I recently ran across a fantastic introduction to antenna engineering as a profession. Peter Massey compiled his Antenna Engineer’s Guide with an eye to helping students evaluate on antenna engineering as a career choice. Why chose antenna engineering as a career? Here’s Dr. Massey’s analysis:
- Interesting varied work. In many positions the antenna engineer is involved with almost everything to do with antenna development, from initial designs, through development and test, to manufacture. The work can be a mix of hands on practical construction and measurement, and of computer aided design and theory.
- Pay. As antenna engineering is a specialist technical discipline, antenna engineers tend to be moderately well paid, with salaries similar to those of many professional electronics engineers.
- Job security. In the writer’s experience, because the work is specialised, job security is slightly better than that of many other electronics engineers. And in the event that one is made redundant, the skills scarcity means that is it easy to find work. However as there are relatively few antenna engineer positions, changing jobs usually means moving home or living away from home during the working week.
The guide also discusses the types of antenna engineering, educational requirements, skills required, and typical career paths. As is often the case in the engineering profession, career advancement usually requires moving into a more consulting, management, or administrative role. Another section discusses publishing technical work, comparing and contrasting journal papers to conference presentations, books, internet publication, and patents. Dr. Massey also shares useful tips on organizing conference presentations.
One of the best sections of the Antenna Engineer’s Guide details trends and fashions in antenna engineering, including the latest: UWB antennas, metamaterials, and fractal antennas, along with cogent commentary.
Having worked in a small company environment for most of my career, I had not fully appreciated the difficulty in securing permission to publish from typical large commercial or government employers. Fortunately, Dr. Massey compiled his Antenna Engineer’s Guide during a period between employment when he was not bound by such provisions. Additional information and resources from Dr. Massey are available at Peter’s Antennas. I gratefully acknowledge Dr. Massey’s permission to share his material, and I commend it to your attention.