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Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:22:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Pavelow16478:



Engineers who grew up on the farm are worth their weight in gold.


<-- engineer who grew up on the farm and still farms
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Originally Posted By Pavelow16478:
Originally Posted By Silverslider:
I work in the paper industry. Paper machines are big machines with lots of mechanical equipment. It requires alot of knowledge to design, understand, troubleshoot, and run complex machinery. Most of my team and my strongest performers are METs or MEs. I also hire a lot with farming back ground as they are out of the box thinkers.
Paper making is a interesting field. I has held my interest for 30+ years and.......making toilet paper is a great field for job security. People will give up a lot in a tough economy and they will not stop buying toilet paper :)



Engineers who grew up on the farm are worth their weight in gold.


<-- engineer who grew up on the farm and still farms


Yes they are. Master degree in mechanical school of hard knocks. I try to force my company to do their recruiting at more rural schools as a lot the the kids have farming backgrounds. They are night and day compared to most city kids. Most urbanites have no clue or mechanical wisdom. It's tough with all the push for diversity. Diversity of thought is ok to some degree but if you have no foundation you will fail miserably and goddam some of these kids are dangerous around extremely hazardous equipment. They are either to stupid to understand how dangerous something is or so afraid and intimidated they can't succeed .
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:22:17 PM EDT
What do American engineers do?

Sit around waiting to be replaced with H1B's?

Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:27:07 PM EDT
Recent ME grad, now working as a manufacturing engineer. It's true, I don't use most of the high order math in my day to day work, in school I just treated it as the weedout classes and it strengthens your ability to problem solve.
Don't give up, get a co-op or internship in a relevant position to see what you like. That sort of work experience is very valuable and will get you further than just a degree alone.
Half of my job deals with lean manufacturing, something taught to IEs and not MEs. I recommend if you want to go into manufacturing to take a couple IE electives.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:31:04 PM EDT
I have been a ME for 26 years.

Started off in a power plant. it was fun but mostly doing reports and planning maintenance. Stable but kind of boring.

Went to work for a company doing repairs on Nuke plants. That was fun but the hours were long. Got to design remote controlled equipment to work in high radiation areas.

Started my own company and designed and built automated systems for manufacturers. We put together lines to assemble instrument clusters for cars, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, automotive, defense, etc.

Very rarely did I do any calculations. Never did another integral or diffy equations after college. I did some stress and deflection stuff but it was minor. If something was serious, like a lifting rig for a nuke plant, we used finite elements with a paper back check.

We used finite elements for vibration analysis also.

Mechanical Engineering is great for hands on type people that like to make stuff work.

Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:40:51 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Superluckycat:


I'm surprised that industry hasn't been off shored yet.
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Originally Posted By Superluckycat:
Originally Posted By Silverslider:
I work in the paper industry. Paper machines are big machines with lots of mechanical equipment. It requires alot of knowledge to design, understand, troubleshoot, and run complex machinery. Most of my team and my strongest performers are METs or MEs. I also hire a lot with farming back ground as they are out of the box thinkers.
Paper making is a interesting field. I has held my interest for 30+ years and.......making toilet paper is a great field for job security. People will give up a lot in a tough economy and they will not stop buying toilet paper :)


I'm surprised that industry hasn't been off shored yet.


To expensive to ship in freighters. Toilet paper takes up a lot of space and not a lot of weight. It has been looked at. Even selling and shipping hard rolls (the big parent rolls that are converted into small rolls). American toilet paper is so much different than the rest of the world, regulations, restrictions, on and on. Believe me if we could make money either way, we would.
We have our supply chain down to an art. We buy pulp and chemicals, make the paper, ship and sell the paper, get paid, hold and invest the money, and then pay our materials suppliers. We make money off money we get to hold until the bills come due.
Yeah. Toilet paper is a gooood business.
Now let's talk about the cold and flu season and facial tissues :)
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 7:49:54 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Silverslider:
I work in the paper industry. Paper machines are big machines with lots of mechanical equipment. It requires alot of knowledge to design, understand, troubleshoot, and run complex machinery. Most of my team and my strongest performers are METs or MEs. I also hire a lot with farming back ground as they are out of the box thinkers.
Paper making is a interesting field. I has held my interest for 30+ years and.......making toilet paper is a great field for job security. People will give up a lot in a tough economy and they will not stop buying toilet paper :)
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Do you work for an OEM or paper company?
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:00:31 PM EDT
Product Management... fun problem solving

