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    • CommentAuthorJames.112
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
    I'm currently 13 years old and it's coming to the time where u have to pick my gcse subjects. In the future I would love to become a coaster designer. I am using no limits 2 everyday. Please give me some advice on how to achieve my dream, what degrees I need/should have to become a coaster designer and some advice on what else to do.
    • CommentAuthorStevenX
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
    Most rollercoaster designers are structural engineers who focus on dynamics (like me!). You'll need good grades in maths and physics, and then you probably want to considering a degree in structural engineering.

    Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, etc. will also all work in the industry, but it seems to be predominantly structural engineers.
    It depends what your school offers, as far as I know most UK schools offer a slightly different selection. StevenX is completely right though, good grades in Maths and Physics are a must. If there's a Higher or Additional Maths I'd reckon taking that as well as Physics.
    Steven is right in what he said. However, jobs in the industry are incredibly rare. If the only reason you would like to become an engineer is to design roller coasters, I would recommend against becoming one.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
    I agree with everything they have said so far. My goals were the same as yours at your age, but when I came to college and learned I was terrible at both math and physics (calculus does indeed correlate with physics!), I came to terms with the fact that my dream was not going to become a reality. However, if you are talented in math and physics, stick to it and practice. Also, I would suggest realizing that jobs in the industry for a roller coaster engineer are highly rare and extremely difficult to come by, so having a back-up plan/job in mind that you could get with the same degree and still enjoy is a must.
    While yes jobs are difficult to come across in the industry, I don't discourage striving for it. An engineering degree is a great and credible degree to have and while you may not get a job as a roller coaster engineer, there are still MANY opportunities out there related to engineering.
    TBH these forums are becoming a good place to start it seems! Engineering and computer science I would say are the two most important things..
    ^^That was exactly my point though. If the only reason you want to become an engineer is to work in the amusement industry, don't do it.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
    1) Welcome to NLE!
    2) I wanted to be a coaster designer until many months back when I realized that my real talents added up to an Imagineer's skills. I'm looking into the jobs so I can choose a college to study what's needed to get whatever position/discipline is available, and eventually I may reach my ultimate dream title.
    3) Follow your dreams, but consider what feels truly right to ou. It may be something completely different that is easier for you to achieve and you will not regret, or be something along the lines of what you thought initially!

    I'm not trying to tell you not to go for it, but your destiny is already made and you have to find it. Good luck! :D
    ^^^ I have to agree with this, there's so much talent here: real parks and manufacturers could learn from some of the most ambitious and impressive projects online
    • CommentAuthorJAKool
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
    Engineering, 100%. Even if that doesn't get you a design job right away, (because let's face it, almost nothing will) engineering is the definite pathway. The head engineer for Premier Rides as well as the man, myth, legend himself Alan Schilke both said that it doesn't matter what kind of engineering you do, you'll eventually learn once you get a position. After you get to around college level, IAAPA is a definite must. GCI and Premier are both very open about internships and talking to you about college studies. Networking is the best thing you can possibly do for your career before you actually enter college.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016

    While I don't personally work in the industry, I've seen first-hand the difference between my education and career path and choices, and those of similarly-minded people who have actually succeeded at getting into the industry. While I can talk about that at length, the biggest point I would make is simply this:

    I can not overstate the importance of getting yourself out there and in/around the industry as soon as possible and as often as possible.

    As you get further into high school and college, do things you can put on a resume that show you're interested in the amusement industry: if you can get a summer job at an amusement park, do it. Join clubs at university - and if they don't exist, start them. Network. Attend trade shows and talk to companies about internships.

    Getting into the industry requires a lot more than good grades and an engineering degree. Show you're passionate, make yourself known, and keep at it.

    In addition to this, I think many of us at one point or another have had starry-eyed dreams of working for the "Big Names" (Intamin and B&M, and more recently, RMC) but the demand for roller coaster designers for those companies is minuscule in an already small market.

    So, don't forget about the other companies! I personally think it would be great to work for GCI, but there's also S&S, Vekoma, Maurer, Gerslauer, Zamperla, Zierer, E&F Miler (not joking), MACK, and a bunch more!
    You could also work in an office for one of these companies. It takes more than just designers to keep a company running.
    ^ I agree. I wrote Stan Checkett's once about working for S&S and he gave me a personal phone call back with a job offer. Unfortunately at the time my college classes prevented me from accepting the position. It was being on the crew of building the rides. At the time it was to install the new trains on X2 during its conversion from X.

    I did end up switching from Engineering to Computers. So my goal now is to work for S&S or Soaring Eagle as their IT director. So you can always work in industry but as mentioned above you don't have to be an engineer.

    Stan Checketts for example was a cabinet maker and installer who had an idea for the space shot tower ride from throwing his kids into the air and catching them. He also designed the mechanical joint needed for the cable to go around a corner required for the space shot towers to work. He just goes to show you don't have to be an engineer to design rides.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2016
    Besides all the stuff that has been mentioned already, I have to add two very important things to consider.

    Distinguish between "design" and "engineering"! And always, always look for other things that excite you in the field you study. There's multiple orders of magnitude more open engineering positions in the automotive or aerospace industry than in the amusement park industry, and they are just as exciting! Similarly there's orders of magnitude more open design positions or IT positions in other industries. Let's face it, chances are slim that you land the touchdown in your first try and get your dream job immediatly after finishing your educational path. This leads me back to my first point.

    Where exactly are your interests in coaster design? If they are on a more technical level, totally go for engineering, and try to widen your horizons away from NoLimits2. It's a great software, don't get me wrong, but as an engineer you are more often than not faced with mathematical and/or physical problems you have to solve, without any pretty visualization software showing the coaster trains in 3D real time. Here's a couple of engineering examples that are closely related to roller coasters: bridges, skyscrapers, airplanes (especially aerobatics) or highway/railroad planning. However, if my last couple of sentences really didn't fit you, and you are more interested in the pure design aspect, do not go for an engineering degree just because some people on the internet said that it would be the best way for you to achieve your dream. Go for a more design oriented education path (or even something like economics), maybe start to think about the bigger picture of amusement parks, how coasters and other rides could shape a park and what kinds of aspects go into deciding how a park should develop.

    As you might have noticed. I have much more knowledge about the engineering part so my views might be skewed. Whatever you do, keep being enthusiastic!