What are the qualities of an engineer?
If you want to be an engineer, act like one!
When I was a new teacher first starting out, I had dreams of becoming a professor one day (which I am now!). In talking with my mentor teacher one day, she told me. “If you want to be a professor, act like a professor….and dress like one too.”
At first I didn’t quite get what she was saying. I thought to myself “Yeah, sure, I will just walk around acting smart all the time!”
your thoughts determine your actions, which determine the direction of your life
But I kept thinking about her words, and it started to sink in. To be a professor, I needed to first be one in my mind. I needed to know everything about being a professor – what they do, how they talk, what they read, what they wear – in order to become one. While it seemed simple at first, what my mentor was really telling me is that your thoughts determine your actions, which determine the direction of your life. I realized that I first needed to develop the qualities of a professor, and from there would be on the path to my dream career.
And the same is true for you!
If you dream of being an engineer, you must first become one in your mind. The first step is knowing the qualities of an engineer, so you can start to model these same qualities in your own life. Here are the characteristics of successful engineers:
Focus: Focus and attention to details are essential to get the job done accurately, safely, and on time.
Problem-solver: Engineers are excellent problem solvers, and are able to see the potential solution to seemingly impossible tasks, and then work hard to figure out how to get there.
STEM skill: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills are what fuel the complex mind of engineers.
Curious: Curiosity is the key ingredient to coming up with innovative ideas and developing extraordinary products and infrastructures. Engineers constantly want to know how things work, and how they can make them better.
Communication skills: Engineers need strong communication skills to work with clients, team members, and supervisors effectively and efficiently.
Team player: Cooperation is the key to a well-planned project. Engineers frequently work in diverse teams to collaborate, share ideas, and work together to make the project the best it can be.
Practical and resourceful: When issues arise, an engineer must be able to think quickly and use what they have to solve the problem. Engineers are able to think out of the box and apply their knowledge in practical and resourceful ways.
Ethical: Engineers frequently work to solve problems for people. Thus it is essential for engineers to always follow the rules and complete work in an ethical manner, keeping everyone safe and happy.
If you want to be an engineer, start acting like one! Working hard to develop these qualities in your life will ensure that you are well-prepared and ready to take on the challenges of your future engineering career!
Educators – click here to get the Qualities of Engineers poster for your classroom!