What is Engineering and What Do Engineers Do?

Publish on February 23, 2024
STEM Education
Engineers at work

Engineering is more than just a job—it’s an exciting world where creativity meets problem-solving through math and science! Engineers design and build everything from bridges and buildings to cutting-edge technology, making a real impact on our daily lives. As one of the key STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), engineering offers endless opportunities to innovate and create.

If your child loves building and designing, they might have the makings of a future engineer. Encouraging their interests today could pave the way for an exciting and rewarding career tomorrow! Engineering for Kids workshops, after-school activities, and camps can help your child cultivate a love of engineering and hone their skills.

In this blog, we’ll explore the question, “what is engineering?”

Engineers Working

What is Engineering?

Engineers love to figure out how things work and use their knowledge in practical ways; therefore, at their core, engineers are innovative problem solvers. While scientists and inventors create things, it’s the engineer that figures out how the creation can be used to solve real-world complications. This can include building electronics, planning buildings or bridges, or even creating robots or spaceships to further human ingenuity.

Engineering has brought us some of the world’s most incredible creations, from the majestic pyramids and the iconic Eiffel Tower to the ingenious Roman aqueducts and ancient road systems. Engineers apply math and science to solve problems and overcome challenges, answering the question, “What is an engineer?” in spectacular ways.

What’s even more exciting is the variety within the field of engineering. Whether your child’s interests lie in exploring space, designing cutting-edge electronics, or shaping the cities of the future, there’s a place for them in engineering. No matter what sparks their curiosity, there’s an engineering path waiting for them to discover!

What Do Engineers Do?

Engineers come with a wide range of interests, talents, and strengths. Some excel at planning and designing cities or structures, while others are passionate about technology, working on robots, or spacecraft. When it comes to answering the question, “What does an engineer do?” the possibilities are endless!

If you love to problem-solve, there’s a place for you in the world of engineering, no matter where your kid’s passions lie.

Different types of engineers

Types of Engineers

In the world of engineering, there are many different types of work. Where your child applies their skills depends on their interests and talents. Here are the most common types of engineers:

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are those who help solve problems with infrastructure. That includes roads, bridges, tunnels, water or sewer systems, etc. They often work with cities, towns, or governments on projects.

Chemical Engineer

Solving challenges that involve food, medication, or chemicals is the role of a chemical engineer. They have a good understanding of various sciences like biology, chemistry, and physics. Chemical engineers apply their knowledge to make products safer and more effective. They often work in labs or offices.

Mechanical Engineer

The main role of a mechanical engineer is to design machines. This can include every type of machine from household appliances to jets. A mechanical engineer uses their abilities to solve problems for people and companies, from making life more comfortable to creating more environmentally friendly machines.

Mechanical Engineer

Electrical Engineer

Engineers that work with electrical components like computers and motors fall into the category of electrical engineers. Many industries hire electrical engineers from research facilities to manufacturing plants.

Agricultural Engineer

Food production has become a major industry and engineers also work in this area. Their role is to solve problems with regard to agriculture, which can include plants, animals, and machinery. For example, they can design farm equipment that makes harvesting more efficient.

Aerospace Engineer

For those who are excited about flight or space exploration, aerospace engineering would be an ideal fit. An aerospace engineer designs different parts of aircraft and spaceships. This can include every small component that is essential to making the machine work.

Biomedical Engineer

Making life better for patients and healthcare workers is the goal of a biomedical engineer. They use science and math to solve problems in healthcare. Some examples include pacemakers, artificial limbs, and surgical robots.

Nuclear Engineer

Engineers that develop and design safe ways to work with nuclear equipment are called nuclear engineers. Some of their tasks can include writing instructional materials for nuclear power plants or creating medical imaging devices for use in healthcare. They can also be called upon in emergencies such as a nuclear power plant shutdown.

Nuclear Engineer

Skills for Engineers

Anyone with an interest in becoming an engineer will be successful. At Engineering For Kids, our programs are designed to help kids explore engineering and other STEM subjects. As we consider ‘what is an engineer?’, it’s good to know what skills make this career choice a good fit.


Engineers have a natural wonder about the world around them and how things work. If you love to figure things out and see what makes them tick, engineering could be the right career for you.


Those who like to think outside the box or come up with new uses for things could excel with an engineering career.


In engineering, small things can make a big impact. If even one component is missing or not working properly, it can hinder the entire project. As an engineer, being detail-oriented and attentive to every aspect is crucial for success.


Does your child love puzzles? Are problems only opportunities to discover new solutions? At the heart of it, engineers are problem-solvers. They enjoy the challenge of wrestling with an issue until they can fix it.


It can take time to figure out a solution to a problem. Engineers need to have patience and persistence to stick with a project and not give up too easily.


As with most careers, communication is a big part of what engineers need to do. It’s one thing to have an idea for a solution, it’s another to be able to express your child’s idea to others. With engineering, they can share your plans either verbally or in writing. It’s about helping others understand what the project goal is.

Skills for Engineers

To become an engineer, your child need a lot of training. Most engineers have a Bachelor’s degree, and specializing in an area by taking extra courses or gaining hands-on experience on the job is important. This allows your child to focus on the aspects of engineering you’re most passionate about!

If you think your child is interested in a career in engineering, support and inspire them with the activities at Engineering For Kids! Engineering For Kids has a variety of locations so you’ll be able to find the engineering programs closest to you.


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