Chartered engineers generally have greater theoretical engineering knowledge and more individual responsibility than incorporated engineers. Their work involves the planning and running of manufacturing and construction activities. They may design, develop and see into operation new products, systems or processes in these or in electronics, computer systems, chemicals or other industries.
They often work in a project team with other chartered engineers, incorporated engineers and engineering technicians. They are likely to have individual responsibility for an important aspect of a project or process. Often they will have managerial responsibilities as a team leader, project manager, site manager or department manager.
They may be involved in areas such as research and development, design, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of the more complex products such as software systems. Depending on the industry they work in such as construction, chemical or heavy engineering, they will probably specialise in one engineering discipline. This could include civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic, software or chemical. In modern industry, they may need knowledge of more than one discipline.
The work of chartered and incorporated engineers overlaps.
Chartered engineers have a basic working week of 37-40 hours, Monday to Friday. They may work overtime on top of this. Shift work may be required for those working in areas such as utilities or within large computer operations.
Chartered engineers are normally based in an office at a workstation with a PC terminal and telephones. Some engineers may spend time on the shopfloor or construction site.
Workplaces may be noisy or ultra-quiet. Construction sites may be dirty and exposed to the weather. Travel may be involved to offices and sites of clients for meetings.
Chartered engineers require a high degree of initiative and inventiveness. They need a sound knowledge of engineering principles and practices. Engineers should be interested in solving problems and able to present ideas verbally and in written reports.
Computer skills are important, as are number skills for calculations. They should have management and project management skills.
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From March 2002, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills began licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website: www.ssda.org.uk