What kind of engineer should you be?

I created this printable version of my engineer test after several requests from educators, outreach enthusiasts, and fellow SWE nerds. Each time you refresh this page the questions will be in a different order, so you can have different versions, just make sure you keep the answer keys straight! You are welcome to distribute this in print as necessary for educational purposes, and can make any modifications you'd like to better reach your audience.

For the automatic scoring, online version of this quiz visit http://spacefem.com/quizzes/engineer/.

Engineering is one of the coolest jobs in the world, but there are so many disciplines it can be a little daunting to choose one for yourself! I wasn't happy with the existing quizzes, they were mostly way too direct (do you like bridges or wires? uh...) or way too career-spammy, and they were all way too serious. So with that in mind I took some personality traits and kinda did my best attempt at mapping them to engineering fields. It's not scientific or accurate because it really doesn't matter, engineers do so many things and move around so much there's no way to predict what path you'll end up on... so relax! This point of this test is to combine the fun of a personality quiz with the usefulness of a career test... hey look at that, fun AND useful? It's getting engineer-y already!

You can skip a few questions if you don't like them, but the more you answer the more accurate the test will be. Well, within all the accuracy it's capable of, that is. Which isn't much.

1) What do people like about you?
    a. I'm convincing, opinionated, and fresh
    b. I'm relaxed and easy to get along with
    c. I'm very supportive and loyal

2) Favorite way to spend your free time?
    a. Expressing myself through art or something I create
    b. Expressing myself directly, like writing my thoughts down or speaking to groups
    c. Hanging out with friends and family
    d. Doing puzzles or creating things that involve putting pieces together

3) Word that best describes you
    a. Ambitious
    b. Organized
    c. Nerdy
    d. Adventurous
    e. Practical

4) What size company do you think you'd want to work at?
    a. Huge, like the government
    b. A small company, with a few dedicated people I'm close to
    c. A big company, with lots of people to meet and room to move around
    d. Someplace in the middle

5) Favorite color?
    a. Red
    b. Pink
    c. Orange
    d. Yellow
    e. Green
    f. Blue
    g. Purple
    h. Gray
    i. White
    j. Black

6) My mad scientist laboratory would have...
    a. A greenhouse full of plants (maybe evil plants?)
    b. Blinky lights
    c. Colorful liquids in test tubes
    d. Everything, it'd be a total mess!

7) I'd rather work
    a. Alone. I don't care how helpful the group is.
    b. With a group of helpful people.

8) If I'm late on a project, it's more likely because it...
    a. Takes me a while to get done, I'm a perfectionist.
    b. Takes me a while to get motivated, I'm a procrastinator

9) Word that describes you best?
    a. Successful
    b. Happy
    c. Helpful
    d. Understanding

10) Favorite kitchen utensil?
    a. Meat thermometer
    b. Wire whisk
    c. Microwave
    d. Blender
    e. Spatula

11) What's more important?
    a. That everything is done right
    b. That people get along

12) What would you rather do?
    a. Build big impressive things
    b. Invent cool gadgets
    c. Make the world a better place
    d. Be a mad scientist
    e. Break stuff

13) Another possible job for me might be...
    a. Teacher
    b. Politician
    c. Retail
    d. Pilot
    e. Veterinarian
    f. Cosmetologist

14) Are you good at minding your own business?
    a. Yes
    b. No

15) I'd rather have friends who are...
    a. Unique
    b. Generous
    c. Confident
    d. Imaginative
    e. Not into creating drama

16) Where would you like to go to work?
    a. My own special cubicle
    b. A different city every week
    c. A busy factory
    d. Outer space
    e. The great outdoors
    f. A hospital

17) Do you like being in charge?
    a. Yes
    b. No
    c. Doesn't matter

18) I'm good at helping people...
    a. Understand themselves and what they're really looking for
    b. Get their head out of the clouds and have a reality check
    c. Understand others and resolve disagreements
    d. Understand complex ideas

19) What's something you'd HATE at work?
    a. Getting messy
    b. Sitting at a desk all day
    c. Constantly being distracted and having to switch tasks
    d. Working in isolation

