Illuminating Engineer

Decide the right amount of lighting a building needs to function properly.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $129,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Illuminating Engineers do?

It’s been said that too much of a good thing is no good at all. A Chef can demonstrate that concept by making chocolate cake with mocha frosting and a fudge ice cream topping. The taste buds are simply overwhelmed!

An Illuminating Engineer faces the same problem. Designing a system without enough light can cause people to trip, get lost, or feel unsafe. However, creating a system that floods the space with illumination can make users feel as though they’re on the operating table, 24/7. An Illuminating Engineer rides a delicate balance, striving to provide just the right amount of brightness.

As an Illuminating Engineer, you work closely with a building’s owners as well as the Contractors and Engineers who’ve been hired to build the project. As a team, you discuss what the project will look like and what it’s designed to do. After this meeting, you determine how much light is required as per the law for that building’s usage. While a hospital may need a significant amount of light, for example, a standard office may not.

In a series of drawings, you dictate where the fixtures will be placed, and you detail the lighting options you think will work best for that project. Shopping for these lights can be fun, but you remember to be realistic. Asking for drop chandeliers to illuminate a factory warehouse may not engender love from your clients.

When construction begins, you make a series of trips to supervise and ensure that the installation is going according to your drawings. Often, you take light meter readings just to check your plans.

Should I be an Illuminating Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Building-Illuminating Engineer, Industrial-Illuminating Engineer, Outdoor-Illuminating Engineer

    How to become an Illuminating Engineer

    Most Illuminating Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aak9ed&chl=||associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%286%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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