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Theme Park Engineer

Description: Theme park engineers brainstorm ideas for new and exciting theme park rides and attractions, create aesthetically pleasing designs, run calculations and design programs, and develop new electronics for animatronics.

Knowledge Required: Theme park engineers must have extensive knowledge of structural and electrical engineering, physics, computer science, mechanical engineering, and an understanding of mathematics and programming.

Skills: Innovation, creativity, artistry, communication, mathematics, engineering

Career Path: Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in one of the many fields of engineering, such as structural or mechanical engineering, will develop the skills that companies seek.  Many jobs in this field are temporary, and long-term or permanent positions are usually gained through networking and apprenticeships.

Best Cities for this job:  Large metropolitan areas with a concentration of entertainment are Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Median Annual Income: National: $83,370; CA: $102,580

Future Growth: The number of jobs is expected to grow about 6% in the 2013-2022 decade, which is about average.

From the field: “I took a set design class in undergraduate school, and it turned out to be incredibly helpful and it changed my perspective on entertainment design.” – Betsy McIver

Did You Know?: Disney's first Audio Animatronics were first introduced to the world at the 1966 World's Fair in Flushing NY. "It's A Small World" and "Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln" which later evolved into today's Hall of Presidents.

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