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zachb34

Any engineers on the forum?

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Hey guys, I haven't been too active on the forums lately since I've been so busy with work and school. Anyway, I'm a sophomore in college studying Engineering. I haven't decided which branch of engineering but I'm mainly considering civil, mechanical, and marine. I'm currently taking calculus 2 and physics with calculus at the moment. My physics class and professor is really getting me discouraged. I'm putting in the time, and not seeing the results. Along my search for an alternative major, I've talked to a career advisor at my college and everything that's piqued my interest has been engineering related. We've come up with a few alternatives such as getting an AS degree in engineering at my school, or another school about an hour south of me offers marine engineering as an AS degree. I really just want a career that I can avoid an office and paperwork and make a fair living to support a family and feed my fishing addiction. So my questions for anyone in the engineering field or who has been in the same boat at one point:

What did you do as far as education?

Where did that take you career wise? 

What's your day typically consist of at work?

Would you do anything different as far as education or career choices?

Thanks in advance to anyone who may have some engineering experience. 

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I was a process engineer but i will say if one class is making you change your mind on a career then you need to buck up and make it work. 

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As a retired professor, I have to ask; are you not understanding the content of the course, or are you unable, at this point in time, able to see the relevance of the material?

If the first case is true, it is probably time to look at a different path. If the second case is true, hang in there. It will make sense down the road.

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It's not just the one class. I'm scraping by with all the major prerequisites. I do roughly 40 hours of homework and studying a week on top of my lectures and work. The amount of work I have to put in and still struggle to truly understand the material has made me wonder if I'm actually cut out for this. Especially when I can't even take engineering related courses yet. 

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Not an engineer, was a tradesman for 15 years, now disabled and in facilities management. There is a huge future in hvac/energy management/controls/and fire systems. Corporations spend millions of dollars trying to save thousands of dollars and the government subsidies and tax write-offs make it all worth it.

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26 minutes ago, zachb34 said:

It's not just the one class. I'm scraping by with all the major prerequisites. I do roughly 40 hours of homework and studying a week on top of my lectures and work. The amount of work I have to put in and still struggle to truly understand the material has made me wonder if I'm actually cut out for this. Especially when I can't even take engineering related courses yet. 

ok that makes a little more sense.  And keep in mind that many of the best people i have worked with were not the ones who aced all their classes.....they worked for everything they got and it showed in their work ethic and their end results.  If you have a passion for it, then keep trucking along.

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37 minutes ago, zachb34 said:

It's not just the one class. I'm scraping by with all the major prerequisites. I do roughly 40 hours of homework and studying a week on top of my lectures and work. The amount of work I have to put in and still struggle to truly understand the material has made me wonder if I'm actually cut out for this. Especially when I can't even take engineering related courses yet. 

Reduce your course load. It sounds like you've bitten off more than you can chew right now. A fairly common second or third semester problem. You are not alone.

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My better half is a Engineer. She loves her profession and she worked very hard to be where she is in life now.Nothing worth having in life is easy, so do the best of your ability to reach your goals in life.

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Kind of sounds like you are overloaded.  The best advice I got from my counselor was to take some classes during the semester that were fun and you don't have to think about.  Don't try and get all of the hard classes out of the way at the same time.

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I'm a mechanical engineer.  I was in a similar situation in school as you.  I nearly failed out.  What saved me was finding a group of friends to do homework and study with.  We met everyday after classes and worked on homework, then went to office hours to discuss anything we couldn't figure out on our own.  Ended up on the Deana list for my last 5 semesters and got an assistance ship which paid for grad school.

I wouldn't bother with the AS degree in engineering, too many companies expect a BS and MS now. 

I'm currently working in design in the energy industry.  Primarily desk work now though we test every week or 2 and get to the field a few times a year.  I've also worked as a manufacturing engineer which kept me on my feet all day.  

If I had to do it over I would have started as a field engineer and traveled for a few years prior to the family and saved up a bunch of money.  Those guys work hard, but they're paid well..

Good luck to you and feel free to contact me. 

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I'm a sophmore too actually, decided freshman year I wanted to do plastics engineering. I have 18 credits this semester so the workload is pretty heavy. My second engineering choice would have been mechanical though. Any engineering degree is going to be tough though, just keep at it. You aren't so far along you can't still change your mind (without adding years to your college career that is). 

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4 hours ago, curtis9 said:

I'm a mechanical engineer.  I was in a similar situation in school as you.  I nearly failed out.  What saved me was finding a group of friends to do homework and study with.  We met everyday after classes and worked on homework, then went to office hours to discuss anything we couldn't figure out on our own.  Ended up on the Deana list for my last 5 semesters and got an assistance ship which paid for grad school.

I wouldn't bother with the AS degree in engineering, too many companies expect a BS and MS now. 

I'm currently working in design in the energy industry.  Primarily desk work now though we test every week or 2 and get to the field a few times a year.  I've also worked as a manufacturing engineer which kept me on my feet all day.  

If I had to do it over I would have started as a field engineer and traveled for a few years prior to the family and saved up a bunch of money.  Those guys work hard, but they're paid well..

Good luck to you and feel free to contact me. 

Great response, thanks. 

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On ‎9‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 6:00 PM, curtis9 said:

wouldn't bother with the AS degree in engineering, too many companies expect a BS and MS now.

100% true, also make sure your program is accredited.