Technical Sales... fun problem solving + expense account

Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:06:45 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Solution:
Product Management... fun problem solving

Technical Sales... fun problem solving + expense account

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Service Engineer ... fun problem solving + overtime + expense account
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:14:50 PM EDT
Worked in a lot of different roles from primary product development and design to process engineering for small and large volume operations, to process design and equipment design, to engineering management and sourcing. Some jobs have required the deep engineering skills, others have required mechanical aptitude and basic math/stats skills. Now I do primary research, which requires pretty deep understanding of just about all my engineering skills (I'm an engineering professor), although most of it is related to teaching it to my students so they can do the bulk of the engineering work.

Honest to goodness part design and testing requires probably the highest level of skill of any of the tasks I've undertaken, and it's my favorite. If you want to do it well, you need the gamut of skills to back it up, which may at any point involve machining/manufacturing, calculus, partial differential equations, stats, experimentation, electronics, programming, etc. People pay for me not because I always use those tools, but because they're always at my disposal.

Lots of ME is hands-on - there are plenty of careers that won't require you to use the fundamentals from school every day (in fact, I'd argue that most don't require them all the time). Do understand that switching majors to something less rigorous will narrow your choices later.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:19:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Flysc:
What do American engineers do?

Sit around waiting to be replaced with H1B's?

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I just need 15 more years and they can have my gig.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:25:49 PM EDT
Wasn't expecting this many replies so quickly! Thanks!

The replies have definitely made me feel better about the path I'm on. There are some days where I just have no motivation. The fact that I have a couple professors who I can't understand 80% of what they say doesn't help. I don't expect the odds of getting those types of professors to get any better as I progress through school though..


Sounds like the majority of replies here are jobs I'd actually be interested in doing, at least on some level.

Also I grew up in in the country small town Kansas, surrounded by farmland as far as the eye could see but never worked on a farm. Does the proximity get me some bonus points??

I'm hoping my previous hands on will help me land a decent job (also heavy in cars/motorcycles/any type of home repair). I've been trying to land a summer 2017 internship but no luck yet. I'm not sure it's going to happen at this point. From what I've been told in some info sessions I went to, if it's not lined out by Nov/Dec of the year before it's probably not happening.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:32:10 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
Worked in a lot of different roles from primary product development and design to process engineering for small and large volume operations, to process design and equipment design, to engineering management and sourcing. Some jobs have required the deep engineering skills, others have required mechanical aptitude and basic math/stats skills. Now I do primary research, which requires pretty deep understanding of just about all my engineering skills (I'm an engineering professor), although most of it is related to teaching it to my students so they can do the bulk of the engineering work.

Honest to goodness part design and testing requires probably the highest level of skill of any of the tasks I've undertaken, and it's my favorite. If you want to do it well, you need the gamut of skills to back it up, which may at any point involve machining/manufacturing, calculus, partial differential equations, stats, experimentation, electronics, programming, etc. People pay for me not because I always use those tools, but because they're always at my disposal.

Lots of ME is hands-on - there are plenty of careers that won't require you to use the fundamentals from school every day (in fact, I'd argue that most don't require them all the time). Do understand that switching majors to something less rigorous will narrow your choices later.
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I'm not looking for less rigorous, just wanting to make sure I'm not going to end up with a degree that gives me job opportunities I have no real interest in. While moving up in life would be nice I'll take 75k doing something I really enjoy over 6 figures stuck at a desk doing something I don't. I've had a job I hated before and I'll never do it again.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:33:41 PM EDT
I work at a commercial nuclear power plant for a major US utility company...

GREAT job, 3 day weekends all year long (except for outages), good benefits and satisfying work.

