Roller Coaster Design Careers

If you love riding roller coasters and you dream of creating the ultimate one, a career as a roller coaster designer could be in your future. Engineer degrees help move you up that track, down into a job and around to an exciting job of thrills!

Imagine yourself going to work, sitting down at your desk, switching your computer on and going for the ride of your life! You, with the help of your computer screen, travel slowly up a track, hundreds of feet high, then race to the bottom of the hill. You are twisting and turning, whipping and whirring without even leaving your desk. As a roller coaster designer you could experience this in your daily work!

Roller coasters have come a long way from the first coasters. Currently, the number of amusement parks in the country is approximately 115. The number of coasters continues to rise due to competition for raising attendance. The roller coaster is the main draw for the park. The bigger, the better; the faster, the scarier; the higher, the best!

Although no formal school exists to train a person on roller coaster design, the knowledge that an engineer; electrical, mechanical, architectural drafting and structural, has is important in the creating of roller coasters.



The process of designing a roller coaster in this very competitive market depends upon the needs of the amusement park. Designers take into the development plan information such as budget, environment, specific design elements and safety. After a proposal has been accepted by the amusement park and the design team, the process of building begins. The coordination of the engineers, designers and drafters is vital as the project moves forward. They must take into account the lay of the land, length of the ride, capacity of the vehicles and the weight limits. The structural engineer will work on designing the support structure of the roller coaster and the lay-out design. A mechanical engineer will design and create the vehicles of the roller coaster. He/She would also be involved with any other mechanical aspects of the coaster. An electrical engineer works on designing of the "brain" or control system of the roller coaster.

In order for someone to find a job in the roller coaster design and fabrication field, good grades, solid math and physics background and an interest in design are important. Because there are not specific roller coaster design schools, a student should focus on engineering as their major. Structural, mechanical and electrical engineering are all degrees that would be an excellent major choice. Architectural engineering and drafting degrees are two majors that also support this type of career.

From the beginning of the project with the contact of the potential park, through meetings of planning and strategizing, designing and envisioning, roller coaster design teams work closely together to build safe yet wild, exciting rides. Engineers of all types are needed to ensure the safety of the customer while also creating a ride that thrills and can compete with the coasters of the present. With only about 100 roller coaster design companies in the United States, the opportunity to work as a roller coaster designer is slight. However, if you are a person who loves the speed, height and turns of a wild roller coaster ride, designing these contraptions could be your dream job. Besides what could be better than being the first rider on your own creation"¦for free!

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