Engineering and Engineering Trades

You could be an engineer. There are so many types of engineers that you could find one field that interests you the most. But, what exactly does an engineer do? Engineering is the study of the design, composition, manufacture, maintenance and functioning of machines, products, systems and structures. Engineers convert scientific knowledge into technology that is used in the design and production of useful products and services


So, if you are interested in math and science, engineering is the practical application of science and math to solve problems. Engineers design, evaluate, develop, test, modify, install, inspect and maintain a wide variety of products and systems that are found all around us. Engineering technologies improve the ways that we communicate, live, work, travel, stay healthy, and entertain ourselves.

Chemical Engineering and Processes

Chemical engineering is a discipline influencing numerous areas of technology. In broad terms, chemical engineers conceive and design processes to produce, transform, and transport materials — beginning with experimentation in the laboratory followed by the implementation of the technology in full-scale production.


Chemical engineers are in great demand because of the large number of industries that depend on the synthesis and processing of chemicals and materials. In addition to traditional careers in the chemical, energy, and oil industries, chemical engineers enjoy increasing opportunities in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electronic device fabrication, and environmental engineering. The unique training of the chemical engineer becomes essential in these areas when processes involve the chemical or physical transformation of matter.


Environmental Protection Technology

Surely, you’ve heard of global warming. It is a growing problem upsetting governments and society in general and is endangering health and the environment. One of the ways to fight against global warming is by means of green technologies.


Environmental technology better known as green technology or clean technology is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. The term is also used to describe sustainable energy generation technologies such as wind turbines. Sustainable development is the core of environmental technologies. The term environmental technologies is also used to describe a class of electronic devices that can promote sustainable management of resources.


Electricity and Energy

During a powerful storm when the power goes out, one of the most frustrating aspects is the loss of electricity, no more video games or TV. Electricity is both a basic part of nature and one of the most widely used forms of energy. The electricity that we use is a secondary energy source because it is produced by converting primary sources of energy such as coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and wind energy, into electrical power. Energy and electricity are often used interchangeably, though they aren't the same thing. This is probably due to the fact that the world's most recognizable form of energy is electricity. All electricity is energy, but not all energy is electricity.


Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electrical equipment. The broad field of electrical engineering involves working with all manners of electronic devices, from pocket calculators to supercomputers. Often overlapping with computer engineering, a college degree in electrical engineering can open up the door to a technical career in almost any industry. Since technology is always changing and expanding, the need for electrical engineers is always growing.

Like any other kind of scientist, electrical engineers must also know how to communicate their ideas to others in their field. A successful electrical engineer possesses not only an understanding of his area of concentration, but also a broad grasp of engineering in general. This is why most electrical engineering degree programs begin with the fundamentals of engineering itself. Once the student has mastered these fundamentals, she can start to focus on a specialty.

Electrical engineering students learn through a combination of design and lab work. This mix of theory and practical application allows students to think things through and then apply their ideas in a variety of real-life situations. Students also learn to diagnose problems and develop a variety of solutions. Some careers that involve electricity are electrician, electrical engineers, power plant managers, power plant operators, line installers, civil engineers, architects, and mechanical engineers. 

Electronics and Automation

You may have a robotics team at your school. If not, you’ve probably seen robots that can vacuum, retrieve items, and describe the day’s weather. Many believe that robots are our future.


Robotic automation applies to almost all the stages in the electronics production cycle. Among the major areas are the material and component handling, assembly lines, etching, inspections, testing, and more. Since most of these are repetitive tests, the robots can reduce the labor costs significantly by cutting on the number of employees while increasing the production times and reducing errors and waste.


Mechanics and Metal Trades

Mechanics and metal trades is the study of planning, designing, developing, producing, maintaining and monitoring machines, mechanical plants and systems and metal products. You have so many options for jobs if you are interested in working with your hands. Some jobs include: welder, pipefitter, gunsmith, furniture maker, mold maker, and model maker.


Motor Vehicles, Ships and Aircraft

A mechanic works on automobiles, trucks, and related transportation and material-moving vehicles. Some mechanics perform general maintenance and repairs, while others may specialize in tires, brakes, engines, or on-board computers. While a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement for mechanics, many employers prefer to hire those who have completed certificate or associate's programs in automotive technology or related fields. Mechanics can earn voluntary certification to enhance job opportunities.


Mechanics are expected to examine, troubleshoot, restore, and maintain various types of automobiles, including personal vehicles, trucks, and heavy equipment machinery. Mechanics must be knowledgeable about the various tools, equipment, and procedures used in auto shops for troubleshooting and repairing vehicles.

As a result of the advances in automotive technology, mechanics must now be familiar with the computers and software programs that are used in auto shops and vehicles. The advancements in technology help operate the electrical and mechanical parts in the latest vehicles.

With no formal training, the FAA requires that aircraft mechanics must have 30 months of verifiable on-the-job training to take the certification exam.


Opportunities for boat repair training are available to those interested in operating a boat repair business or for those who simply want to be able to repair their own recreational ship. While marine technology programs are the most common boat repair training programs, individuals can also enter the field by completing fiberglass technician, boat reconstruction, small engine mechanics and marine composite-repair programs. Certified boat repair programs are designed to comply with U.S. Coast Guard specifications, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

Boat repair training programs can include 1-day courses or formal education programs lasting more than a year. Lasting 1-2 years in duration, marine repair programs provide instruction in outboard engines, fuel systems, diesel engines, inboard engine propulsion systems, and hull design. Students learn to troubleshoot, diagnose, repair, and maintain various boat components, including motors, transmissions, and stemdrive engines. The curriculum often includes opportunities for off-site training at local dealerships or marinas.

Boat building programs provide students with a basic understanding of boat design and construction. Course topics discuss materials and techniques for fiberglass boat building and repair. Students also learn to inspect boats for needed repairs, plan repairs, and estimate costs. Boat building programs prepare individuals for jobs at boat manufacturers and boat maintenance and repair yards.