Professional Engineering 101

Professional engineering is all about using your creativity, imagination, and technical skills to design, build, and improve things that make the world a better place.

Are you interested in creating things that can change the world? Do you want to be a part of the future and work on cutting-edge technology that can make a difference in people's lives? Then perhaps professional engineering is the one for you!

Whether it's developing new software, designing advanced medical equipment, building sustainable infrastructure, or developing renewable energy sources, professional engineers are at the forefront of innovation and progress.

As a professional engineer, you'll be part of a team of brilliant minds, working together to solve complex problems and create groundbreaking solutions. You'll be using the latest technology and tools, and constantly learning and growing as you take on new challenges.

If you want to be a part of shaping the future and making a real difference in the world, then professional engineering might just be the perfect career for you.

Engineer vs Technologist vs Technician: What's the difference?

At Waikato, we offer the BE(Hons) accredited based on the Washington Accord - the gold standard of engineering.

Find out the difference between different "engineering" degrees and where they can lead.

Professional Engineer Engineering Technologist Engineering Technician
Degree BE(Hons) BEngTech DipEng
Length 4-years 3-years 2-years
Typical entry requirement University Entry
+ 16 credits in Level 3 Calculus
+ 14 credits in Level 3 Physics
University Entry
(inc. Level 3 Maths as a subject)
+ 14 Level 2 credits in Physics
No University Entry
NCEA Level 2
(inc. maths as a subject)
Accreditation Washington Accord Sydney Accord Dublin Accord
Meets requirement for CPEng (Chartered Professional Engineer) in NZ Yes No No
Problems able to be solved Complex problems with no obvious solution, requiring in-depth analysis and thinking Standard problems solved by application of well-proven analysis techniques Well-known problems solved in standardised ways
Level of innovation Creative use of engineering principles and research-based knowledge in novel ways Use of new materials, techniques or
processes in non-standard ways
Use of existing materials, techniques, or processes in modified ways

Careers in Professional Engineering

Professional engineers enjoy competitive salaries. An Engineering New Zealand survey found that in 2019 the median salary for new graduates is $60,000 and with 4 years’ experience is $71,000. For full-time Chartered Engineers (CPEng), the median salary was $110,000.

  • Agricultural engineer
  • Automation engineer
  • Biochemical engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Civil engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Electronic engineer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Food engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Mechatronic engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Product Design engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Systems engineer

  • Read some of our student success stories here