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Engineering Engineering or teaching? Questions for both professions!

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    I've recently posted here on PF about engineering and resolved my issue. I've also been recently trying to truly ignite my passion for what I want to do for the rest of my life.

    At the moment, I'm on track to pursue a degree in Engineering (civil or mechanical, from what I hear the Statics class I will be taking next semester will help me decide) which has always been my base attack plan for college.

    However, after coming into college, tutoring friends and young minds to help them better understand math and science, the joy of teaching and helping others has really sparked my interest. My dad is a teacher, my sister is a teacher, my aunt and two of my cousins are teachers (one of which teaches at Uni. of Memphis/biochemistry).

    Teaching would be an easy transition for me because it seems to run in my family. However, from what I hear from my teaching family members, teacher salaries are not the best and stress can be high. If I were to teach, I would major in physics with a teaching concentration and hopefully go get my masters in physics as well to help obtain an higher salary in teaching as well as cure my thirst for curiosity that is discovering the universe around us.

    I feel as though engineering would be the safer route for job security and I would have a more likely chance of being able to relocate out of my hometown to start a life elsewhere (I'm in that "I just want to get out of here" phase).

    So question is... do any engineers and/or physics teachers have any say on the matter? Do you truly love what you do? Any responses or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2012 #2


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    Hey skwissgaar and welcome to the forums.

    Just to clarify for teaching is it strictly university/college or does it include high school?
  4. Apr 23, 2012 #3


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    FWIW I know several engineers in the UK who went into teaching after graduation and later changed to a career in industry, and one who made the transition the other way (taking some time out to get the necessary teaching qualifications). Some of them have made good use of the skills learned in teaching for creating and delivering traning courses (both internally and to customers), mentoring new engineers, etc.

    So it's not necessarily an "either/or" choice, though changing direction in mid-career is probably not the best way to get rich. (But nobody who was motivated only by money would be likely to choose teaching as a career anyway).
  5. Apr 23, 2012 #4
    I would prefer to teach high school, and maybe at a CC with a masters degree somewhere down the line too.
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