Jobs in Demand: Jason Pagan on Engineering

By Emily Franks on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Amanda Cordell

Jason Pagan

Job: Plant Controls Engineer | Employer: Sediver in West Memphis | Age: 33  Hometown: Glen Rose | Alma mater: Henderson State University | Degree: Bachelor of Science in Physics


What classes made the biggest impact on you while earning your degree?

Modern Physics really stood out to me;, it was the first class that I truly struggled with and it taught me how to dig deep to solve the problems that I was having trouble understanding. Senior Lab taught me how to take a problem and work as a team to find the solution. To me, working as a team is one of the biggest parts of engineering.

What is your job like on a day-to-day basis?

Overall my job is to keep the plant running, which could include anything. My job is always changing. No day is the same. There is always something to fix or to figure out. From troubleshooting equipment to designing new equipment, there is always a challenge to tackle.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

New technology. I always get to see and play with all sorts of new sensors and equipment, and to be able to take those things and put them into a real-world application that makes an impact to the business, that is rewarding to me.

What would people find surprising about your field?

Engineering is the core of what my job is, but in order to make things work, the people around you are what help you to get the job done.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of engineers as a whole will rise 8% from 2016 to 2026, and the employment of mechanical engineers is projected to rise 9% in that time frame.*

Engineers can expect plenty of job opportunities, particularly if they stay up to date with software tools.

Engineers need a bachelor’s degree in their field, whether that is mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical or some other emphasis. Some universities offer engineering programs that give students the opportunity to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five or six years.

Annual salary depends on the engineering specialty, but the median annual income of engineers in general was $92,220 in May 2017 and $85,880 for mechanical engineers.*

"You will never start a job in this field with all of the answers. Learning is a continuous journey. Never give up. Build a good relationship with your professors and other classmates. They will become your network to rely on."

– Jason

*SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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