Working Life of a Doctor Vs. an Engineer

by Karen Schweitzer
Physicians and surgeons earn more on average than workers in any other occupation.

Physicians and surgeons earn more on average than workers in any other occupation.

Doctors and engineers are highly compensated and in demand. Both have rigorous schedules, complex duties and people who count on them each day. However, the duties and pressures they experience on the job can be very different. Specialization options, work environments and job growth can also vary between these two occupations.

Job Description

Doctors use their knowledge of science and medicine to examine, diagnose, counsel and treat patients. They may deal with patients who are ill or injured or who need preventative care. Some doctors are also surgeons and may operate on patients to treat an injury or disease. Engineers use their knowledge of science and math to design, develop and test new products. They often create solutions to technical problems.

Specialization Options

The duties and work environment for doctors and engineers can vary depending on their specialty. For example, doctors can specialize in general medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesiology, cardiology or any number of disciplines. Engineers can also concentrate in a specific area, such as civil, chemical, electrical, biomedical, agricultural, aerospace or environmental engineering.

Work Environment

Doctors usually work in sterile environments in private offices, clinics or hospitals. They may have their own private practice or work with other doctors in a group practice or health care organization. Engineers usually work in office settings. However, they may also work in the field on construction sites or in other settings where they can monitor projects in progress. Engineers may be independent contractors or work for an engineering firm.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for doctors is very good. Employment is expected to grow thanks to an aging population and increased demand for medical services. Job prospects should be especially good for doctors willing to work in rural areas or treat common baby boomer illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease. Demand is already great in the engineering field, where unemployment runs at a very low 2 percent. Job growth is also expected in coming years, especially in civil engineering, which is benefiting from a construction boom and infrastructure updates, and environmental and nuclear engineering, which is tackling new climate change and energy problems.

About the Author

Karen Schweitzer is a writer and author with 10-plus years of experience. She has written 11 non-fiction books and currently works as a senior editor for In her spare time, she blogs and assists clients with article writing, editing, proofreading and other projects.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images