The Engineer Personality

How can you tell if an Engineer is extroverted or introverted?
The extroverted one looks at *your* shoes when they are talking with you
ba dum ching😂

Ever date or hang with an Engineer?
They see the world differently. They see patterns and make observations that most can not. It’s one of our gifts. You too have your own gifts.

Sufficient engineers have substantially the same traits that a stereotype personality has evolved depicting them – they are thought of as intelligent, logical, introverted but with poor communication skills and dress sense.

Is that characterisation justified? Well er, yes – pretty well, since it’s not hard to find examples of the ‘nerdy’ engineer. Naturally there are exceptions, the boundary between different personality types is fluid, but a good engineer is likely to have certain basic traits.

  • Engineers are curious and enjoy discovering how things work and solving problems.
  • Engineers use logic to examine ideas and develop theories and explanations.
  • Engineers like science.
  • Engineers are able to concentrate intently on a subject.
  • Engineers are perfectionists who are always looking for better ways of doing things.
  • Engineers want order and structure at work and in their personal life.
  • Engineers enjoy discussion, debate (and arguing), about their topic.
  • Engineers appreciate and respect intelligence in others.
  • They often have a good sense of humour.
  • Engineers commonly want to help solve the world’s problems.

But along with these laudable engineer qualities, comes an assortment of characteristics which are less easy to like.

  • Engineers can be dogmatic.
  • Engineers may be unimaginative outside their own field, (so-called tunnel-vision).
  • Engineers are uncomfortable with vagueness and ambiguity.
  • Engineers dislike change.
  • The engineer’s attachment to structure may lead to an authoritarian approach. 
  • Engineers may focus on theories and be reluctant to consider conflicting data.
  • Engineers can be impersonal and reserved and may take little interest in other people.
  • Engineers may have poor social skills and be insensitive to the feelings of others. Diplomacy does not come to them naturally.
  • Engineers may have little commercial awareness and dislike making decisions in business.

How many Engineering Directors does it take to
change a light bulb?
A: Just one. He holds the light bulb still and expects the world to revolve around him.

Arguing with an Engineer

 . . . is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig.      After a few hours, you realize that he likes it.      

Adapted from Robert Seviour