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Thread: Daily work life of an engineer

  1. #1
    Member
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    Daily work life of an engineer

    I am currently looking to go back to school. I have a strong interest in Engineering and was wondering if anyone could give me a true discription of a typical day for a Civil, Agricultural, and/or Construction. If anyone could shed some light on any of these divisions of engineering I'd appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Typical day for a civil guy...

    grade lots, make poop go downhill in a pipe, make a big hole in the ground hold just enough rain water so the neighbors dont get pissed.

    You wont learn to do any of these neat trick in school.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Recovering Civil Engineer

    Good answer Jeff!

    If you are an outgoing and enthusiastic person - engineering is pretty dull. I am moving away from the profession after nearly 9 years for this reason. I spent the majority of my day plunked in front of the computer. I rarely went into the field and only the most experienced (translated oldest) engineers got face time with clients.

    I worked for 3 private firms who worked with government contracts - all the same atmosphere - if you were talking then you were not producing.

    Now if you are a loner and do not like to move then it is the profession for YOU!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Dec 1998
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    NOLA
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    Ditto to everything Jeff said. I'm not an engineer, but I've worked in engineering firms for the past 5 years. Just based on my observations, the real work like design and such is done by the designers and draftsmen. The engineers just make adjustments here and there. They reuse old specs, designs, etc. I've yet to see any real innovative engineering done. Not to say it doesn't happen....just not where I've been.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  5. #5
    Well, working for "uncle sam" in a small city (27k), engineers are typically put in charge of people. Very few do strictly design, as we are multi-talented. I directly supervise 12. The road crew, the signal electricians, the sign makers and the pavement striper. I plan and estimate most road work to be done, design (a little), answer the public regarding our leaf pickup and snow plow operations. I get to review site plans for parking regs and driveway radii. I do traffic counts and studies (as needed). I get to set up timing plans at signalized intersections. I also get to prepare a little over $1M budget annually and spec items for purchase. Sometimes I get to inspect projects and aid our surveyor to ensure we "have everything". Of course that is the duties of the traffic engineer here. We used to have a sanitary engineer too (larger cities have them).
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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