I do troubleshooting, design work, answer technical questions for operations and maintenance personnel, etc

The only thing I hate about my job is the sometimes stupid ASME Code and the NRC, both can make me want to scream on a fairly frequent basis... haha
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:35:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 8:35:18 PM EDT by RocketmanOU]
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Originally Posted By superdrag67:


I'm not looking for less rigorous, just wanting to make sure I'm not going to end up with a degree that gives me job opportunities I have no real interest in. While moving up in life would be nice I'll take 75k doing something I really enjoy over 6 figures stuck at a desk doing something I don't. I've had a job I hated before and I'll never do it again.
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Originally Posted By superdrag67:
Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
Worked in a lot of different roles from primary product development and design to process engineering for small and large volume operations, to process design and equipment design, to engineering management and sourcing. Some jobs have required the deep engineering skills, others have required mechanical aptitude and basic math/stats skills. Now I do primary research, which requires pretty deep understanding of just about all my engineering skills (I'm an engineering professor), although most of it is related to teaching it to my students so they can do the bulk of the engineering work.

Honest to goodness part design and testing requires probably the highest level of skill of any of the tasks I've undertaken, and it's my favorite. If you want to do it well, you need the gamut of skills to back it up, which may at any point involve machining/manufacturing, calculus, partial differential equations, stats, experimentation, electronics, programming, etc. People pay for me not because I always use those tools, but because they're always at my disposal.

Lots of ME is hands-on - there are plenty of careers that won't require you to use the fundamentals from school every day (in fact, I'd argue that most don't require them all the time). Do understand that switching majors to something less rigorous will narrow your choices later.


I'm not looking for less rigorous, just wanting to make sure I'm not going to end up with a degree that gives me job opportunities I have no real interest in. While moving up in life would be nice I'll take 75k doing something I really enjoy over 6 figures stuck at a desk doing something I don't. I've had a job I hated before and I'll never do it again.


You'll have plenty of opportunities that will suit your apparent interests. Keep your chin up. You can do it.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:41:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Truth2882:
Post on arf all day.
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Me too. I also make shit fit and work. I only get paid OK because I'd rather engineer than be a project manager (even though I can do that better than most at my company).

When you get a job, in whatever field, don't go to a company that's top heavy.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:42:35 PM EDT
I'm not a mechanical engineer, I did electronic engineering - but in my job I worked very closely with our ME's.

I retired from Cobham in up here in Prescott.
We designed and built communication and navigation equipment (radios) for mainly jets and helicopters.
Our mechanical engineers were responsible for case enclosure design and mechanical integration of the printed circuit boards as well as the unit mounting and installation trays that went into the aircraft.
This was pretty much all done in Solid Works with some Autocad.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:44:51 PM EDT
I work in a Big Pharma plant. I mostly just hit multimillion dollar pieces of equipment with hammers to make them work. And argue with Germans who built it over complicated to begin with.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:46:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Mech2007:


I'm in Management so I mainly go to meetings all day and make fun of other engineers for their mistakes.

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See what I mean from my previous post. Easier to be a critic than a chef.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:51:26 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Artillary:
DO NOT TAKE A CONSULTING FIRM POSITION!!! You will be very under paid for a very long time. Manufacturing is where the money is.
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This is good advice.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:51:33 PM EDT
I design high performance IC engines.

I use a lot math, but not much calc. Wish I had more knowledge of materials when coming out of school.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:55:16 PM EDT
after I got my BSME, I worked for a year as a Facilities Engineer before I went and got my JD, which then led me to an even different career field altogether
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:55:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:


This is good advice.
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Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:
Originally Posted By Artillary:
DO NOT TAKE A CONSULTING FIRM POSITION!!! You will be very under paid for a very long time. Manufacturing is where the money is.


This is good advice.


