There are various possibilities to take into account if you are interested in pursuing an engineering career. It’s necessary to comprehend the many job titles, academic requirements, and employment levels for each discipline of engineering to become acquainted with the industry as a whole. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the top engineering degrees to consider, along with their salaries and job descriptions.
Who are engineers?
A professional who employs science and math to find and address issues in their specialized field is known as an engineer. They are in charge of creating innovative products, technologies, and procedures that progress our lifestyles.
Engineering is a vast area with numerous engineering career routes to choose from based on your interests, talents, and engineering career objectives. Chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering were the four basic fields that made up engineering in the past. The range of engineering specializations and engineering career options has greatly increased over time. There are currently hundreds of distinct subdivisions of engineering within each of the six primary engineering areas chemical, mechanical, civil, electrical, geotechnical, and management.
You can also pursue a variety of diverse STEM subjects inside the engineering field like biomedical engineering, which focuses on the study and development of medical equipment, or a subfield called cosmetics engineering, which aims to create novel formulas for the personal care and beauty sector using novel materials.
What exactly do engineers do?
In short, engineers develop novel, sophisticated applications, systems, and structures. The engineering industry is large, and numerous sectors include other subdivisions in that you can specialize. Although each branch of engineering may lead to a variety of results, experts in this sector eventually use their understanding of engineering systems, design, and integration to build both consumer and business products. Even though projects can vary amongst engineering disciplines, daily obligations for engineers can involve duties like:
- Creating, evaluating, and developing prototypes for a variety of purposes
- Coordination of the creation of unique ideas and cooperation with design teams
- Completing the designs of the project’s plans, systems, and components before starting a new one.
- Guiding the social and environmental effects of development projects to executives, investors, and residents
- Creating remedies to enhance procedures such as production, manufacturing, and construction
- Assessing and examining the structural soundness of elements and components
- Carrying out feasibility studies to evaluate the suitability of project designs that have been proposed
What are the major categories of engineers?
The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, which is described by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, recognizes 17 basic engineering fields, each of which is subdivided into several subsets. Five major engineering disciplines and the various applications they each see are as follows:
1. Electrical and electronics engineer
One of the most important and well-established subfields of engineering is electrical engineering. The design, creation, and continuous maintenance of electrical apparatus, equipment, and parts are the main topics of this subgroup. Electrical engineering specialists frequently work on projects involving the development and implementation of electrical systems, including geospatial and communications equipment, sonar and radar technologies, electronic circuitry, generators, energy circuits, and power circuits.
Electrical engineers are experts who build and contribute to the creation of parts and products that need electricity to operate. Electrical engineers have a variety of subspecialties in which they can specialize. These subspecialties include circuit design and engineering, power generation engineering and application, mechatronics and testing, nanoelectronics engineering and microengineering, telecommunication services system design and engineering, and control systems styling and incorporation.
Below are a few typical responsibilities for engineers in the fields of electrical and electronics:
- Test Engineer
- Electrical design engineer
- Electronics engineer
- Electrical controls engineer
- Instrumentation engineer
2. Mechanical engineer
Another historical branch of engineering is mechanical engineering. The design, creation, and development of machines, mechanical components, and systems are the main focus of this field. To create cutting-edge products and solutions for sectors including the automobile, industrial, manufacturing, and aviation industries, mechanical engineering typically draws on principles from physics, arithmetic, and technology.
There is some overlap between the projects and procedures that mechanics and other engineering specialties can entail, in which some of the basic duties and obligations of this discipline can also be applied. Automotive engineering and configuration, biomechanical engineering and manufacturing, robotics engineering and screening, manufacturing engineering, and industrial management, production technology and system layout, and device engineering, testing, and configuration are some of the specialties that mechanical engineers regularly finish projects.
The following are some typical positions for mechanical engineers:
- Equipment engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Industrial Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Marine engineer
- Automotive engineer
- Heating engineer
- Aerospace engineer
- Biomechanical engineer
3. Civil engineer
The emergence of civil engineering can be attributed to the growth of social systems and human communities. Despite its straightforward beginnings, civil engineering has developed into a field with cutting-edge specializations. In essence, civil engineers plan and direct the development of metropolitan areas, including the creation of buildings, highways, and bridges.
Geological and environmental applications for building and mining operations are also a part of civil engineering. Civil engineers are in charge of a large number of infrastructure systems used in communal living. Civil engineering specialists might focus on fields like architectural engineering and design, road construction and management, ecological and geological engineering, program planning, research and program creation, building and site engineering, as well as areas like water purification system design and novel approaches for erosion and control of pollution.
