Design our future and build in-demand professional skills for key leadership roles. Start by studying an engineering course.
What do engineering graduates do?
Engineers work in an area of specialisation, designing relevant tools and materials that help the way we live and work. In an engineering course, you can choose to specialise in an area like:
- Aerospace engineering
- Aviation engineering
- Biomedical engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Computer engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Environmental and sustainable engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Mechatronics and manufacturing system engineering
- Surveying and geospatial engineering
- Telecommunications engineering
After completing an engineering course, you’ll be qualified to seek employment as an engineer in your chosen field of specialisation. You could work as a:
You’ll thrive working as an engineer if you:
- Love problem-solving
- Enjoy focused work
- Are highly proactive and disciplined
- Can work well independently
- Have excellent time management and organisational skills
- Have big ideas
- Are a creative thinker
- Can work well with a team
- Can work responsively
- Cam communicate clearly and succinctly
- Work well under pressure
- Enjoy dynamic work
The day-to-day tasks you perform will depend on your specialisation and the projects you work on. Generally, you can expect to perform work like creating plans and designing construction methods, designing and directing plan specifications, organising labour and construction materials, obtaining and testing samples, managing changes to designs and budgets, assessing and analysing structures, and assessing past and future plans and patterns to predict the degradation of your design.
You’ll likely also take on project management tasks, and be responsible for managing the delivery of your project, design or plan to a specified deadline and budget.
While job opportunities in the engineering sector have contracted slightly over the last few years, the industry’s peak body, Engineering Australia, reported in 2017 that opportunities were again expanding at nearly twice the rate of the sector’s lowest growth period. In April 2016, only 101 job vacancies were recorded across Australia in the sector, but by April 2017, 188 vacancies were reported.
Engineering Australia reports that the largest field within the engineering industry is the civil engineering sector. The Australian Government’s Job Outlook reports that approximately 43,000 people are currently employed as civil engineers in Australia, and reports that employment opportunities in the profession will expand by the end of the decade. Job Outlook predicts that approximately 47,200 people will be employed as civil engineers in Australia by 2020.
Engineers Australia notes that engineering is a profession uniquely influenced by market trends and resource prices, and notes that fluctuations in employment growth have tended in line with global financial states. Peaking in 2008, employment opportunities in the engineering sector have contracted slightly in the last decade, but are generally expected to rise over the next decade.
PayScale offers average salary predictions for a range of difference engineering specialisations. Generally, graduates of bachelor’s degrees in engineering can expect to earn an average salary between $50,000 and $139,000 per year.
On average, engineers can expect to earn the following annual salaries:
- Structural engineer: $69,000
- Civil engineer: $70,000
- Mechanical engineer: $70,000
- Software engineer: $71,000
- Electrical engineer: $72,000
- Project engineer: $80,000
- Project manager: $92,000
Engineers across most specialisations report to PayScale that experience in project management, people management and supervision has a positive effect on earning capacity.