, genomics, imaging, within Europe. Not the most respected profession frankly.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 10:41 AM
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I have a degree in Electrical Engineering. I have been a software developer for most of my career. I am also a vegan and love riding my motorcycle and go skiing. 1 wife of 18 years, 4 kids (2 adopted from China) 2 horses and 2 dogs. I live in a passive solar home made mostly of concrete that is cool in summer and nice and cozy in the winter.

The degree allowed me to get a great first job, which lead to other great jobs with time and some money to accumulate my posse.

Whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm and integrity and hopefully you'll be rewarded for your efforts.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 11:20 AM
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I would look at getting your PMP project management professional certification. Even if you don't move into full-time PM work, it's a valuable skill and framework to have in the workplace if you wish to lead rather than follow. I can't agree more with dnixcolorado's advice to 'do it with enthusiasm and integrity', and follow your heart.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:22 PM
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Like anything else in life.. you get out of it what you put into it... pick something you can be passionate about...whatever your interest is... I'm a chemical engineer by education and in engineering sales by occupation
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 01:47 PM
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IF you get into mechanical engineering, as in aircraft/aircraft parts design, auto parts etc, PLEASE keep in mind that someday, somebody is gonna have to work on your stuff, so try to design things to be accessible, & maintainable. You don't know how many times my coworkers & I have cussed engineers/designers. We've had guys come down to verify a modification on an aircraft, and they seem to think we'll NEVER have to work on it. It amazes me the attitudes of some of these guys.



Sorry... got lost there for a minute...




Good luck!!!






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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 02:45 PM
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+100!

I'm a machinist by trade. I've had engineers take weeks to design something and cry when I tell them I'll have it done tomorrow! They lack the knowledge on what it takes to setup a machine tool and it's even worse when I have to use multiple machines.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear on a bicycle View Post
IF you get into mechanical engineering, as in aircraft/aircraft parts design, auto parts etc, PLEASE keep in mind that someday, somebody is gonna have to work on your stuff, so try to design things to be accessible, & maintainable. You don't know how many times my coworkers & I have cussed engineers/designers. We've had guys come down to verify a modification on an aircraft, and they seem to think we'll NEVER have to work on it. It amazes me the attitudes of some of these guys.



Sorry... got lost there for a minute...




Good luck!!!



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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 02:57 PM
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Semi-engineer

I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, but after graduation I got so busy with work that I never followed up and got my P.E. (Professional Engineer) License.

The first part of being a real engineer is to take the E.I.T. (Engineer In Training) test and pass successfully. When I was in engineering school, we took this test right around graduation time. After a certain period of time (4 years, I believe) in which you worked in a related field, you could take your P.E. exams. If you passed that series of exams you got a professional engineer's license, a registration number, and a rubber stamp to stamp drawings with.

In any event, I became a Mechanical Designer, and I've used various CAD software over the years to design all kinds of mechanical systems, from HVAC to process piping to fire protection systems, etc. I've also designed buildings, and done some plant layout and facilties work. I've also done lots of industrial work, from industrial vacuum piping systems to small-batch anodizing facilities, as well as plating equipment.

It's all paid pretty well, but I've been laid off three times over the past 26 years. Twice the layoffs were short-term, but the last one lasted over a year. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably choose another career - the pay and prestige in my business is just not what it used to be

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 04:47 PM
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I spent 35 years with Ford engineering product development. If you go for a straight engineering degree in the auto industry, you'll retire as basically a project engineer or maybe a principal engineer directing a group of project engineers. What you need is post graduate work in management or business admin if you expect to move up the ladder any farther. I imagine it'd be the same most everywhere. Engineers usually have designers (draftsman equivalent) to do the actual CAD work for them.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 06:42 PM
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im in school for Mechanical engineering
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 07:31 PM
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Nuts and Bolts

Greetings, I retired in 1992 after 30 years as an Engineering Officer on board Merchant ships in our Merchant Marine. I see by most of the previous responses these folks earned their living without a wrench in there hands or sweat on their brow or oil under their fingernails. Good for them! I like motorcycles to ride and work on and keep my troubleshooting skills and wrenching abilities fresh. There are many types of "Engineers" around today.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 11:31 PM
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Well, Iím not really an engineer but I did drive the trains around for a while
.

~~ Live Like You're Dying ~~
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 01:00 AM
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I got a stationary engineer drivers ticket if that counts
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, lots of good responses. I'm gonna have to do some research (may take a minute) and then I might ask some more questions. Thanks all!

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 06:14 AM
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Graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree but never did the EIT or PE stuff. I develop custom client CAD software on top of Microstation now for the phone factory.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I know this isn't an engineering forum, but this is the off topic area and I am thankful for y'all telling me this stuff, but now I have a few more questions.

1) PMP certification. Noticed that you are required to document a few years of project mgmt. Betting that at some jobs they might state that you can't head up a project w/out the PMP. Of course, you can't get the PMP w/out heading up a project. Has anyone found this to be true? Would a MBA be as valueable as the PMP, or I assume a good way to get into project mgmt?