I was just given a lead on a possible internship at a local consulting firm that did HVAC stuff. I thought that would be a good place to go given my background but maybe not. Thanks for the advice.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 8:56:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 8:58:25 PM EDT by BLK_MAJK]
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Originally Posted By Pavelow16478:

Yep. In college I worked in the ME machine shop. Been running lathes and mills since I was 7 or so and spent two summers working in the machine shop of a tool and die shop. We had 4.0 mechanical engineers in there working on their senior design project that literally didn't know the difference between a blade or Phillips screwdriver
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Saw the same thing. We did a charity workshop where we fixed up donated bikes for inner city kids. The valedictorian of my ME class said the bike she was "working" on had brakes that didn't work and asked me to help. I pulled the lever and noticed the pads didn't move far enough to touch the wheel. I said "just tighten the cable". Her response "how do I do that?". She could not look at the situation at hand and figure it out. All book smarts, no practical application ability
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:01:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By superdrag67:
TL;DR at bottom

I know there has been several engineering threads in the past but I'm trying to focus this one a bit more.

I'm a junior(ish) right now at ASU and just now starting to get into my major specific classes and sometimes I find myself wondering if I'm headed in the right direction. I just don't find the classes I'm in right now all that enjoyable except for solidworks or circuits lab. I know school isn't exactly supposed to be enjoyable but I leave feeling pretty 'meh' most days.

I worked in the commercial refrigeration industry for 10 years and really enjoyed it and was in the process of starting up my own business when I had back surgery and the doctor said find something else to do. So I'm in school more or less because I didn't know what else to do.

I think I would enjoy a career more as a field engineer that was doing hands on stuff but I look at the pay scale and it's hard to swallow going to school for 4 years and dropping 30k plus when i'll get a job making probably less than I was previously making and max out at 10-20k at best over what I was making in refrigeration.

I find no joy in numerical methods or calc/diff eq/lienar though I did well in those classes. I don't find coding/matlab/java interesting at all though I can usually stumble through it.

I guess what I'm asking is can I find a job once I graduate that doesn't involve non-stop solving equations and/or coding. Since that's my life right now I feel like that's what a job would be like.

I much more enjoy the design/building/problem solving part of things, unfortunately there isn't that much of it at school. Would prefer hands on overall but understand that's unlikely in the ME field.

TL;DR - In engineering school. Don't like math or coding. Should I quit now or suffer through? What could an ACTUAL career be like that doesn't involve those as 90% of my daily duties? Any ME's actually hands on?
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I used to do pipelines, compressor stations, gas processing plants, pump stations, disposal wells, etc. Now I am in business development. My advice is to never think of quitting, always stick it out, do what you need to graduate.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:02:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 9:07:07 PM EDT by 545days]
I started out designing large cryogenic multi stage refrigeration systems (30,000HP was the smallest) for the chemical industry. Now I am a project manager, which means that I pepper all my subject matter experts with stupid questions, draw out a consensus, and make the final decision. Every now and then I suprise them with some of the odd knowledge that I have amassed over the years.

I have not used calculus since I graduated, and most of my math now days are rough approximations done out loud such as: "about 400 guys at about $60 per hour all-in is about a quarter million a day." For my purposes, that kind of rough number now is far more valuable when making a quick decision than an exact headcount, a spreadsheet full of wages and multipliers by craft and a precise cost calculation too late.

It amazes me how few people are willing to make a decision and stand behind it. All my decisions are not great (my worst cost $2MM dollars,) but I make enough good ones to save way more, and ANY decision is better than no decision on a construction site with over 1,000 workers being billed by the hour.

My job in a sentence: I anticipate problems and act in order to maximize the chance that my project will have a successful outcome.

Edit: I have close to 30 years in the business. My leadership skills learned in the Army have done as much if not more for me as my technical abilities in the last 15 years.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:02:50 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:


See what I mean from my previous post. Easier to be a critic than a chef.
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Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:
Originally Posted By Mech2007:


I'm in Management so I mainly go to meetings all day and make fun of other engineers for their mistakes.



See what I mean from my previous post. Easier to be a critic than a chef.





Yeah, that's what lots of shitty engineers like to believe.

Unlike other professions, in engineering you only get to be a "critic" if you're among the best of the "chefs." I have other Engineering Managers give me stuff to help them check because they know I'll find problems that their engineers miss and even they won't find.


Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:04:30 PM EDT
My official title is Sales Engineer. I do a bit of engineering with a side of sales.

