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Heating Engineer


Description

Can you imagine a time when there were no other methods of heating a house than by a fire? Wintertime would definitely get cold without electric, oil, gas and other types of heaters. We generally take for granted having the luxury of heating systems, however without the work and expertise of heating engineers, we would have to bundle up in layers in order to prevent freezing to death. Heating engineers research, design, evaluate, install, operate and maintain heating products, equipment, systems and processes. Without them, our world would have no power generated heating systems.

Most heating engineers start their careers as mechanical engineers and only specialize in heating once they become established. All heating engineers perform similar duties in one of three general areas: research, design or testing. Researchers formulate theories using mathematical and scientific projections and determining whether or not a plan will work. Designers take research products and put them into practice, trying to manufacture them. Testers literally test the products for safety and quality before they hit the marketplace. In smaller, independent engineering firms, heating engineers may do all three of these tasks.

Heating engineers meet with manufacturers, lawyers and clients and make sure that design plans are safe and will withstand a number of conditional variables. Safety is one of the most important issues that heating engineers must contend with, especially when it comes to designing for nuclear plants and other high-risk places. They create innovative engineering plans on computers which test and predict possible errors and problems with a mechanism and in this, they generate workable solutions. Although most work takes place on the computer, many mechanical engineers travel to factories or plants to see their work in progress.

Heating engineers use traditional and high-tech tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) systems to create realistic geometric models of objects which can simulate and analyze the effects and potential problems of designs such as machine malfunction and breakdown. CAD models are eliminating the need for hand drawn models. They research and evaluate each project to find the most cost-effective solutions to problems while still maintaining recognized standards. They are required to constantly update their skills and knowledge in order to keep up with technological advancements in this quickly changing field.
 
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Program Spotlight
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Villanova University - College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at Villanova University offers flexible, part-time, online and on campus graduate program options to meet your demanding schedule.

Programs Offered:
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$44,780
 
Median Salary:
$68,180
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$100,980

  Interests and Skills  
Heating engineers should have a natural affinity for mechanics, mathematics and electronics. Since imprecise calculations could cause major disasters and expensive mistakes, they must be one hundred percent accurate in their calculations. Their jobs are extremely technical therefore they should be organized and methodical in their working habits. They must be good problem solvers and be able to come up with innovative and creative solutions to potential problems and design work.

Heating engineers must possess good design and drawing skills and even have some financial skills. They must also have strong communication skills. Heating engineers constantly deal with people from both sides of the professional spectrum therefore they must be able to communicate ideas and give orders in a clear, concise fashion.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Research, design and develop machinery and systems for heating and ventilation
  • Prepare material, cost and timing estimates, reports and design specifications for machinery and systems
  • Prepare plans and drawings of machines or machine parts
  • Study the energy, environmental and safety aspects of the planned work
  • Supervise and inspect the installation, modification and commissioning of heating systems at construction sites or in industrial facilities
  • Investigate mechanical failures or unexpected maintenance problems
  • Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates
  • Work closely with civil, electrical, aerospace, chemical, industrial and other engineers
  • Work with professionals from other occupational fields, gaining knowledge and skills
  • The typical workday for a heating engineer will vary depending on the project they are working on. An average workweek will run anywhere between 40 and 55 hours, yet longer hours may be required when deadlines must be met and due to other emergency circumstances (for example if a machine breaks down). Most heating engineers work in large manufacturing companies or for engineering firms. They do spend a great deal of time in an office behind a desk using a computer, yet also travel to factories and plants and conduct outdoor fieldwork at various sites.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Heating engineers work in many different spectrums for both the public and private sector. Some work for engineering consulting firms, power generating utilities and a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries, government agencies and universities and colleges. Many heating engineers are self-employed.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Heating engineers can advance to supervisory and senior management positions within their companies. Some may decide to open up their own consulting businesses or engineering companies. Many engineering experts say that heating engineers could work as salespeople and repair people in mechanical companies since they already have strong technical backgrounds. Those with master's and PhDs in mechanical engineering can always teach at the university or college level and share their experience and knowledge with students.
 

  Educational Paths  
While still in high school, if this is the career path you are interested in taking, make sure you take courses in mathematics and physics. Most university programs will require these subject areas as prerequisites.

Heating engineers require a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related heating engineering field. Then, they must also become registered as a professional engineer (PEng) within an association of professional engineers to secure employment and practice in their field. Some engineers also get master's degrees in their specific area to broaden their employment choices and opportunities.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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If you’re seeking to elevate your technical expertise and take on leadership roles in today’s global workplace, the UC Riverside online Master of Science in Engineering can deliver the highly calibrated balance of scientific and business knowledge to help you reach your goals.

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About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

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