2) EIT & PE. Noticed that some of you didn't do this. Was life too busy or were you doing well and didn't really need it? Noticed the grace period is 4 years (some states is less) and then you get certified by that state. Has anyone found it difficult to get certified in another state or is that process pretty easy?

3) Has anyone received their Masters or Doctorates? I'm thinking that the Doctorates is more for research and teaching, while the Masters and Bachelors is more for working in the field. Is that correct? Also, let's say you go for your Masters right after your Bachelors as a full time student (not working). Will the time you spend in school count toward the grace period required for the PE or do you have to be actively working?

4) College. I am not concerned with the prestige of specific colleges but I am with the education that I will receive and retain. That being said, I know that just having the name of a specific college will get you in the door, being that you look good on paper. Though among fellow engineers (not outsiders), is a degree from Caltech, UT, or anywhere else still regarded in the same respect? (Unless someone in on a high-horse.)

5) Some stated that the prestige and salary isn't what it used to be. Is the outlook that bad? Also mentioned that you might do something else...so what would you have in mind that is different?

No worries about maintenance. After spending so many years working on and maintaing things I've had my share of, "What the &$%)(#$%& was the person thinking?" That is where follow ups, customer service reviews, general knowledge of what you are doing, peer reviews, etc. come in handy. There is also a big difference between theory and real world application. Field experience is very worthwhile!

Enthusiasm, integrity, and passion. I like determination...I might not be the fastest, smartest, or anything else for that matter, but just like passion, if you're determined, you will do it. For some reason this made me think of a quote: "The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed." --Martina Navratilova

Noticed that it is a long hard road. Be looking at a solid 4-5 years for the degree and that is going full time. Sadly, I still have to work for the next two years to save up enough money to go to college full time. I'm currently going to college part time which helps. Oh well, feel like I have one good last push in me to pursue a different career being that I'm 30 now. Anyone noticed themselves getting pushed out because of their age/income to let younger people in?

Alright, time to go to work. --Bill

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 10:28 AM
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[QUOTE=bill_milstead;104596]Okay, so I know this isn't an engineering forum, but this is the off topic area and I am thankful for y'all telling me this stuff, but now I have a few more question

5) Some stated that the prestige and salary isn't what it used to be. Is the outlook that bad? Also mentioned that you might do something else...so what would you have in mind that is different?

Too many Graduates and technology has taken over some off the work and input, so there is not much of a demand.
Heavy and big project are slowing down and markets are crashing, just like Europe and previously USA. So investors are not keen to take risk. China and India is on a mass production roll out, so the world is not what it use to be. Live is about adapting to changes and at 52 I see the only option is go on my own. AT least I can do something with my knowledge rather than rotting away precious life for someone.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 07:41 PM
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Hey Bill, depending on where you work and what the rules are, you may or may not be able to head up a project without a PMP. Certainly it is a 'screen-out element' just like a college degree, right or wrong. You can qualify for a PMP without being a PM if you have a solid role on a team managed according to PM principles. That can be an SME (subject matter expert) in an engineering role, programmer, analyst, etc. Larger companies and government agencies have PMOs (Project Management Offices) that provide leadership and guidance in PM processes, continuing education, templates, etc. IT/IS (info system) projects can be small or they can be multi-million $, perhaps touching every user in the enterprise. Speaking as one in his 50's, as you age, it gets more difficult to be deep down in the technology since it's changing so quickly and getting more specialized and interrelated. Pulling up a bit to work at the project management level allows you to still stay involved in technology (following your passion and interests) but also lead IS/IT projects from the drawing board to successful implementation. Communication and organization skills are essential as well as the ability to read people and understand them. (Software, hardware, and that damn fleshware! LOL) MBA would certainly be a resume help, but then what? Trust me, the higher you go in management, the more fleshware you have to deal with, and...as I've said to people who don't quite get the joke...if it wasn't for people, the world would be a better place...heh. Working as a PM is a nice balance of being very driven towards conclusion of a successful project (has a defined start and end with specific goals and objectives vice an ongoing activity, etc.). PMs typically move from project to project. Good ones always have a new one lined up before the current one is done. A good employer never has a PM sitting on the bench, believe me there's always something worthwhile to work on, even in the formative stage, even if it never gets off the ground...which certainly happens.
OK, I've probably bored the V guys to death, so I'll clam up. PM me if you need additional info. :-)

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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You might have bored the V guys, but not me. Fasto and you both kinda mentioned that as you get older (or with the economy) you can be on the bench, working for somebody, or going on your own. With the PM you have more control it seems and you also might not have to be the top technical expert as technology does change dramatically! Fleshware...nice! Heard a lot of other ones but not that one. I always found it ironic that in Sys Admin work all the guys always complained about the users. I always have been of the opinion that without the users, there is no need for the admins. I do like the idea on not just an ongoing activity like my current job. (I started to vent here about situations present and past, but decided to cut them out. Got way too long!)

I might private message you later, but let's be honest, I'm still taking basic college courses, so PM is a long way away. I'm sure we'll both add over 80K miles to our bikes by then.

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