To be honest I use nothing what I learned in school. I have a mechanical engineering degree and all college does it teach you how to think. Get the engineering degree and you can almost do anything with it. My father has an electrical engineering degree and did technical sales for 20 years. He got sick and tired of it and is now a VP of a financial firm.

Send me an IM if you want to talk about anything in particular.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:06:03 PM EDT
A lot of good answers already in here. The way I would describe it with my limited experience is I don't do a lot of math, but I am capable of doing it when I need to. There is no one to fall back on from a technical standpoint, you're it!
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:16:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:24:12 PM EDT
Project engineer in heavy industry. I do some design, but usually nothing tedious. Most of the time I'm trying to think of everything that will fuck me over during the implementation of a large project. This usually includes a large amount of mechanical understanding and some fun calculations.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:24:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:33:30 PM EDT
After 36 years of being an ME I am now relegated to buying paper clips, paying taxes, and being an ass. That is what happens when you start your own business,. maybe not at the beginning but after 20 years you get demoted.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:34:32 PM EDT
Biggest piece of advice is build your portfolio.

I take pictures of all major projects I work on and a brief summary of my duties. I keep these ready to update my linked in and on my PC to go along with my resume.

The biggest thing I look for in an engineer is their interest and desire to pursue things outside of class projects.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:34:35 PM EDT
I have a semi funny story about book smart MEs and country boy MEs.

We went to a ASME competition in Tampa, FL my senior year. At one of the meetings they divided us randomly into groups. We had to build a flying device to carry a folded up piece of paper as the cargo. Whoever made the flying device that flew the furthest distance would win.

They gave each group the body of one of those wooden airplanes without the wings, poster board paper, a balloon, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, and a few other items. As soon as I looked at the parts I said hey the poster board would make a good wing. Some other guy said he could make a cargo basket out of the pipe cleaners. That was pretty much short and sweet. I whipped out my pocket knife to cut the poster board into a wing and one of my group members looked at me like "You have a knife with you?" I'm like yep I don't leave home without one. His look was

Anyway, there were probably 10 groups of of each working on a design. I'd only about 3 groups actually made something that looked like it might actually fly. Some designs were so bad I'm like at what point did you even think that had a chance in hell of flying? They basically gave you a plane and you didn't use it?

We came in 2nd place overall and would have gotten first if we didn't fly off the path we had to keep the plane on. The group that got first basically did the same thing we did. Several of the loser groups probably had many bright book smart kids, but they all lacked practical knowledge.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:35:32 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Chapman:


Take it. Never turn down internships unless you have multiple offers. The HVAC field may be something you want to get in to. There are more than a few types of jobs suitable for engineers in HVAC. Consulting is about the most white collar of them, but you'll get a feel for the industry without all the burden and hassle of permanent employment, like non-competes. Also note that figuring out what you DON'T want to do is ALMOST as valuable as knowing what you DO want to do.


You picked arguably the broadest field of engineering that can be applied almost universally anywhere. There are a zillion jobs out there for us, and someone will REALLY want you to work there because you have that paper. They'll also pay you more for it. Stick with it. Good luck
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Originally Posted By Chapman:
Originally Posted By superdrag67:
Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:
Originally Posted By Artillary:
DO NOT TAKE A CONSULTING FIRM POSITION!!! You will be very under paid for a very long time. Manufacturing is where the money is.


This is good advice.


I was just given a lead on a possible internship at a local consulting firm that did HVAC stuff. I thought that would be a good place to go given my background but maybe not. Thanks for the advice.


Take it. Never turn down internships unless you have multiple offers. The HVAC field may be something you want to get in to. There are more than a few types of jobs suitable for engineers in HVAC. Consulting is about the most white collar of them, but you'll get a feel for the industry without all the burden and hassle of permanent employment, like non-competes. Also note that figuring out what you DON'T want to do is ALMOST as valuable as knowing what you DO want to do.


You picked arguably the broadest field of engineering that can be applied almost universally anywhere. There are a zillion jobs out there for us, and someone will REALLY want you to work there because you have that paper. They'll also pay you more for it. Stick with it. Good luck


Building controls are a lucrative sector and require a specific skillset, I knew a guy making good money doing it.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:37:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 10:54:38 PM EDT by uncle_big_green]
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Originally Posted By Mech2007:





Yeah, that's what lots of shitty engineers like to believe.