Typical civil engineering careers include the following:
- Construction engineer
- Structural engineer
- Geotechnical engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Transportation engineer
- Site engineer
- Logistics engineer
- Water resource engineer
4. Chemical engineer
A profession in chemical engineering can involve a wide range of uses for developing or using chemical goods. Chemical engineering is a career path you can take, or you can learn more about the business and consider other jobs. Chemical engineers, however, typically do research, plan, design, and manufacture goods and procedures that depend on chemical substances. They might work at nuclear power plants, agricultural businesses, and chemical production plants.
You can also broaden your employment options by moving into the medical field, which has a high demand for applications of biotechnology and biochemistry. Chemical production engineering and creation, biochemical engineering, nuclear healthcare engineering and manufacturing, petroleum engineering and mine processes, biomedical processes research and testing, and material science and fabric development are a few typical applications you might concentrate on as a chemical engineer.
Typical positions in chemical engineering include the following:
- Process Engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Biochemical engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Biomedical engineer
5. Computer engineer
The discipline of computer engineering, which has several subspecialties, is another one that is expanding within the sector. A wide range of technological applications is worked on by computer engineers, including communication networks, computer software, and hardware. Electrical engineering techniques may also be used by computer engineers to develop, construct, and test computer parts such as circuitry, interior wiring, microchips, and network routers. If you decide to become a computer engineer, you can also focus on areas like hardware design and development, configuration and testing, computer component arrangement, production and quality assurance engineering, software development and coding, networks and systems engineering, metadata management and information engineering, and computer engineering.
The following are some typical computer engineering positions:
- Deep learning engineer
- Computer engineer
- Automation engineer
- Computer hardware engineer
- Robotics engineer
- Network Engineer
- Software engineer
- Systems Engineer
- Data Engineer
- Machine learning engineer
How to get into engineering
An engineering career requires a strong educational foundation. To launch your engineering career, take the following actions:
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree.
- Take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
- Obtain experience at entry-level jobs.
- Pass the state licensing test.
- Get your resume ready.
1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree.
The minimum educational need for engineers is a bachelor’s degree, ideally in engineering or industrial technology. The majority of programs enable specialization, which will aid in your acquisition of in-depth knowledge in a certain field of engineering. Find a school that has an engineering or technology-related program that has been accredited by this organization.
2. Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination.
To get licensed as a professional engineer, candidates must pass two tests, the first of which is the FE exam. You can complete this exam after graduation in the majority of states. You gain the title of “engineer intern” or “engineer in training” after completing the test.
3. Get some experience in entry-level jobs
To obtain a license in the majority of states, engineers must have at least four years of applicable professional experience. To hone your talents, advance your engineering skills, and get ready for licensing, look for an entry-level engineering career or internship.
4. Finish the state licensing test.
Although each state has its specific standards, most states require a test after you’ve accrued the required work experience. To become a professional engineer, satisfy all requirements, including passing the state’s exam.
5. Create a resume.
Create a thorough resume that details your engineering experience with relevant examples. Describe the systems and procedures you’ve created in detail, along with the advantages they offer. You ought to mention this important data, such as the 30% boost in output brought about by your manufacturing procedures. Include any additional applicable abilities you have, such as program management, communication, and problem-solving.
Here are a few of the best engineering career options for you to examine.
- Civil engineer
- Biomedical engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Aerospace engineer
- Computer engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Marine engineer
- Petroleum engineer
1. Biomedical engineer
National average yearly salary: $90,093
The main responsibilities of biomedical engineers in
The main responsibilities of biomedical engineers in an engineering career combine biology, medicine, and engineering. They specialize in creating artificial organs, and artificial limbs, and manufacturing supplies for healthcare. We now have access to X-rays, ultrasounds, EKGs, and many more medical treatments and gadgets thanks to advancements in biomedical engineering. These engineers work with multidisciplinary teams, install and fix medical equipment, and undertake studies and research using their skills in science, mathematics, and medicine.
Education and training prerequisites: An undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from an institution recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. is required (ABET).
2. Electrical engineer
National average yearly salary: $93, 668
Electrical engineers’ main responsibilities in an engineering career are to design and create electrical systems, from complex projects to simple devices. Designing, creating, and testing numerous kinds of electrical devices make up their daily work. Electrical engineering is the broadest branch of engineering, involving work ranging from electricity grids to diagnostic exams to amusement park rides and camcorders.
Education and training prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree in electrical, electronics, or electrical engineering technology from an ABET-accredited school is required for this position.
