Are you considering a career in engineering? If so, you may be wondering what it takes to be successful in this fast-paced, demanding industry. Here is a list of the 10 distinct character traits of engineers who make it to the top of their chosen discipline.
Arguably, one of the most essential characteristics of a successful engineer is that of logic. It is important to be able to think rationally and logically at all times. The majority of your job will consist of comprehending extremely complex systems and how they operate. Furthermore, you will need to have the logic to pick out problems and challenges relating to those systems and brainstorm ideas and solutions thereof.
What is truly incredible about successful engineers is the fact that they are often equal parts logical and creative. This is a very rare characteristic as most people are significantly more logical than they are creative, or vice versa. The reality is that engineers spend a great deal of their time being innovative and creating entirely new systems and solutions from scratch.
The engineering industry is notoriously cut-throat. Therefore, if you are determined to stand out and make an impression on colleagues and superiors, you have to be exceptionally ambitious. You will always need to be on the lookout for opportunities that allow for growth and further skill development.
For instance, you might want to continue furthering your education even after qualifying and racking up years of work experience. There are several renowned universities offering high-quality postgraduate courses for engineers.
Kettering Online is a great example of one of these universities, and it is particularly enticing because it allows you to complete 100% your coursework online. No need to travel to a campus for lectures every day!
Advanced Problem-Solving Abilities
As already mentioned, a sizeable portion of an engineer’s job revolves around identifying and solving various problems.
For example, environmental engineers might identify that there is a problem with the spread of waterborne illnesses in poor communities in Africa. They will note that these illnesses are killing hundreds of thousands of people every single year, specifically young children. With this issue in mind, they will brainstorm potential solutions that will help turn these horrific statistics around. They may find it possible to design and develop a cheap and user-friendly water filtration system that helps to curb the spread of these diseases and boost community health as a whole.
As another example, a civil engineer may notice that the infrastructure of a particular community is not properly equipped to operate efficiently should a disaster, such as a flood, arise. He or she will then put his or her problem-solving skills to good use and figure out exactly how to maximize infrastructure resilience without over-spending on budget and with minimal community disruption.
Critical thinking comes into play when engineers are required to collect, analyze, and evaluate knowledge and information that can be used to make judgments and recommendations that are both practical and objective. Critical thinking plays an important role in most engineers’ daily lives, particularly when it comes time to big decisions relating to projects.
Innate Sense of Curiosity
If one was ever to interview a successful engineer about how they got to where they are, it is highly plausible that they will explain how their innate sense of curiosity led them to study engineering. Most engineers will have shown a deep interest in taking items and objects apart as children in an effort to figure out exactly how they work.
This natural curiosity is a huge driving force for anyone working in the engineering field. After all, once they discover precisely how something works, they have the innate ability to brainstorm ways to improve the object’s operation, particularly from a productivity and cost-effectiveness perspective.
Excellent Communication Skills
Many engineers will be required to communicate directly with clients, colleagues and supervisors. This often means that they will need to possess the skills necessary to take highly technical terms and concepts and convert them into layman’s terms. They will also need to be able to provide answers to complex questions and keep clients up to date regarding progress and timelines.
Patience is a virtue — especially if you are involved in the field of engineering! It usually takes many months or even years for most in-depth projects to be completed. This is because the entire process involves detailed analysis, intense innovation, product testing and prototypes before any solutions can be actively implemented and their success effectively measured. As such, successful engineers will need to show endless patience and precision the entire project through.
Diligence and Dedication
Not just anyone can become an engineer. The job requires above average intelligence, but most importantly, it requires hard work, diligence, and dedication. This is especially so if the engineer in question is ambitious enough to want to climb the ranks and truly make a difference in whichever branch they have chosen.
It is often necessary to work long hours and focus for lengthy periods of time. Therefore, it’s extremely important for engineers to truly love what they do. Luckily, this is a vocation that promises plenty of job satisfaction and purpose.
The Ability to Work Alone and in a Team Setting
Engineers need to be adaptable. This is because they will spend equal amounts of time working alone as they will collaborating with other professionals. Most of the time, engineers do not solely work in partnership with other engineers. They will operate in conjunction with various experts, including those in supply chain management, finance, and project management departments. As such, it is helpful if an engineer is personable and capable of unifying with others for the benefit of the company as a whole.
If you possess most or all of the aforementioned character traits, there is a good chance that you will excel in the engineering field. There’s only one way to find out if that’s true. Go for it!