Getting a degree, or even multiple degrees, in engineering isn’t all it takes to become a great engineer. If you are pursuing a long term career in engineering and you want to be a distinctive professional in your field, you need to acquire certain skills and characteristics that will separate you from others within your industry.
In this article, we’ll be looking at traits that will help you develop as an engineer and be a stand out performer in your field. Keep in mind that these traits are applicable regardless what field of engineering you specialise in, even including aspects as specialised as manufacturing pressure relief valves and safety devices.
- Technical Competence: Firstly, you need to possess the actual technical knowhow to deliver on your job. For instance, if you have a college degree in mechanical engineering but intend on working in a more specialised industry, you need to receive further skill training within that specialised field so that your competence is better tailored to your job. The more enlightened and up to date you are within your field of engineering, the better you will be at satisfying the needs of your clientele.
- Constantly evolving: An engineer can’t afford to be dormant. Because the world is constantly evolving, an engineer must be able to equally evolve in order for his/her skills to remain relevant and capable of effectively fulfilling tasks in a modern world.
- Communications Skills: As an engineer, not only should you be able to effectively communicate with machines, you must also be able to effectively communicate with people. This means you must possess effective written and oral communication skills. This is important because an engineer who is a good communicator has influence and most importantly, gets noticed.
- Leadership Skills: Leadership in this context isn’t simply referring to being project manager or lead engineer. Rather, it’s more about action and your ability to take the lead when necessary. As an engineer, you need to be able to plan and prioritise, as well as delegate and make important decisions to facilitate the progress of a project. Leadership skills will help you develop from being just an average engineer to being one who can see a project from start to finish with high end results.
- Teamwork: This ties in with many of the aforementioned traits especially communication and leadership. As an engineer, you cannot accomplish much on your own. Thus, you’ll require a team of other experts to help you see a project to fruition and the only way for you to effectively complete a project is if you are able to make your team work as a cohesive unit.
- Problem solving: Projects rarely ever go according to plan. In the event that there are any complications, you as an engineer need to be able to come up with viable solutions and alternative. To do this, you must be able to analyse options,think critically, and make the best of resources you have available.
By acquiring these traits, you can become an engineer whose skills are applicable in a wide variety of situations and thus able to satisfy a wider category of clients.