First off.. If you pick engineering.. be prepared to also invest in mining.. or know someone with a mining skill, and who wants to supply you with ore... As most of the engineering items require a type of ore or by product (low level stuff uses copper ore and/or copper bars .. bars are made by smelting.. a side skill of mining,. and doing such increases mining skill)
Get to lvl 5.
You need to find a engineering trainer, and train in journeyman engineering. This caps you at 75 skill for the time being. Ask a guard , they will direct you to one.
Be aware that learning recipies in tradeskills will cost you some coin.. not alot for basic stuff..
If you have chosen to take up mining.. thats the first thing to do. Buy a pick then get out to areas with hills and detect minerals. When you see a gold colored fleck on your map, that will be an ore outcropping. Head there. When you get close enough, you will get a pick icon. Click on the out cropping and start mining. You will either get copper or some stone. or both. rarely you will get malachite. Keep it all.
After 3 or 4 attempts.. you should get some skill raises, then the outcropping will fade. Look around for another.
When you have some stock.. you can do a few things..
The stone can be engineered into rough blasting powder http://www.thottbot.com/beta.cgi?i=196
which in turn can be made into rough dynamite ( 2 powder..also requires a lined cloth. off humanoid mobs up to lvl 15ish).. an aoe explosive thrown at mobs. http://www.thottbot.com/beta.cgi?i=1818. You can do this without a forge.
The ore can be smelted (requires a smithy hammer and a forge.. mostly found in towns.. though some outlying area's do have forges)into copper bars http://www.thottbot.com/beta.cgi?i=Copper%20Bar
Copper bars can be used for alot of items..http://www.thottbot.com/beta.cgi?i=1800 the arclight spanner (engineering tool) being just one.
Once u have you skill over 50 (which doesn't take a whole lot of time, just need the components) you can head back to the trainer and get bumped up to 150 skill, and invest in some new recipies.
Whislt killing kobolds in the mines, I came across a pattern forhttp://www.thottbot.com/beta.cgi?i=12641 Schematic: Mechanical Squirrel. Made myself a nice little squirrel pet.. good fun for a gnome rogue ;)
Further skills let you build rifle scopes, bigger bombs that stun and even rifles etc.
Explore and enjoy. )