What are the key qualities of successful engineers?

Posting date: 25 October 2021

Engineering is both a complex and demanding career path. There are many different types of engineers, but these professionals are responsible for designing and developing systems, electrical equipment and structures. Evidently, engineering professionals play a major role in society. Due to the highly technical nature of engineering, professionals need to have a specific set of skills and personality traits to succeed. Below, we discuss the key qualities of successful engineers that can be honed and developed over time.

Ability to problem solve

Problem-solving is an essential skill for engineers. These professionals must be able to identify and determine the cause of a problem and then think critically about how to solve the issue. Therefore, engineers need to be strategic-minded individuals who are can ask questions and evaluate their work. Engineers must be able to focus on minor details, find significant points of interest and potentially create intelligent solutions to improve systems. Engineers are constantly faced with different challenges and unfamiliar problems, so the ability to problem solve is critical. Above all, engineers must be able to effectively address any issues as they arise.

Strong interpersonal skills

While interpersonal skills are important in most roles and industries, engineers often have to deal with a varied range of people, such as team members and clients. For an engineer, the ability to communicate to both clients and the team about problems clearly and concisely is crucial for ensuring projects are successful. Without strong communication, projects can get derailed and fall behind schedule. As a result, engineers must be able to build good relationships with the people in their team and deliver information accurately. With engineering being such a technical field, it’s easy to overlook the importance of effective communication. However, well-developed interpersonal skills remain a key quality, particularly when it comes to being a team player and working on large engineering projects.

Creativity and seeing the big picture

One of the top traits of an engineer is a creative outlook and the ability to see the big picture of a project, as well as the finer details – and then determining what impact the project is going to have on the organisation. Therefore, successful engineers need to possess an innate ability to “think outside of the box”. Whether you’re a data engineer or construction manager, you need to have a creative mindset as you will need to generate innovative ideas and alternative solutions to problems.


It’s important that engineers are able to effectively manage risks and set goals and outcomes for different projects. This means that professionals need to have a natural ability to analyse information in order to fully understand every detail of a project. The most successful engineers are able to analyse every situation they encounter, which often involves brainstorming ideas, gathering data and using digital technology. With strong analytical skills, professionals can continually examine their work over time to achieve the best results. Therefore, the best engineering professionals are naturally inquisitive and able to research and deliver intelligent insights.

Are you looking for engineering roles?

Swisslinx recruits for a wide variety of engineering and technical services jobs. From quality engineers to project managers, our consultants can guide you through your career options. Our consultants are experts in the industries they recruit into and are always on hand to provide the best recruitment advice. We follow a strong recruitment methodology, providing clients and candidates with outstanding market knowledge. Over the years, we’ve built excellent relationships and we’re always growing as a business. If you would like to find out more about our engineering jobs, contact us today.