Rides school or engineers

Thursday, November 18, 2004 7:18 PM
I was just talking to my cousin the other day who is 16, and he wants to get into the amusement park business after high school or colledge. But he wants to know what colledge or where to go to become a ride engineer or atleast become in the park business. He said he goal and dream is to work at cedar point. I told him to work there when hes 18. But I told him also that I dont know much about how to get into that business. Any help and information I can tell him.
Thursday, November 18, 2004 8:02 PM
Hmmm, a degree in Engineering from MIT should get you a job in the amusement industry if designing rides is the prefered pathway. The only problem is jobs are slim to none if you're staying in the US and want to design rides.

Also, if you want to work at Cedar Point specifically, you really wouldn't be designing rides. They probably have a creative team that helps imagine new rides and ride ideas like Disney Imagineers, but to get a job like that, you'd need YEARS of experience and a very nice portfolio...plus the job would have to be open.

To get a high level job at Cedar Point, not necessiarly on the designing end, a degree in buisness management would be key, plus years of experience both at Cedar Point and in similar jobs. Plus once again the job would have to be open.

The point, the job most of you all want (either designing rollercoasters or imagining rides) is nearly impossible to get right out of college. You need a TON of experience, plus the job needs to be open. Working for a company that designs rides may be more likely, but you'd start way at the bottom and be working on the mechanical design aspects of the ride such as g-forces and speeds and what not, you'd have little to no influence on the actual layout of the ride. That job is for those few lucky people who've worked for decades on such things.

I don't mean to be discouraging, just realistic. The jobs are out there, but there going to be hard to get, and chances are you'll have to move half way across the continent, if not half way around the world to have the job.

If you really want to work in the theme park buisness, the buisness end would be a much more realistic path. Get a job at an amusement park, work your way up, get a degree in buisness and you could find yourself in an upper level management job at a major park within a few years after getting out of college. From there, you just have to wait as park general managers step down and you can take their place if you're good enough.

It's all about connections, references, education, and experience. But you need to start getting the experience NOW if you even want to stand a chance.

Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:10 PM
Yeah sry about that typo, thanx coasterlover and rentzy17 for giving me that information it sounds good. Im glad you went into detail about how to get into the business and how tough it is. I didnt even realize its that hard but im pretty sure my cuz will give it a chance immediatly. Oh and one thing to add what kind of high school classes would help support him for engineering in college. I had no clue when he asked me.Thanx *** Edited 11/19/2004 3:11:49 AM UTC by TopThrillDragster420*** *** Edited 11/19/2004 3:15:39 AM UTC by TopThrillDragster420***
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:22 PM
Math... Math... Math...
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:25 PM
MIT Baby, college of my dreams. Either that or Notre Dame. See MIT is a good engineering college, Notre Dame is a good business college. Hmm....
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:29 PM
Well I live in Michigan and so does my cousin we both live in flint. So I was telling him to go to Michigan University or Michigan State. I went to Michigan University and it was a great school.Hey i noticed ur signature Kyle Fobe , Im going to be there too dec 24-jan 2. I cannot wait till then.But after univesal ill be going to busch gardens,{i havent been there in years!!}
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:39 PM
If you want to get into the amusement park business, as opposed to ride design, then you probably don't want to get an engineering degree. Go for business or a specialty degree for the hospitality industry. Work at a park during the summer, then see what opens up. Remember that you may have to work in some other area rather than a park to gain experience. For example, a park hiring a customer service manager will be looking for experience in customer serivce. Experience in a park would be a bonus, but not the primary criteria.
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:50 PM
Honestly, in highschool, unless you're getting AP credit, take whatever you want if you plan on going to a State university. I mean, if you're not taking classes for AP credit, you're just going to have to take them over again in college, and lots of them, unless you don't mind taking the same classes twice, or you feel you could just enjoy the practice. Colleges look more at what your highschool GPA and your SAT scores are and the requirements keep going up every year. I know here at University of Maryland our average incoming GPA was was something like 3.7 and the average SAT score was 1275 or so when I was admitted two years ago and I have heard that those figures have gone up since then. They also look heavily on extracarricular activities.

So...in highschool, have fun, take classes that will raise your GPA, take the SATs as many times as you can to get them as high as you can, and do as many extracarrecular things that you can do. That will be your best bet for getting into the college of your choice.

If you're REALLY trying to take classes in highschool, which won't even brush the surface of what you'd be doing in college, take the following classes, AP if possible: Calculus (I and II if offered), Trigonometry, Physics (I and II if offered), and if offered, classes in architecture.

Thursday, November 18, 2004 11:20 PM
Here's the problem with your question. The amusement park business hires maybe a couple hundred engineers for engineering positions a year. Hundreds of thousands of engineers graduate every year. Even if you go to MIT (which incedentally isn't very hands-on and is better if you're looking to teach or do new-technology startups than work in an established field like amusement parks) there will be hundreds of people in your graduating class. Taking the "right" classes and going to the "right" school won't get you there. If you want to work in a very specific field, there are two things you have to do.

1) Do the right projects. Interviewers don't care whether you got an 89% or a 93% in Statics. You won't be hired because you scored the highest or second highest on that heat transfer exam. As long as you're in the top 20% or so of your graduating class, your actual transcript is largely immaterial. However, if you've initiated the right projects, that will put you miles away from the average candidate. Want to work on roller coasters? Start by making a model. Then make a working model. Once you're comfortable with that, make a more advanced model. As your studies progress maybe around you junior year take a couple or ten grand and build a little woodie somewhere. Write some roller coaster simulation software. Work as a ride op or maintainence. Do things that will tell someone you're interviewing with "Hey, I don't just know what's in the textbook, I have hands on experience. I can create without being spoon fed."

