Have you ever wondered the ins and outs of how things like machines work, your mind activated like gears in heavy rotation? Are you a commuter who travels in a state-of-the-art public transport line and thought about all of the small details that bring a city together in motion? These are some of the thoughts of an aspiring engineer. Engineering is a practical and rewarding industry, but what many people don’t realise is just how diverse the field of engineering is. There are many different specialisations that engineers can take, and the possibilities in each discipline are endless.
So how exactly do you start out as an engineer if you’re a recent graduate or currently studying? One way to get a taste of what the multifaceted engineering industry can offer you is through an internship placement, where you can see for yourself what position aligns with your strengths and interests. Let’s break down some of the most common, yet different types of internships in engineering available on offer for you, and what their prospects are in terms of everyday tasks and their various responsibilities.
1. Chemical Engineering
Were you a whiz in your science classes, and know the periodic table like the back of your hand? It looks like you might be on track to become a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers often work in labs, designing and formulating new products. Chemical engineering internships will get you to put all of the ideas you learned in chemistry class and apply it in real life experiments and situations. You could be in a team that comes up with the latest formulation of environmentally friendly pesticides, or creating the latest pharmaceutical drug on the market.
2. Civil Engineering
Are you passionate about ensuring that everyone has a safe and time-effective commute? Do you like imagining how the city skyline will change and evolve over time to fit the growing population? The high quality of infrastructure we use in our daily lives in Australia is the result of qualified and trained civil engineers who might have started their careers in an intern position, just like you. Civil engineers are the backbone of any functioning metropolis, working closely with town planners to keep the area operating smoothly. A civil engineering internship is highly practical, and you’ll get to wear your high-vis and hard hat on the job site, just like the professionals do!
3. Environmental Engineering
There has never been a better time in our lives to prioritise environmental matters than the present moment. With the social dialogue centring on tackling the effects of climate change, as well as the necessity for consulting with environmental needs before starting any building site, there are many dedicated environmental engineers working diligently to come up with solutions that both protect and utilise our natural world. Processes involving water, waste, and mining fall under the responsibility of an environmental engineer. Professionals in this field will often consult with civil and chemical engineers on how best to work with the environment instead of harming it. Engineering internships provide opportunities for you to gain experience with applying the principles of everything ecological in a day-to-day role. One day you could be testing soil on an up and coming building site, or creating more effective waste management systems.
4. Mechanical Engineering
Do you love working with machinery, or building things? Consider applying for an internship program that specialises in mechanical engineering. An example of mechanical engineering in action right now is the robotics field, where the designs of engineers enable people to live their lives more seamlessly and conveniently. Mechanical engineering has countless opportunities to collaborate across fields in coordinated efforts. This role is for someone who has imagination to match the technical knowhow!
5. Electrical Engineering
Aspiring sparkies look no further for this in-demand role in the engineering industry! Electrical engineers are trained professionals who work on developing and maintaining electrical performance across different contexts. From the more detailed circuits in gadgets and devices to larger-scale electrical operations such as powerlines, electrical engineers power the cities we live in no matter how big or small. Engineering internships can give you the experience of working amongst the electrical sphere, and this hands-on experience is indispensable for engineers early in their career.
If the field of engineering interests you, but you’re not really sure about the details of how to get started in a professional setting right after your degree, you can be sure to find your place in a role that suits your interests and passions during an internship. The benefit of doing an internship placement is that you can gain first-hand knowledge and skills that prepare you for the rest of your career through a structured and scaffolded program. Engineering is a collaborative industry, with each specialisation working in close consultation with each other in order to fully realise projects. Practical, and hands-on, an internship experience is the best way to enter into the industry. Click here to see what internships in engineering are available in your city through Premium Graduate Placements.