People probably have something else on their mind before getting onto a rollercoaster than how it was created.
However, these super fun sources of entertainment don’t come out of thin air and are created with a lot of planning, creativity and engineering principles and techniques in mind.
Rollercoaster Designers must have a background in engineering and have a strong basis in mathematics, physics and design.
Potential designers will also benefit from making strong connections with employers because competition is very stiff in this specialized engineering field.
In addition to being highly creative, people who want to become a Rollercoaster Designer must have interpersonal skills in order to work as part of a team.
These professionals work with several other experts in a team environment and need strong communication skills in order to suggest design and safety ideas.
Rollercoaster Designers must also be able to follow safety protocol to create not only highly efficient and fun rides, but that are also safe for riders.
Education Requirements to Become a Rollercoaster Designer
Although there is no specific educational route students need take in order to become a Rollercoaster Designer, there are some helpful majors that can help candidates meet those qualifications.
However, students must have a background in engineering in order to become a Rollercoaster Designer.
In addition, candidates need to secure licensure in order to find employment.
The minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in structural, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering.
In fact, most rollercoaster designing teams include a combination of engineering specialists.
Students will also benefit from taking designing, physics, mathematics and computer design software in order to strengthen their background.
In order to be more competitive in the field, students should consider attending a Master’s program to secure a degree in mechanical, structural or electrical engineering.
Some subjects students will learn during a Master’s program might include system dynamics and fluid mechanics.
Completing a Master’s program will strengthen a candidates background and will help them stand out in a field that is highly competitive.
Because Rollercoaster Designers create rides that attract many people, safety measures are required in order to create thrilling rides that are also safe for the public.
State licensure is required in order for a Rollercoaster Designer to work independently.
Licensure requirements vary by states therefore a candidate who wants to become a Rollercoaster Designer must research their state’s licensure requirements.
Rollercoaster Designer Job Description
The inception of a rollercoaster begins with the design: what form it will take, whether it will have loops, suspend riders or have a traditional shape.
They will also consider whether the rollercoaster will speed into water, pass through tunnels or expected to travel at a certain high speed.
Rollercoaster Designers typically work in a team environment that includes specialists in mechanical, civil and structural engineering.
Together they will plan the layout for a rollercoaster that typically takes about 10 months to plan and build.
If a team is creating a ride geared to an amusement park’s specifications, they will use those ideas and apply engineering principles in order to begin the planning stages.
Rollercoaster Designers must also create thrilling rides that perform at an efficient but safe manner.
They will oversee the structure and design through the developing process making sure to make adjustments.
At the end of the development stage, Rollercoaster Designers will assure that a ride is performing safely during the inspection stage and make adjustments from the observations.
Rollercoaster Designer Salary and Career Path
Jobs in this niche are limited and scarce with some reports stating that only 100 rollercoaster companies exist in the U.S that help build a limited amount of rollercoaster rides.
Candidates should expect to network and meet people in the engineering industry in order to find available jobs.
However, the average time it takes to build a rollercoaster from planning to functionality takes approximately 10 months.
Rollercoaster Designers can also look for maintenance jobs in this field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has general information regarding wages for engineers.
However, engineers make some of the highest starting salaries for professionals with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.
For general engineering, national median wages for this profession is approximately $88,500 per year.
The salary range for all engineering position is approximately $49,000 to $132,000 depending on years of experience and level of education.