Thats part one. The amusement industry is pretty small, though, so part 2 is also imperative

2) Know the right people. To really make this work you'll have to actively seek out people with connections and get in with them without being an annoying fanboy pest. Some schools have professors who have come from the industry, or who have active ties to it. Those schools are far more valuable than MIT in this case. Figure out who you want to work for early on, and then see where they have connections. For example, Disney has some ties to Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. I'm sure if you researched it you can find where whoever you want to work for is tied to. In any niche market, the old cliche of "its not what you know, its who you know" holds true.

Friday, November 19, 2004 1:17 AM
It is easier to be a flight attendant, so I suggest that.
Friday, November 19, 2004 10:03 AM
University of Central Florida has the Rosen School of Hospitality. The school is loacted in orlando and the hospitality schools campus is located next to Sea World. Its a brand new building and its extremly nice, the programs has always been there but they just recently built a special new campus for the hospitality programs. You can get a degree there in Theme Park/ atraction management. As well as a multitude of class's dealing with the hospitality industry. It dosnt have anything for engineering rides though.
If you are interested in becoming a ride engineer I suggest you go into mechanical engineering at a a good engineering school. I know someone who is currently do that right now.
Friday, November 19, 2004 10:34 AM
I've talked to 2 or 3 "higher ups" in the industry that I've had a chance to know through a friend of a friend and all that stuff.

They all have the same conclusion - if you're trying to get into the business, you won't (unless you work your way up through the ranks from ride op, etc.). The people I talked to all had various degrees (one didn't even graduate from high school, he claims!) but they just sort of fell into the business. Just their "good fortune" that they got to be part of it.

Friday, November 19, 2004 11:42 AM
Here's a way to get in the amusement business... Read you local classifieds. Seabreeze Park in Rochester, NY is advertising a year round ride mechanic in the paper right now... Sounds intriguing
Friday, November 19, 2004 11:47 AM
Work on your communication skills, get a job at a park, have a good attitude, strive to learn continually, go to college, and have as much fun as possible while doing it and it will all fall into place. Don't let these guys scare you. ;)

Or your cousin for that matter. ;)

*** Edited 11/19/2004 4:47:52 PM UTC by janfrederick***

Saturday, November 20, 2004 1:13 AM
MY 02/100 of a dollar...

Use your spell check tool often. Proofread your resume and cover letters. Then get someone else to proofread your resume and cover letters.

Saturday, November 20, 2004 3:56 AM
I went to MSOE and had a career offer to be an assitant to an account manager at CCI. Since, however, I have a dergree in mechanical and architectural engineeing I wasn't up for the position. That was as close as I came to working in the amusement business. The best thing to put on resume, I think, is the abiltiy to work with many different circumstances, such as: a large or small sum of space and money. Also have a wide knowledge of materials that are used in the type of structure you will be building. That's my two cents. Now I work as a arcadian planner and developer, about as far away from roller coasters as it gets.

and one other little thing MATH, not just addition and subtraction, the big stuff...........astroclogical calculus.

Saturday, November 20, 2004 9:01 AM
Take CAD in High School, as much as possible. I go Pittsburgh Technical Institute(PTI) which is said to be one of the best schools of its kind. I'm going for my degree in mechanical engeneering(sp?, they don't teach us how to spell yet, lol). The classes I'm taking in my first quarter are MicroStation, Basic Math, Intro to Drafting, and Pysc. My Intro to Drafting class is all about the hand-drawn aspect. Right now were learning 2-point perspectives as well as 1-point, iso, and oblique. MicroStation is another version of CAD software. It's just as popular as AutoCAD. PTI teaches both because the two programs are equally used in industry. Of course once I graduate in 2006, I'm not stopping there. I'm going to go for other degrees to make sure to secure a job somwhere in this industry. Having many talents can be a plus to some companys. Just think if there CAD departments drops out and they need to cut jobs, someone with more skills in other areas has a better chance of getting another job right away. unfornutatly in HS I only took CAD 1 and not 2, 3, and 4(because I had other credits to make up) Tell your "cuz" to take as much CAD and higher-Math classes as possible.

Saturday, November 20, 2004 11:40 AM
topthrilldragster420, don't send your cuz to that college up north, send him to a real college, THE ohio state university, who also has a great engineering school
Saturday, November 20, 2004 11:51 AM
j/k, Michigan is a great school.

But seriously, as mentioned before the best way to get involved working in a park is to work for a park. My dad's best friend in high school worked at sea world ohio back in the day, got a culinary arts degree, and now runs food operations at Sea World Orlando and he is making the big $. So even if you don't become an enginneer, the are multiple ways to get involved in the amusement park industry if math and physics bore you.

Saturday, November 20, 2004 11:05 PM
Not exactly on topic, actually it should probably be included in most, if not all, threads here: a brief lesson in grammar and usage, one of my major pet peeves.

There- means in that location. Opposite of "here" (not hear, which is another story altogether). "They have the best coasters THERE."

Their- possessive pronoun, meaning belonging to them. "THEIR coasters are the best."

They're- contraction for "they are." "THEY'RE riding the best coaster now."

Hint: If you can substitute the words 'they are' in your sentence, you should be using the "they're." If substituting the words 'they are' sounds really stupid, ('They are' coasters are the best) you should be using one of the other spellings.

That hint also holds true for using the words "its" (belonging to it) and "it's" (short for it is).

That concludes today's grammar lesson. But if I don't start seeing any improvement, I will hunt you down and make you diagram sentences.
THERE, I'm done!


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