How to become an Engineer?

A career in engineering

How to become an Engineer?


How to become an Engineer?

To become an engineer, you will need to study a degree in engineering at university or a diploma at a university of technology. You can choose from the following types:  civil, chemical, computer, electrical / electronic, mechanical, industrial, mining, aeronautical, and others.

What subjects do I need at school?

Compulsory Subjects: You need to have mathematics (not maths literacy) and physical science. 

Recommended Subjects: it may be useful to do Engineering Design (EGD). Doing AdMaths may also be an advantage. Life science (biology may be useful if you plan on studying chemical engineering and geography may be useful for mining engineering.  

Where can I study?

For degree studies you can study at any of the following:

Wits -





For diploma studies you can study at any of the following:


UJ -

What is the difference between a degree and a diploma?

A degree is more theoretical and takes longer to complete (4 years). A diploma is more practical and applied to the workplace. It takes 3 years to complete one year of which is practical year. Generally speaking, a diploma will allow you to get employment quicker but a degree will allow you to rise higher in an organisation. 

Note: The National Diploma in engineering programmes is being phased out to introduce new three-year Bachelor of Engineering Technology degrees.  The National Diploma programmes in Civil, Electrical, Industrial and Mechanical engineering, which will all be replaced with the BEngTech programmes.  The new degree programmes were endorsed by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), approved by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and registered by the South African Quality Authority (SAQA).

Will I make a good engineer? 

  • Are you interested in building things making things?
  • Are you interested in how things work?
  • Are you creative?
  • Would you like to make solutions to practical problems? 
  • They are you a logical thinker?
  • Do you find yourself thinking about things you would like to build or make in your imagination?  
  • Are you good at Mathematics? 
  • Do you like physical science?

If you answered yes to most of these questions then you would probably make a good engineer. What kind of Engineer would you want to become? 

Civil Engineer read more

Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, designing, maintenance and management of projects to do with the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineering may be the oldest of the all the engineering disciplines and today, civil engineering encompasses a range of specialized fields which include structural design, marine, environmental, construction, hydraulic engineering, transportation, and geotechnical engineering.

Electrical Engineer read more

Electrical engineering is often associated with power generation and distribution of power. Power generation involves the generation of electrical power from a variety of sources: hydro-electrical, thermal coal power, nuclear, as well as renewable sources of power such as solar and wind power. Read more .. 

Electronic Engineer read more

Electronics engineering is concerned with the generation, transmission and processing of information and includes computers, software, transmission networks, telephones, radio, television, signal processing and optics.

Mechanical Engineer read more

Mechanical engineers research, develop, design, manufacture and maintain machines, machine components and systems in various fields of application. They work on power-producing machines such as generators, engines and steam and gas turbines. They also work on power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioners, robots used in manufacturing, elevators and escalators, and industrial production equipment. 

Mechatronic Engineer  read more

Mechatronic engineers research, design, develop and maintain machinery with electronic and computer control systems, such as aircraft, robots, motor vehicles, cameras, power generators and mining and chemical plant machinery.  They also test automation, intelligent systems, smart devices or industrial systems control.