Teacher vs Engineer, Which Career Is Better? (Explained)

Thinking about studying Teaching or Engineering?

Teaching and Engineering are two different career paths.

When deciding on a professional path, take into account the demand for positions, your skills, salaries, and, most significantly, your interests.

In this article, we’ll help explain their differences and career path options.

Teacher vs Engineer, Which Career Is Better?

Engineering is a great career choice for students who enjoy math and problem-solving. Teaching is for those who want to help others grow, whereas engineering is for people who want to serve society by addressing everyday issues. Engineering offers more job opportunities and higher wages.

You should consider becoming a Teacher if you like working with children and are passionate about mentoring, teaching and nurturing them through education.

Teachers engage pupils in learning daily at all levels of the school.

Teachers provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed both inside and beyond the classroom.

A Teaching qualification you can typically look forward to careers paths kindergarten, elementary, high school and college

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers usually must have at least a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

For postsecondary teachers, academic requirements differ depending on the subject and the type of educational institution. A PhD is usually required of postsecondary teachers.

A master’s degree may be sufficient for certain community college postsecondary teachers, while others may require employment experience in their field of specialisation.

A bachelor’s degree is usually required of high school teachers.

Furthermore, public school teachers must hold a state-issued certification or licence, which may need a background in the subject(s) they will be certified to teach.

So, let’s talk about becoming an Engineering

Engineering is a good choice for students who appreciate math and science.

Engineers are often analytical, inquisitive problem solvers who like the technical parts of creating answers.

The future is being designed by engineers.

Engineering is for you if you are interested in developing technology to improve the quality of our lives and provide solutions to fulfil the needs of our modern world.

Engineers are in charge of the design and operation of the infrastructure that supports our society.

As an engineer, you can choose to work on projects that benefit society, such as environmental cleanup, development of prosthetic aids for the disabled, development of clean and efficient transportation systems, the discovery of new energy sources, alleviation of the world’s hunger problems, and raising the standard of living in underdeveloped countries.

An engineering degree can lead to a variety of careers, ranging from electrical and computer engineering to environmental and mechanical engineering.

However, the majority of today’s college graduates will have multiple careers over their working lives, and engineering can give a solid basis for practically any of them.

Importantly, an engineering degree will “exercise” your brain, improving your logical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

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Teachers, what do they do at work?

The workday for many teachers begins early and finishes late. Job responsibilities differ depending on the subject and grade level, among other considerations. However, teaching often entails class preparation, instructional time, and after-school responsibilities.

Teaching roles typically comprise of the following

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare young children for middle school by teaching them fundamental topics such as arithmetic and reading.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work in public and private schools. They generally work during school hours when students are present and use nights and weekends to prepare lessons and grade papers. Most kindergarten and elementary school teachers do not work during the summer.

High school teachers assist pupils in preparing for life following graduation. They provide academic teachings as well as numerous skills that pupils will need to attend college or enter the workforce.

High school teachers work in schools. They work during school hours but may also work evenings and weekends to prepare lessons and grade papers. Most do not teach during the summer.

Postsecondary teachers teach a wide range of academic courses to students who have completed high school. They may also do research and write scholarly articles and books.

Most postsecondary teachers work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, and junior or community colleges. Most work full time, although part-time work is common.

Typical teacher duties typically include the following:

  • Plan lessons and instruct their students in the subject they teach
  • Assess students’ abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Adapt lessons to changes in class size
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams
  • Communicate with parents about students’ progress
  • Work with individual students to challenge them and to improve their abilities
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and administrative policies
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or detention

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Engineers, what do they do at work?

There are numerous Engineering branches.  Mechanical engineering for example design, develop, test, and manufacture tools, engines, machines, and other devices.

They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, and report their findings.

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Evaluate specifications in design drawings before adding or replacing tools
  • Prepare layouts and drawings of the assembly process and parts to be made, usually using three-dimensional design software
  • Recommend cost-effective changes in equipment design to improve reliability and safety
  • Review instructions and blueprints to ensure that project plans follow test specifications and procedures and meet objectives
  • Plan, produce and assemble mechanical parts for products, such as industrial equipment
  • Set up and conduct tests of complete units and their components, and record results
  • Compare test results with design specifications and with test objectives and recommend changes, if needed, in products or test methods
  • Make calculations for business estimates, such as labor costs and equipment lifespan

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Engineers or Teachers, who earns more?

Engineers earn more than teachers, with a Engineers median income range of $88k to $137k verus Teachers wage ranging from $28k to $56k per annum.

These values, however, should only be used as a guide. Wages will vary depending on region, whether the institution is private or public, and so on.

The reason I say this is that wages vary depending on whether you work for a private or public organisation, your geographic region, the size of your business, and your
industry (some pay more than others).

A sample of Engineering wages according to the  Labor Bureau and Statistics is a list below

Job Role Median Wage / Per Annum
Petroleum Engineer $137,330
Civil Engineer $87,060
Mechanical Engineer $88,430
Aerospace Engineer $116,500
Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers $91,410

Sample of rates below for teachers according to BLS.gov

Occupation Employment, 2014 Employment growth, projected 2014–24 (per cent) Job openings, projected 2014–24 Median annual wage, May 2015
Elementary school teachers 1,358,000 6% 378,700 $54,890
Secondary school teachers 961,600 6% 284,000 $57,200
Middle school teachers 627,500 6% 175,500 $55,860
Preschool teachers $441,000 7% 158,700 $28,570
Kindergarten teachers 159,400 6% 56,100 $51,640
Career/technical education teachers, secondary school 79,600 0% 19,200 $56,130
Career/technical education teachers, middle school 13,700 6% 3,900 $55,190
Note: Job openings are from growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program and Occupational Employment Statistics survey (wages).

So when it comes to who is in demand, Engineers or Teachers?  The good news, should not take long to land a role, since the employment of  Engineers and Teachers is projected to grow between 7-9 per cent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

However, this will vary by geographical location, industry and engineering branch

Final Thoughts

For students who enjoy math and problem-solving, engineering is a better career choice. Teaching is better for those who want to help others grow, whereas engineering is for people who want to serve society by addressing issues. Engineering offers more job opportunities and higher income.

Deciding on what to study is an important one.

Speak with trusted friends and family, even consult with a career consultant for advice.

Consider your strengths and weakness, likes and dislikes before deciding on the career path to study.

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  • Teaching for a living: Career Outlook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  • Lawyers: Occupational Outlook Handbook:: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)