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How do I Become a Steel Engineer?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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From automobiles to bridges to skyscrapers, steel is an important aspect of daily life in most countries, and engineers help create each type of steel structure, device or component. If you want to become a steel engineer, you will need a great deal of design and metallurgy knowledge. After you have gained the proper experience and talent, you will be able to construct an amazing array of structures and work in one of several industries.

In order to become a steel engineer, you must begin with many years of education. Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, and some requre a master's degree. You will want to focus your education on civil engineering if you want to work with structures such as bridges and buildings or on mechanical engineering if you prefer jobs such as ship building or creating steel planes. The one subject on which you must spend a lot of time is metallurgy, the study of metal compounds, specifically steel.

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Steel is a very complex metal, composed primarily of iron and carbon, but different combinations of the two have produced dozens of different types of steel. To become a steel engineer, you must know that each type has a different amount of flexibility and weight that must be factored into the building of any structure. Each also offers different melting points and can be an important aspect if the structure deals with high heat. Different types of steel also vary greatly in price, so knowing the differences will help you stay within a project's budget.

Besides being an expert in steel, you also must be an excellent designer in order to become a steel engineer. Being able to use drafting software and reading blueprints are essential no matter what you are constructing with steel. You also must combine this design skill with a keen mastery of physics to ensure that your products are safe for use.

After you have mastered the study of metallurgy and design, you can apply these talents to a wide variety of professions when you become a steel engineer. A job with an architectural firm or city planner's office could see you working on steel bridges and steel buildings. Work with a transportation company can result in designing steel planes, boats, cars and more. There also are a variety of steel engineering jobs that don't fall into those categories but are just as challenging, such as designing radio towers and oil rigs.

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