What Are the Cons of Being an Engineer?

What are the disadvantages of being an engineer?
It's a very competitive field
Once you get into a niche and are known as an expert on what you do (if you freelance), or once you have a really steady and good paying job as an engineer, you're going to do just fine with your career. Breaking in, however, may be another story and it will be essential to have a great engineering resume. It's very competitive as a field, and lots of people are vying for top positions or decently paying freelance work. Therefore, if you're just going to school now, or you're girding up for a job search, be prepared to put in some time before you actually settle in to a good, solid job.

You have to stay on the cusp of new knowledge constantly
This is a pro or con, depending on how you look at it, but because there's so much information coming in all the time and because you are ALWAYS going to be needing to update your knowledge, sometimes in what may seem like unrealistic circumstances, it's also a job stressor. Engineering technologies are moving very, very fast, and it can be hard to keep up so that you stay current at all times. As the saying goes, "There's too much to learn in too little time." That's true of engineering in spades.

On the other hand, if you absorb new information VERY fast, and like to be constantly inundated with new information, this may be a plus for you.

Be prepared to work a lot of overtime
Once you found employment, be prepared to work a lot of overtime, usually with no extra pay beyond your salary, or no "bonus" pay beyond the normal rates you charge as a freelancer. Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but be prepared to put in 60, 70, and more hours a week once you become successful in this career. It's rewarding, it's challenging, and it's exhausting -- AND can be enjoyable, too, if it's right for you.


Gail Esparan