Unlike other professions, in engineering you only get to be a "critic" if you're among the best of the "chefs." I have other Engineering Managers give me stuff to help them check because they know I'll find problems that their engineers miss and even they won't find.


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Originally Posted By Mech2007:
Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:
Originally Posted By Mech2007:


I'm in Management so I mainly go to meetings all day and make fun of other engineers for their mistakes.



See what I mean from my previous post. Easier to be a critic than a chef.





Yeah, that's what lots of shitty engineers like to believe.

Unlike other professions, in engineering you only get to be a "critic" if you're among the best of the "chefs." I have other Engineering Managers give me stuff to help them check because they know I'll find problems that their engineers miss and even they won't find.




That's nice. The statement is also true, regardless of who says it. Why am I always correcting most of the managers? Both of our experiences are anecdotal. At my company, most managers are lazy delegators wanting to climb the corporate ladder.

Since my name was called with the Asians at graduation from a real engineering school (North Avenue Trade School) and none of my projects have been (majorly ) fucked up, I'll assume that your experience is different than mine and we weren't talking about each other ... or maybe you're a little defensive.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:43:08 PM EDT
Mechanical Designer/Project Manager.

Design Machinery, as well as Design Systems Layouts that utilize that Machinery. Take into Account Work flows, safety, etc.

Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:43:36 PM EDT
I'm a design engineer. It's a pretty fun and challenging job when I'm not dealing with big corporate BS.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:43:45 PM EDT
If you are in school and want to have a successful career, listen and learn first. I will gladly help a new guy if he's willing to accept help. There is nothing worse than a greenhorn that thinks his education trumps experience
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:47:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By krammitthefrog:


Building controls are a lucrative sector and require a specific skillset, I knew a guy making good money doing it.
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Originally Posted By krammitthefrog:
Originally Posted By Chapman:
Originally Posted By superdrag67:
Originally Posted By uncle_big_green:
Originally Posted By Artillary:
DO NOT TAKE A CONSULTING FIRM POSITION!!! You will be very under paid for a very long time. Manufacturing is where the money is.


This is good advice.


I was just given a lead on a possible internship at a local consulting firm that did HVAC stuff. I thought that would be a good place to go given my background but maybe not. Thanks for the advice.


Take it. Never turn down internships unless you have multiple offers. The HVAC field may be something you want to get in to. There are more than a few types of jobs suitable for engineers in HVAC. Consulting is about the most white collar of them, but you'll get a feel for the industry without all the burden and hassle of permanent employment, like non-competes. Also note that figuring out what you DON'T want to do is ALMOST as valuable as knowing what you DO want to do.


You picked arguably the broadest field of engineering that can be applied almost universally anywhere. There are a zillion jobs out there for us, and someone will REALLY want you to work there because you have that paper. They'll also pay you more for it. Stick with it. Good luck


Building controls are a lucrative sector and require a specific skillset, I knew a guy making good money doing it.


I concur this is the field I'm in. May not have the best pay, but my benefits are pretty amazing. It helps when the company has 150K employees worldwide. I'm just in one division that does building controls. I travel a lot, but I get 3 day weekends.

Excellent health insurance (for now)
Excellent 401K match (100% of 6% vested immediately at start of employment)
12 Paid Holidays
25 Paid Vacation Days (new hires even start at 15 days paid vacation)
Company Share Plan

We are looking for people with HVAC controls experience in AL if interested.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:48:37 PM EDT
I'm been a manufacturing engineer for the last 17 years. I do everything from plant layouts, product flow streamlining, product design, maintenance program design, programming welding robots and other cnc equipment, and capitol equipment quoting and purchasing....in addition to a bunch of other stuff. I wear a lot of hats.

