For me being an engineer involves a lot of problem solving, data analysis (spreadsheet bashing), and calculations.
There are also ‘soft’ skills that are a big part of my job. Being able to communicate with different people is a very important thing, from senior management & principal engineers down to site operators. All these people need to be communicated with differently.
Also it involves diagnostic skills – being able to identify problems on operating kit, a bit like finding a fault with a car.