Engineers, what is a typical day for you?

  • #1
As someone who enjoys Design, Computer Programming, Chemistry and Physics, the archetypical path prescribed to me by career tests, guidance counsellors and parents is that I should become an engineer.

However as final year looms near, I realize that I really have no idea what any engineer does, how one differentiates from a technician or even the duties of different strands of engineering. I just know that it has something to do with physics and chemistry, most of the time.

So all engineers of all disciplines, I would like to ask you,

1. What really, do you do? What is the end result of your job? Is this typical of engineers of your stream?
2. How hands-on is your job? Do you draw up blueprints and hand them off to people? Do you design an algorithm and have your team polish up the rest? Are you on the front line testing, designing and building your product?
3. What is a typical day in your job?
4. How much creative freedom do you have? Do you just implement whatever your superiors hand off to you or do you work with a team to design the solution?
5. What is a little known fact about your profession?
6. What are your duties?

Answers and Replies

  • #3
Gold Member
I am in a position where i rotate my job every year (for my first 4 years with the company). I am currently a power electronics engineer (formerly firmware enigneer)

1. I get to work and sift through emails for 30 minutes. Then I go to the production engineer and help him troubleshoot board failures for about 2 hours. This involves running automated tests and manually probing boards. Sometimes the fix is a bad solder joint, other times i'll find that the same part is failing many times. in that case, i go to the schematic, look at the part, and make recommended changes. The second half of my day is spent fixing common field failures so we can make a more reliable product. I take our setups, run them in the lab, measure voltages, look at schematics, call vendors, pour salt water on boards while they are running, etc. after i find the root cause of a problem, i determine a solution, ask a planner to get whatever parts i need (takes a day or two), then implement the fix, and run tests on it. if the tests pass, we'll throw it on a unit in the field for a few weeks to see if it works. if it does a production engineer implements the change on all of the units.

ohh, i forgot to mention a lot of status meetings

2. very hands on atm, my former rotation, about 50/50

4. i had creative freedom early in my first rotation (when we are laying out the design for the system).

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