Think Outside the Box: 7 Types of Engineering Careers You Might Not Have Considered

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jan 28, 2019

Jan 28, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

We've seen a steady growth of the number of students pursuing engineering degrees since 2007. While most of those people are studying computer or electrical engineering (which makes sense looking at the growth of computing and technology in the modern world), you don't have to get stuck in the same old jobs that most engineers end up in.

Do you want to get into the field of engineering without having to take more typical jobs in civil engineering or scientific research fields?

Don't worry! The types of engineering careers out there are seemingly endless.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn about 7 careers for engineers that are outside of the box.

1. Entertainment Engineer

Imagine your favorite action film. It needed props made, huge stages constructed, fresh new structures, etc. Who do you think makes and designs all of those things?

Engineers, that's who. Entertainment engineers are people who design, test and create structural systems for television shows, stage productions, blockbuster films, and more.

Think of Cirque du Soleil, for example. These amazing acrobat shows require huge and complex moving structures that function in an accurate and precise way in order to put on the best show while also maintaining the safety of the performers. You could be the one to design those things as an entertainment engineer.

2. Food Engineer

Food engineers are in charge of the production, creation, and distribution of food. This means you'll be combining food science with chemistry, biology, and engineering.

You'll create new foods, discover how to properly process foods, and design proper and efficient production methods of those foods.

Talk about a dream job, right? This field is an amazing fit for those who love food (well, that's obvious), who dreams of creating new and exciting food products, and who have a passion for efficiency and safety protocols.

3. Rollercoaster Designer

Did you ever play Rollercoaster Tycoon as a child? Turn that childhood hobby into a reality by becoming a rollercoaster designer.

Most rollercoaster designers are either mechanical or electrical engineers, although there is overlap between those disciplines and civil and structural engineering as well.

Rollercoasters have to have specific safety guidelines, G-force limits, and particular structures built-in. Engineers are in charge of designing and building these theme-park rides with particular shapes, structures, car shapes/weights, and materials to ensure that the ride is safe, smooth, and, perhaps most importantly, fun.

4. Technical Writing Careers

If you have a passion for writing along with engineering, a job as a technical writer could be for you. 

Technical writers are responsible for writing:

  • Instruction manuals
  • Product descriptions
  • Machine protocols
  • Etc.

These writers need to have a deep and thorough understanding of the industry and product they're describing, which is why engineers make excellent technical writers.

This is also a great career option for those looking for flexibility. While you can be hired for a full-time position at a business or company, many technical writers work on a freelance basis.

They'll take contracts or particular assignments with various companies, businesses, and industries in order to work on a wide variety of projects with their writing skills.

5. Make Video Games

If you love playing video games, or even if you just want an engineering career that's a bit more creative, then you can look into video game creation and design.

Gaming companies need engineers for the construction of new consoles along with the design and testing of new video games. You could have a degree in electrical machinery, or computer engineering to break into this fun and creative industry.

6. Sports Engineer

From designing golf courses to developing skateparks to building water slides to analyzing the top quarterback's perfect spiral, sports engineers have a number of applications. Creating the perfect bowl for skateboarding or a golf course with the perfect level of difficulty for the pros requires an engineer's eye.

You can also combine this career path with creating video games: how do you think they got the physics in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to look so good? Or in the new NBA 2K18 game? That's all engineering work.

7. Teach Engineering

Someone has to teach the next generation of engineers! You can read more here about the topic, but to put it simply: many of our current engineers are in older generations.

While people entering the field of engineering is growing, we need more young people to enter these industries and take the place of older generations who are retiring.

Let your voice and expertise mold young minds and spark engineering inspiration. You could run engineering based summer camps for young children to introduce engineering to them at a young age.

Or, you could teach at the college level to push students to get their degree and enter one of the exciting careers in engineering we talked about here!

7 Types of Engineering Careers to Consider: Final Thoughts

Engineering doesn't have to be the classic jobs creating microchips or building bridges (although, those things are pretty cool). The 7 types of engineering careers we've gone over here give you an idea of just how many types of engineering jobs are out there!

From food to classrooms, engineering is applicable to a wide number of settings.

Maybe we've convinced you that engineering is the right field for you. Or, maybe you're still on the fence as to whether you've made the right career choice by entering the engineering industry.

If the latter sounds like you, read our article on how to tell whether becoming an engineer is right for you.