I think it pretty much varies job to job....that's the great thing about this field, you have a lot more options as far as what you can do.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:49:58 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By nickman54:
If you are in school and want to have a successful career, listen and learn first. I will gladly help a new guy if he's willing to accept help. There is nothing worse than a greenhorn that thinks his education trumps experience
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If you want to go into design I wish it was mandatory that they spend minimum 2 years in the field learning what they are designing before they do any design work. Can't apply that to all industries, but seems like the better design engineers were field guys first.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:51:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 9:52:34 PM EDT by uncle_big_green]
OK. I'm a little jaded/biased. Try the internship if it sounds in the least bit interesting. I like manufacturing and process engineering better.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:55:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By memsu:


If you want to go into design I wish it was mandatory that they spend minimum 2 years in the field learning what they are designing before they do any design work. Can't apply that to all industries, but seems like the better design engineers were field guys first.
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Originally Posted By memsu:
Originally Posted By nickman54:
If you are in school and want to have a successful career, listen and learn first. I will gladly help a new guy if he's willing to accept help. There is nothing worse than a greenhorn that thinks his education trumps experience


If you want to go into design I wish it was mandatory that they spend minimum 2 years in the field learning what they are designing before they do any design work. Can't apply that to all industries, but seems like the better design engineers were field guys first.


Yep
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:55:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 9:56:46 PM EDT by Artillary]
One good option would be an equipment sales position. Those guys make bank. All you have to do is count your money
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:57:31 PM EDT
I started off as a mechanic. I then moved to driving semi's. From there I became a service writer, diagnostics person, spreadsheet keeper, meeting attender all while still driving. I work for a very large company and I work with a lot of people that don't have the practical knowledge. I bring their "smart" ideas back down to earth as too why we can't do what they want all while providing them alternatives to what they want that will achieve the desired results. Today I helped remove a driveshaft from a semi and I updated a spreadsheet. That was it. Slow day at work. If you find the right company to work for you can move into jobs that you never knew existed or even dreamed where there.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 9:59:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By nickman54:
If you are in school and want to have a successful career, listen and learn first. I will gladly help a new guy if he's willing to accept help. There is nothing worse than a greenhorn that thinks his education trumps experience
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One of the things I try to impart to my students is that what they can learn from me in 14 weeks is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg of the people they'll work for in industry. The best students are the ones who realize that I'm trying to teach them how to learn, and that the real knowledge they'll be gaining will be well outside my classroom.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 10:04:17 PM EDT
Commercial and industrial hvac. I don't practice my engineering degree. I am a tech for a major mfg working on large tonnage chillers. I am not ready for that and I don't know if I will ever take that stressful role.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 10:06:39 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:


One of the things I try to impart to my students is that what they can learn from me in 14 weeks is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg of the people they'll work for in industry. The best students are the ones who realize that I'm trying to teach them how to learn, and that the real knowledge they'll be gaining will be well outside my classroom.
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Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
Originally Posted By nickman54:
If you are in school and want to have a successful career, listen and learn first. I will gladly help a new guy if he's willing to accept help. There is nothing worse than a greenhorn that thinks his education trumps experience


One of the things I try to impart to my students is that what they can learn from me in 14 weeks is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg of the people they'll work for in industry. The best students are the ones who realize that I'm trying to teach them how to learn, and that the real knowledge they'll be gaining will be well outside my classroom.


You are a good one!
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 10:12:45 PM EDT
Suffer through OP. It's painful, but the pain will end.

I couldn't calc my way out of a paper bag today if someone had a gun in my eye socket... I had up to Calc 4 or something- I remember zero of it. It would help to remember simple trig functions, some strength of materials, etc. Most any hard analysis you'll do will be on some type of FEA software platform. Just remember how to do some torque calcs, free body diagrams, etc - meh you'll be fine. The rest is on the interwebz.

I own my company now. I have a BSMET degree. MET is a little more hands on that ME, but all really the same shit. I do robotic system integration. Self taught how to program and run CNC machines ( I now have 3x of them), CNC plasma, waterjet, robots, etc.. I'd highly recommend you get some electrical background as well - learn PLC programming and understand how a relay works. You can go far with a good Electro-Mechanical background. There is a disconnect between EE and ME guys. If you can do both, you'll have an edge.
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