Why do we need so many engineers

Learn a commercial profession and then study

What do we do?

With their work, civil engineers significantly shape our world. You are responsible for the stability and functionality of a large number of buildings and our infrastructures. Their tasks include buildings of all kinds such as residential and commercial buildings, factories, clinics and museums, but also road, tunnel and bridge construction, the construction of train stations, airports and seaports as well as water supply and wastewater treatment.

Civil engineers design, plan, calculate and organize the projects they oversee. Mostly they work in a team with architects and other specialist engineers. They bear a high degree of responsibility because, in addition to economic efficiency, they also have to guarantee the safety of people and the environment. Sustainability is at the center of their tasks, which also includes issues such as noise, water and soil protection.

Where do we work

Civil engineers work in engineering offices, in construction companies, in the construction industry and in public administration. Some work independently or run their own engineering office with partners.

There's a civil engineer in you if ...

- you want to create something that is visible through your work
- you are an organizational talent with a high sense of responsibility
- you get by without a routine and are happy about new challenges
- you are looking for a job that enables you to advance quickly

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What do we do?

Through their work, environmental engineers create optimal conditions for people, animals and plants to live together. As an interface, they recognize, analyze and take into account the mostly contradicting interests within a project and weigh them against each other according to ecological, technical, economic and social aspects. Your goal: The conscious use of natural resources and thus the protection of water, air and soil.

Environmental engineers analyze, evaluate and reduce the risks to the environment and society. Topics such as "Techniques for reducing emissions" and "Noise protection" are more topical than ever and allow exciting opportunities to influence our future.

Where do we work

Environmental engineers work as consultants, experts or researchers. In addition to industry and companies, employers also include planning and consulting offices, public administration and environmental organizations.

You have an environmental engineer in you if ...

- for you climate change, disturbed ecosystems and scarcity of raw materials are not foreign words
- you can describe abstract facts in an understandable way
- you get along well with different characters thanks to your discussion and communication skills
- you care about people, animals and plants

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What do we do?

Geomatic engineers specialize in the collection and management of spatial data. Your work flows into maps, 3-D landscape models or entries in the land register, for example. They use electronic measuring systems, lasers, angle measuring devices and computers and with their help they obtain geodata for spatial planning, infrastructure projects, geology, geotechnical engineering, research and development.

Geomatic engineers ensure the geometrical accuracy as required and the high reliability of the results. Sometimes the highest precision is required.

Where do we work

Employers are public administration, construction companies or private surveyors' offices, where geomatic engineers can also work as self-employed or as partners.

You are a geomatic engineer if ...

- you have a good spatial sense
- you are known to be very precise
- you are interested in modern technology and enjoy using it
- you would like to work in the office and also outdoors

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What do we do?

Electrical engineers specialize in building electrical engineering or in a sub-area of ​​electrical engineering such as energy technology, information and telecommunications technology, security or building automation technology.

You will manage projects in the planning departments of service or industrial companies. In general, electrical engineers calculate, plan, design and test electrical installations, systems and plants and monitor their implementation through to commissioning. Thanks to their work, buildings become efficient, comfortable and tunnel-safe. Their work forms the nervous system that ensures that systems are supplied with energy and communicate with one another.

Where do we work

Electrical engineers mainly work in the planning departments of service companies, in industry or for authorities that are responsible for the planning and implementation of buildings or infrastructure projects.

You have an electrical engineer in you if ...

- you have been interested in engineering and technology for a long time
- you can think in a customer-oriented manner and stick to a budget
- you can find a solution for (almost) every problem
- you can empathize with the work of other types of engineers

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What do we do?

Building technology engineers choose one of two disciplines: the area of ​​heating, ventilation, air conditioning and sanitary engineering or the area of ​​building electrical engineering. In both areas, they are responsible for the planning, development, improvement, commissioning and control of technical building systems.

Building technology engineers work closely with architects and planning teams and are involved right from the start. They are responsible for the use of possible resources and materials, they calculate dimensions, create tenders, construction supervision and project documentation. During the construction phase, they are the point of contact for all details of the execution. A multitude of technical possibilities enables building technology engineers to actively shape the future through intelligent construction that takes economic, social and ecological factors into account.

Where do we work

Building technology engineers mostly work in management positions in planning and installation companies, for manufacturers of components and systems, but also for authorities or in the development and planning area.

There is a building services engineer in you if ...

- you have a talent for organization and creativity
- you can deal with the PC as well as with people
- you are interested in craft and high-tech
- you have the ability to think in a networked and interdisciplinary way

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What do we do?

Geologists observe, sketch, examine, measure and describe the rocks and natural phenomena in the field, in the office and in the laboratory. The results obtained flow into maps, profiles and reports, which are used when searching for raw materials and mineral resources, when building buildings, roads, tunnels or dams, when assessing and combating natural hazards such as rock falls, landslides or floods or when looking for Sites for landfills are necessary.

Through their work, geologists ensure responsible and sustainable use of the earth and its raw materials. They provide the basics for planning and realizing buildings. This is often found in the field of tension between use and conservation of nature.

The geologists have to work on their tasks not as fundamentalists, but with scientific expertise and astute foresight. Working hypotheses must always be checked and adjusted based on newly acquired knowledge. In the results of geological work there are often unexplained or unsafe areas. The geologists have to define exactly what can be proven by hard facts and what is speculation. The application of scientific principles and professional experience give geologists the tools to make plausible and, with a high degree of probability, accurate forecasts.

Where do we work

The geologists' work areas include geotechnics, hydrogeology, natural hazards, earthquakes, raw material exploration, environmental protection, waste management / contaminated sites, risk management and research. Depending on their specialization, geologists are employed in geology and engineering offices in the private sector, state authorities and offices, energy companies, insurance companies, raw materials management, water management, universities, museums and nature parks.

There's a geologist in you if ...

- you are interested in the natural sciences
- You have excellent observation and sketching skills
- you have a good spatial sense
- you are a "researcher type" and want to get to the bottom of the matter
- you pursue a goal for weeks without losing motivation
- you enjoy working scientifically today and practically tomorrow
- you are physically fit to work in rough terrain in rough terrain

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If you want to become a civil engineer and choose to go through the university, you can enroll in the civil engineering departments at ETH Zurich and Lausanne. At both locations, wide-ranging courses of study are offered, which lead to the ability to independently solve all problems arising in the field of civil engineering.

The three-year bachelor's degree teaches the basics of mathematics, natural sciences and civil engineering. In the second semester, students write a project, in the sixth semester the Bachelor thesis. Those who complete the two-year master’s degree can largely design their curriculum individually, choose two from five areas of specialization and also take electives in the subject-specific as well as social sciences and humanities. In order to consolidate the knowledge acquired at the ETH and to underpin it with as much practice as possible, the university apprenticeship years should be followed by a few years of traveling in good engineering offices and, if possible, in a company.

Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zurich

Learning a commercial profession and later becoming an engineer or architect - no problem. The commercial apprenticeship enables you to gain your first practical experience in the professional world. It serves as a valuable foundation for a subsequent engineering degree. With the vocational school leaving certificate, the doors to the technical college are open to you.

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