Chemical Engineer – Expectations Vs. Reality
Chemical Engineer – Expectations Vs. Reality
Engineering is one of the topmost professions in which reality for those on the inside is very different than for those on the outside looking in. Judging from without, it looks like an engineer’s work is all action, creativity and fun akin to a child playing with Lego.
For the aspiring chemical engineer, these notions are soon shattered by the reality of what on-field engineering is like. Here are some of the common expectations that meet their end early for most chemical engineers.
Being set for life
Engineering is regarded as a prestigious and well-paying line of work by the society alongside other old professions such as law and medicine. This view of engineering is so ingrained such that many getting into the sector think that once they finish school and get a job, they will be set of life and everything will be smooth sailing.
The reality is very different, and even though trained engineers tread a smoother course in making something of themselves, the engineering path is not as obstacle free as the majority of people imagine it to be.
The work-life balance
Chemical engineers do not entirely comprehend and appreciate the unpredictable nature of the job. Consequently, they are surprised to find themselves working during their free time on many occasions. There are many reasons for this: designs may fail, chemical systems may encounter hiccups, projects may run behind schedule and given that a lot of money may be on the line for the involved companies, finding solutions takes priority and personal time is easily compromised.
Chemical engineering is not all fun and action as many getting into the sector believe. Portrayals of chemical engineers foster the belief that the job is all about playing around with chemicals and in the process discovering ingenious ways of producing, improving and utilizing anything chemical related from drugs and fuel to food.
The long hours and the hard work necessary to become successful in the industry are hardly ever highlighted. In actual sense, chemical engineering involves less action and more brainstorming, computer work, and paperwork than anticipated, especially for newcomers.
Involvement in massive projects
Fresh chemical engineers see themselves changing the world. They look forward to the opportunity to contribute something worthwhile to the community, and while this is what engineering is all about, the reality is not that straightforward.
To get to the point of having a big enough say to get the permission to pursue ambitious projects that define frontiers takes a lot of time. It is a privilege most chemical engineers do not get until they have been on the job for years. This truth can be hard to take as fresh engineers find themselves working on seemingly inconsequential projects that they seem overtrained for.
The career upheaval
Some engineers imagine that they will get a good job, in a good company, in a good city and settle down in a leafy nearby and start a family and enjoy the American dream. While this is often the case, the aspect of consistency is usually overlooked.
In reality, it is very easy for a chemical engineer’s life to change geographically at a moment’s notice based on what the superiors decide is the best cause of action for a company. This is particularly true for those who get a job with multinationals.
The safety standards in the majority of chemical engineering work sites are top-notch, but the probability of things catastrophically going wrong are always very real. This brings about a big burden of responsibility for a chemical engineer, and it is something most do not anticipate.
All of sudden, one is hit with the reality that a missed detail or an overlooked aspect can lead to a lot of damage, injury and in extreme cases, even death for oneself and others depending on how delicate an undertaking is.
Chemical engineers, before getting the job, presume that they will have a long leash to exercise their creativity to find spectacular solutions to chemical problems. Once they get the job, the bureaucracy involved and the continuous oversight takes many chemical engineers by surprise, and it gets worse if one gets a boss who believes in micromanagement.
Finding a job
Despite the ever high demand for chemical engineers, fresh graduates are increasingly finding it hard to get a good job. While most expect to spend some time looking for work, the actual time and effort it takes to find employment comes as a surprise particularly in the absence of luck. Patience and a willingness to start from the bottom, then, become necessary.
Just because the society regards an engineering career as illustrious does not mean that achieving success in the sector is effortless. There are several cases of persons who have quit the profession early on after getting disappointed thanks to unmet expectations. To fare better, it is good to know exactly what to expect. To discover more engineering expectation vs. reality insights on other niches, explore bitgale.com.