5 Essential Skills for Engineers

Approximately 10% of all graduate roles in Ireland are in the field of engineering, and the discipline often makes for an exciting and financially rewarding career path.

As a leading recruiter for engineering roles, we have recently witnessed a surge of demand in skills for engineers, as well as an uptake in those expressing a desire to join this wide and varied profession.

If you are considering pursuing a career as an engineer, or simply want to refresh or hone your soft skills, this article is for you.

We will be exploring some of the most essential skills that we believe every engineer should possess.


Skills for Engineers


The Importance of Engineering

Before we discuss those aforementioned skills, let us first briefly examine the critical role that engineers play in our society.

Essentially, engineers turn new ideas into reality. They positively contribute to society by ensuring that new products, services, and technologies function effectively and add value to our lives.

By employing mathematical and scientific principles, engineers can create solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

As we mentioned, engineering is incredibly diverse. However, each discipline is arguably as imperative as the last, be it civil, mechanical, electrical, or chemical.


5 Essential Skills for Engineers


1. Problem-Solving

Problem-solving can easily claim to be the essence of engineering.

An engineer is responsible for identifying potential issues and coming up with viable solutions for a wide range of situations, both big and small.

For instance, one of the biggest challenges that engineers across the world are working to help solve is climate change. They have a major role to play, already presenting new innovative ways to make our buildings more energy efficient or by powering the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

It is clear then that an engineer must be able to think on their feet and employ critical thinking principles. Each situation should also be approached with a strong era of creativity, ensuring that no stone is left unturned and every solution is explored.


2. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

As an engineer, you rely on many other people to help bring a vision to life. Hence, how you communicate and interact with those you are working with is vital.

An engineer will find themselves relying on these skills throughout a project’s entire lifecycle.

From the briefing stage where listening is essential to understanding the vision and goals of a project, throughout the project where clear and consistent dialogue can assure that deliverables are met, to the final handover and explaining project outcomes, issues encountered, and any other important information to the client.

While these skills contribute to success in any field, the often complex nature of engineering further emphasises their significance. With so many variables at play, any breakdown in communication could spell disaster for a project’s progress.


Skills for Engineers


3. Creativity and Innovation

We already touched on how creativity can inspire solutions to problems and overall, it is a very powerful skill for any engineer to have in their arsenal.

As an engineer, you will often need to look at things from different angles, and may routinely find that the best solution is not always the most obvious.

In general, creativity as a skill is also starting to gather more and more merit. 94% of hiring managers are reported to take it into consideration when choosing a candidate.

Innovation is borne out of creativity and without it our society would falter. The majority of the exciting new products and services, that improve our lives, exist courtesy of someone applying engineering principles in an innovative manner.


4. Strong Technical Knowledge

Engineering is, regardless of the discipline you pursue, a rather complicated profession.

There is a wealth of technical knowledge out there, and while you will never be expected to know everything, a good engineer will strive to stay up to date with the latest developments in their field.

Ensuring that you are always equipped with a high degree of technical knowledge will help you to perform your role with greater efficacy.

As engineering is always evolving, engineers must be willing to be lifelong learners or risk their discipline moving on without them.


5. Adaptability/Flexibility

Engineering is an ever-changing landscape.

Being able to quickly adapt to continuous technological advancements, e.g. the use of AI and machine learning, as well as the latest socioeconomic conditions is a hallmark of an excellent engineer.

You must also be prepared to be flexible. The larger the project, the more likely you are to encounter changes to project timelines and conditions, or to have issues arise.

Accounting for flexibility in your approach to an engineering project will help you to mitigate risks, navigate any challenges, or take advantage of previously unforeseen opportunities.



Our Current Engineering Vacancies

AA Euro Group is a specialist recruitment consultancy with a vast European reach.

This provides us with a unique advantage in the recruitment sector and is a large reason why we are entrusted with recruiting for engineering roles across Ireland and Europe.

Check out the rest of our vacancies here.


We hope that you enjoyed this article on the 5 Essential Skills for Engineers in 2022, check out our news section for more recruitment insights.

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