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Roller Coaster Engineer

Average Salary

a salary range of $45,000 to $80,000 per year. the average mechanical engineer earned between $50,550 and $119,480, with a median salary of $74,920. Overall job growth is expected at a rate of 6 percent annually.



Required Experience:

Mechanical engineers must display a knowledge of multiple engineering disciplines, which is why roller coaster engineers are usually mechanical engineers.


Education:

Engineers must have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, but some go on to earn advanced degrees. Most prefer to earn additional responsibility through workplace experience.




The Work Environment

Mechanical engineers who design roller coasters spend a mix of time in the office, the lab and the job site. The engineer who designs the coaster must spend time on the computer to analyze the safety and performance of it, in addition to identifying parts specifications and energy usage, among other problems. The engineer must supervise the construction of the roller coaster model to get funding for it. After the design is approved, the engineer must supervise its construction on the job site to ensure that it's being built to plan specifications.




Additional Information

The mechanics of roller coaster design must also take into consideration the cost of building the machine. The roller coaster engineer must be able modify the design or materials used in the design to meet park specifications, including cost. In addition, the engineer must consider the ride's safety as the top priority. Failing to consider this aspect could open up the engineer to liability issues in the event the coaster harms its passengers. As a result, the coaster must undergo rigorous testing before it's open for business.


Civil Engineer

The work:

You could work in any one of the following specialist areas of engineering:

  • structural – dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines
  • transportation – roads, railways, canals and airports
  • environmental – water supply networks, drainage and flood barriers
  • maritime – ports, harbours and sea defences
  • geotechnical – mining, earthworks and construction foundations.


Your regular tasks could include:

  • discussing requirements with the client and colleagues
  • analysing data from surveys, mapping and materials-testing using computer modelling software
  • creating blueprints using computer aided design (CAD)
  • judging whether projects are feasible by assessing materials, costs, time and labour requirements
  • assessing the environmental impact and risks connected to projects
  • preparing bids for tenders, and reporting to clients, public agencies and planning organisations
  • managing, directing and monitoring progress during each stage of a project
  • making sure that sites meet legal guidelines, and health and safety requirements.

You would normally work on projects alongside other professionals, such as architects, surveyors and building contractors.



Hours:

You would normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may also have to provide out-of-hours cover to deal with any problems.

Your time would be split between an office and the project site. Site work would be in all weathers and may involve a lot of travel. Depending on the contract, you may sometimes need to travel overseas.




Hours:

You would normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may also have to provide out-of-hours cover to deal with any problems.

Your time would be split between an office and the project site. Site work would be in all weathers and may involve a lot of travel. Depending on the contract, you may sometimes need to travel overseas.


Income:

Graduate salaries are between £17,000 and £25,000 a year. Experienced engineers earn between £25,000 and £40,000 a year, and senior Chartered Engineers can earn between £60,000 and £100,000 a year.


Entry requirements

You would normally need to gain a three-year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree or four-year Masters (MEng) degree in civil engineering for this career. These qualifications are important if you want to work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status. See the Training and Development section below for details. You could study other engineering-related subjects, but it may take you longer to fully qualify.

To do a degree course, you will need at least five GCSEs (A-C) and two or three A levels, including maths and a science subject (normally physics), or equivalent qualifications. Check exact entry requirements with individual colleges and universities, as they may accept a relevant Access to Higher Education award.

If you already work in the industry as a technician, you could qualify as a civil engineer by studying part-time for a BTEC HNC/HND, foundation degree or degree in civil engineering.

  • Training and development

    You would usually start as a civil engineer on a company's graduate training scheme. You would train under the supervision of a mentor, developing your technical knowledge and business skills. Training schemes can last between one and two years.

    You could help your career development by working towards incorporated or chartered status. To do this, you will need to join a professional industry body, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers, and meet a number of requirements.


    As an incorporated engineer, you would specialise in the day-to-day management of engineering operations. At chartered level, you would have a more strategic role. This includes planning, researching and developing new ideas, and making management systems more efficient.


    Skills and knowledge

    To become a civil engineer, you will need to have:

    • excellent maths, science, and IT skills
    • the ability to explain design ideas and plans clearly
    • the ability to analyse large amounts of data, and assess solutions
    • a confident decision-making ability
    • excellent communication skills
    • project management skills
    • the ability to work within budgets and to deadlines
    • good teamwork skills
    • full knowledge of relevant legal regulations.