How Do I Become a Thermal Engineer?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2019
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An individual hoping to become a thermal engineer has to consider the minimum educational requirements for the position. In addition, candidates need to have a thorough understanding of the concepts related to thermal engineering, such as those based in science and mathematics. An individual hoping to become a thermal engineer should also be proficient with computers, seek licensure if required and have the ability to communicate with a diverse audience.

Thermal engineers focus on the field of thermodynamics. This includes addressing issues related to the transfer of heat and the conversion of heat into various energies, such as chemical, mechanical and electrical energy. Thermal engineers may help design heating systems and look for ways to improve on and take advantage of renewable energy sources.

Minimum education requirements usually include a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Specifically, an individual hoping to become a thermal engineer should seek a degree in either chemical or mechanical engineering. Some positions may require candidates to obtain a master’s or doctorate degree in engineering to be considered for thermal engineering openings.

Proficiency in natural science and mathematics is also essential for an individual hoping to become a thermal engineer. Natural sciences, such as chemistry and physics, are the basis for many of the concepts needed to succeed in the field of thermal engineering. A high aptitude in mathematics provides the skills needed to solve complex problems and formulas used within the profession.


Thermal engineers also need to be proficient in the use of computers. Various computer programs assist thermal engineers in developing various types of heating systems and analyzing proficiency and optimization of power and energy options. Those proficient in the use of computers will easily be able to input data and analyze various outcomes.

Depending on the location, an individual hoping to become a thermal engineer may need to seek licensure before working in the field. Seeking licensure provides employers with solid evidence of the candidate’s capabilities and knowledge as it relates to thermal engineering. Maintaining licensure may require ongoing educational pursuits to stay up to date with current trends and developments in the field of thermal engineering.

In addition to the educational requirements required of those entering the field of thermal engineering, excellent communication skills are necessary. Thermal engineers need to discuss complicated engineering terms and topics with businessmen and others not typically well-versed in thermodynamics. In addition, thermal engineers need to be able to correspond via letters and email communications to a diverse group of people including customers, employers and regulatory authorities.


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