What is the job you love?
I am an Electrical Engineer. I work in a field called Protection Engineering. I provide technical support to customers, such as power companies or mines, on products that protect people and electrical items from faults (ie the products I assist people turn the power off and cause blackouts so as to prevent things from catching fire or blowing up!).
How did you get into this line of work?
I completed a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at university. I liked studying maths and physics at high school and wanted a career in something technical where I would use maths and physics. My Dad also worked as an engineer before he retired and is also hearing impaired and that gave me the confidence to do it.
What is the best part about your job?
I like helping people with technical problems and I enjoy the variety of issues that I work with in my job. I have been able to travel with my job to Europe and around Australia. I enjoy working with other technical people and working on designing and problem solving. I have found the work to be interesting and varied I don't always know what is going to happen on any one day. My workplace has also been very supportive of me working part time while I have young children.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
It's not a job that you can always leave at the end of the day and forget about. Because I work part time I need to be able to stay on top of things and will check work emails on my days off. If something needs to be done I will occasionally work late at night to complete it after the kids have gone to bed. In terms of being hearing impaired it can sometimes be difficult on the phone, especially if someone is having a problem and they are getting poor reception on their mobile phone at a noisy industrial site or mine site. If I haven't heard something well, like a model number, I ask them to email or text me the info. This is getting much easier now that people usually have smart phones.
What advice would you give a deaf or hearing impaired person who is looking for a career like yours?
Go for it! Being in a field like engineering, there are many job opportunities and many different fields to go in to. Having technical knowledge and experience is something that has been in demand so I have been able to arrange benefits like part time work. Technology, like email, texting and smart phones, mean that my job is getting easier to do even though I have a moderately severe hearing impairment.
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