I just graduated in Aerospace Engineering and completely agree with what Curtis said.  You mentioned struggling with a physics class, was it engineering physics? (force moment diagrams, free body diagrams, equations of motion, etc) or physics physics? (electricity, magnetism, light refraction, etc).  If its the latter I wouldn't worry about it too much, just pass the class and get through it as you will never use it again.  The former however I would continue to seek help and definitely get in a peer group to study and work through example problems.  You will use these basics in every other engineering class you take.  One of the biggest things that helped me was paying for solutions manuals for HW.  As long as you are not blatantly copying the solutions and trying to learn it will help tremendously. 

Seek a co-op opportunity as soon as you can.  Don't worry about missing a semester or longer of school.  Having that experience is more valuable than anything you learn in classes and it will let you know what kind of work you will be doing.  I took a year off total and it paid off with the company giving me an offer a year before I graduated making my last two semester very stress free.

I'm currently working in the aerospace testing industry and would say I spend 50% of my time at my desk in and 50% in the field or testing.  I really enjoy it because I have the opportunity to interact with people everyday.  In my area at least I rarely use any math or engineering skills learned in school, so I guess that's something to consider if you truly enjoy that aspect.

If I had to do it again I would have done mechanical engineering as my degree because my current degree puts me in a very specific niche that not many companies need. 

Good luck, take time to enjoy the college experience as I know many engineers who did not.  Remember C's get degrees lol.

 

 

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10 hours ago, VolBass'n said:

100% true, also make sure your program is accredited.

I just graduated in Aerospace Engineering and completely agree with what Curtis said.  You mentioned struggling with a physics class, was it engineering physics? (force moment diagrams, free body diagrams, equations of motion, etc) or physics physics? (electricity, magnetism, light refraction, etc).  If its the latter I wouldn't worry about it too much, just pass the class and get through it as you will never use it again.  The former however I would continue to seek help and definitely get in a peer group to study and work through example problems.  You will use these basics in every other engineering class you take.  One of the biggest things that helped me was paying for solutions manuals for HW.  As long as you are not blatantly copying the solutions and trying to learn it will help tremendously. 

Seek a co-op opportunity as soon as you can.  Don't worry about missing a semester or longer of school.  Having that experience is more valuable than anything you learn in classes and it will let you know what kind of work you will be doing.  I took a year off total and it paid off with the company giving me an offer a year before I graduated making my last two semester very stress free.

I'm currently working in the aerospace testing industry and would say I spend 50% of my time at my desk in and 50% in the field or testing.  I really enjoy it because I have the opportunity to interact with people everyday.  In my area at least I rarely use any math or engineering skills learned in school, so I guess that's something to consider if you truly enjoy that aspect.

If I had to do it again I would have done mechanical engineering as my degree because my current degree puts me in a very specific niche that not many companies need. 

Good luck, take time to enjoy the college experience as I know many engineers who did not.  Remember C's get degrees lol.

 

 

Exactly what I was looking for, I appreciate it. 

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On 9/19/2016 at 7:20 PM, zachb34 said:

What did you do as far as education?

Where did that take you career wise? 

What's your day typically consist of at work?

Would you do anything different as far as education or career choices?

I'm a retired Manufacturing Engineer in the aerospace industry; I worked for Boeing, Grumman, Northrop/Grumman, EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) & Airbus.

My education in engineering came after years of being a licensed airframe/powerplant mechanic. All my education came from the above mentioned companies.

My education/training took me to the top of my field. 

What was a typical day like?

Extremely challenging but extremely satisfying.

My duties as a Manufacturing Engineer: Organized/planned/scheduled all customer job requirements, wrote work instructions for production, & coordinated between Customer, Operations, Production, and Quality Assurance, SQ&TP (Supplier Quality & Technical Processes and Engineering Design Organization(s) in/on problem resolution. Investigated damage to aircraft, reviewed repair manuals/drawings, choose proper repair/part replacement, & submitted to DER (Design Engineer Representative) for approval. Created work instructions for the fabrication of detailed parts. Ordered all tools, parts, materials required for depot maintenance, repairs and part fabrication.

My suggestion would be get a job in the industry while going to school. Yes it's hard working all day then going school but it gives you the opportunity to decided if you really like.

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14 hours ago, Catt said:

I'm a retired Manufacturing Engineer in the aerospace industry; I worked for Boeing, Grumman, Northrop/Grumman, EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) & Airbus.

My education in engineering came after years of being a licensed airframe/powerplant mechanic. All my education came from the above mentioned companies.

My education/training took me to the top of my field. 

What was a typical day like?

Extremely challenging but extremely satisfying.

My duties as a Manufacturing Engineer: Organized/planned/scheduled all customer job requirements, wrote work instructions for production, & coordinated between Customer, Operations, Production, and Quality Assurance, SQ&TP (Supplier Quality & Technical Processes and Engineering Design Organization(s) in/on problem resolution. Investigated damage to aircraft, reviewed repair manuals/drawings, choose proper repair/part replacement, & submitted to DER (Design Engineer Representative) for approval. Created work instructions for the fabrication of detailed parts. Ordered all tools, parts, materials required for depot maintenance, repairs and part fabrication.

My suggestion would be get a job in the industry while going to school. Yes it's hard working all day then going school but it gives you the opportunity to decided if you really like.

Another piece of solid advice, thank you. 

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