20) What are you most likely to doodle on the side of a paper when you're bored?
    a. Lines
    b. Cars, buildings, trees... other things you see around you
    c. Arrows
    d. Squares
    e. Clouds, airplanes, rockets, other things in the sky
    f. Circles

Answer Key

To score your quiz, circle the letters next to each question that correspond to your responses. You might circle more than one per row, that's okay. You might not find your answer in a row at all, that's also okay. Then total up each column to find out which field scored the highest for you!
QuestionYour ResponseIndustrialMechanicalComputerAerospaceMaterialsElectricalCivilChemicalEnvironmental
1 caacbabbc
2  b  d a c
3  bc e a d
4   bcddacb
5 badfhi g 
6 bdbacbaca
7  b   a   
8 b a aa b 
9   abd   c
10 abc e    
11 baab a  b
12   b e adc
13 c  d abfe
14 abbabbaaa
15 b cd  ae 
16 c  d abfe
17 babcaccba
18  b  d ac 
19 bc b a  d
20 cd e abf 
Total                  

About the Disciplines

Industrial

Industrial engineers design logistical and resource systems. They make manufacturing processes faster and help us use facilities more efficiently. They may plan out components and tools needed to make a product, or analyze reliability records to help companies understand maintenance costs.

What this test says about you: You are trustworthy, loyal, and socially conscious. Your friends have lots of different personalities. You're patient enough to slowly work through problems with people. You really like to think different and can be funny sometimes without even meaning to be.

Mechanical

Mechanical engineers are responsible for the physical design of products. They think about how components transmit temperature, stress, or vibration between other connected components, and are heavily involved in the transportation industry.

What this test says about you: You're assertive and confident. You can stand up for yourself. You enjoy life if you're taking challenges head on and supporting the causes that are important to you.

Computer

Computer engineers apply and construct computers needed for system design. They write software, design hardware, and work on improving capabilities like multimedia, mobile computing, simulations, and artificial intelligence.

What this test says about you: You are very energetic when you've got your eyes set on a task. You like hearing what people honestly think of you. You're proud of your accomplishments. You're not always great at working around the feelings of sensitive people at first, so people have to get to know you to appreciate what you're good at.

Aerospace

Aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, and other air vehicles. They work with the systems and equipment needed to propel and control anything that moves through the air. There is a great deal of overlap between aerospace and mechanical engineering, which is responsible for the physical design of all kinds of products.

What this test says about you: You are optimistic and want to contribute to the world. You have your own unique style. You love having grand visions. You're a free spirit who is fun to be around. You like pursuing whatever your new crazy interest of the week is, rather than being told what to do.

Materials

Materials engineers apply the properties of matter to engineering. They may work with special building materials like ceramics or composites, or assist electrical engineers in creating small components with crystals.

What this test says about you: You can work out big ideas but in a very independent way. You love analyzing a problem from all different sides and viewpoints. You know a lot more than you let on.

Electrical

Electrical engineers develop a wide range of technologies, from global positioning systems to power plants. They learn about how individual components interact in a circuit in addition to creating large systems out of devices and networks.

What this test says about you: You have strong principles. You can sometimes be hard on yourself, but you achieve a lot and any team with you on it will be successful... even if you have to do the work yourself.

Civil

Civil engineers design and manage construction of large projects like roads, airports, bridges, dams, and buildings.

What this test says about you: You are highly perceptive, and know what people think of you. Your work has a lot of meaning to yourself and others. You have a good eye for aesthetics.

Chemical

Chemical engineers help figure out how to convert raw materials or chemicals into useful forms. They improve how we refine petroleum, design new plastics, or optimize paper production.

What this test says about you: You're always thinking of a zillion things at once. You tell stories with great points that meander creatively. You enjoy life. There are only a few chosen people who really understand you and know how to get you to open up.

Environmental

Environmental engineers apply engineering principles to the improvement and protection of the environment. They help protect ecosystems, water resources, people and animals, from the effects of industry. They make sure we consider things like temperature changes, chemicals, fires or landscape changes in our technology projects.

What this test says about you: You relate easily to people and can be very convincing. You know what people need to make their lives better. You can be warm and generous, and when things are going well for you you tell everyone and can't help but share the laughter.