• Question: How long do you have to be an engineer to be considered a master in your field? (Taking into account that you are an AVERAGE engineer in terms of skill and capability of course)

    Asked by samandgeorge to Ed, Keith, Tish, Nicola on 21 Mar 2013.
    • Photo: Edward Taylor

      Edward Taylor answered on 21 Mar 2013:

      I would say there are two ways in which you can go about becoming a master in your field.

      You can stay in University after you get your 4 year masters degree and do research work which would go towards your PHD. This takes 2/3 years, and you come out as a doctor of engineering (p.s. doctor doesn’t have to mean a medical doctor!). You can then stay on even longer at University and after maybe 4/5 more years of teaching lectures and research, you become a Professor of a particular field (which I would call a master of that field!) So thats about 10/12 years in all.

      OR – You can come out of University after your 4 year Masters degree and start working in companies. There are large engineering organisations like the “Institute of Mechanical Engineering” that then give you titles depending on your experience. After around 4 years of working in industry you can become a Chartered Engineer (which basically means you have proven that you are good at it!) and then if you stay in engineering and become even better at it you can become a “Fellow” of your engineering institution (which I would also call a master of their field!). That can take a while though, so with the Degree, maybe a total of around 14-20 years depending on what you’ve done in your career and how good an engineer you are!

    • Photo: Nicola Lazenby

      Nicola Lazenby answered on 21 Mar 2013:

      As Ed has mentioned……..You can do it via 2 routes…. I’m currently doing it through the first route he mentioned! Hopefully by the end of 2015 I’ll be Dr. Lazenby!!! Although that doesn’t give me the knowledge to tell you if you have a broken arm or anything! It just means I know ALOT about 1 specific area! I’d love to become a professor!

      If I’d have left uni after my first degree I’d have gone on to sit exams with the institute of civil engineering, they’re like the exam board for you GCSE papers but just for civil engineering. After you’ve passed those exams and shown that you are clever enough you get lots more responsibilies and the more experience you get and the more well known your work is, you become an expert in your field.

      It can be a very long process to be considered a master in your field, but it doesn’t take that long to be pretty good at what you do 🙂