3. Chemical engineer
National average yearly salary: $63,797
Chemical engineers’ main responsibilities in an engineering career are to solve issues about the atomic and molecular world of chemistry. While they occasionally work in labs doing tests, the majority of their time is spent developing and constructing equipment right there in factories or other production facilities. The majority of a chemical engineer’s duties involve investigating and creating materials into useful things and things.
Education and training prerequisites: ABET-accredited chemical engineering bachelor’s degree program is required for this position. If you wish to work in administration, academia, or research, you could need a postgraduate degree.
4. Mechanical engineer
National average yearly salary: $90,983
Since mechanical engineering is such a complex area of an engineering career, there are a variety of work opportunities available. Many subcategories of mechanical engineering intersect with other engineering industries. Mechanical engineers in an engineering career focus on the mechanical aspects of creating and building tools and equipment. They also put a lot of effort into product design, production, and functionality testing of their concepts. A mechanical engineer can create anything, including an aircraft carrier and a kid’s toy. Although they spend the majority of their days in an office, they occasionally need to be on-site to maintain equipment.
Education and training prerequisites: ABET-accredited mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is required for this position. For people interested in development and research in academics or private enterprises, it is also advised to enroll in a postgraduate or doctoral degree.
5. Computer engineer
National average yearly salary: $53,009
Computer engineers’ main responsibilities in an engineering career include software, hardware, and systems design. Software engineers employ coding languages to create and enhance computer software and apps, whereas computer hardware engineers assemble parts to fix and update computer equipment.
Computer engineers in engineering careers create networks and systems depending on the requirements of their end users. They utilize computers that are provided by their employers and by themselves, as well as specialized tools that doctors use to manage MRI machines or keep patient charts.
Education and training prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited computer science program, computer engineering, computer programming, computing and information systems, electrical engineering, or a similar computer discipline is required.
6. Aerospace engineer
National average yearly salary: $104,472
The principal responsibilities of aerospace engineers in an engineering career include designing, testing, and producing different airplanes, satellites, spacecraft, and weapons. Aerospace engineers need to be knowledgeable about aerodynamics and rocket power instead of working with airplane parts.
Aerospace engineers with engineering careers have the option of specializing in either air or space travel. In the corporate or military sectors, they can work as systems engineers, technical project managers, or consultants on extremely technical assignments. Aeronautical engineers may create passenger planes or fighter aircraft, whereas astronautical engineers can work on the spaceship that delivers the following crew to the International Space Station.
Education and training prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering from an ABET-accredited school is required for this position.
7. Civil engineer
National average yearly salary: $86,353
Civil engineers in an engineering career plan and construct a wide range of projects, such as homes, businesses, highways, and bridges. The civil engineering sector offers a wide range of job choices. For instance, structural engineers supervise building crews to guarantee adherence to safety standards, while transport engineers collaborate with other engineers to enhance a county’s traffic management system.
Education and training prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, civil engineering technology, or a related field from an ABET-accredited program is required for this position.
8. Petroleum engineer
National average yearly salary: $75,302
The main responsibilities of petroleum engineers in an engineering career are to find new sources of gas and oil and to investigate the best ways to apply new technology for an extraction that is not harmful to the environment. Petroleum engineers frequently collaborate with geologists as they continually discover new techniques for drilling below the Earth’s surface.
Education and training prerequisites: the completion of a petroleum engineering bachelor’s program that has earned ABET accreditation. Graduate degrees may open up opportunities in research or academic teaching.
9. Environmental engineer
National average yearly salary: $82,440
Environmental engineers in an engineering career help local populations with environmental issues like oil spills by applying their knowledge. Additionally, they carry out several investigations, write reports, develop thorough environmental monitoring plans, and confirm that buildings comply with regulations.
They are continuously searching for methods to cleanse waterways, techniques for the appropriate disposal of hazardous waste, methods to enhance recycling systems, and other environmental safety projects because the environment is their primary priority. Environmental engineers with engineering careers can work on several related topics, such as soil conservation, environmental balance, and other sustainable environmental fields.
Education and training prerequisites: ABET-accredited course for a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a closely related engineering discipline, like chemical, general, or civil engineering.
10. Marine engineer
National average yearly salary: $78,923
The main responsibilities of marine engineers in an engineering career include designing and building ship engines as well as other seagoing vehicles like cruise liners and oil rigs. They may work for for-profit businesses, NGOs, or governmental entities like the US Navy.
Ship interior systems are the responsibility of marine engineers, who make sure that these constructions have the hydraulics, power, navigation, heating, conditioning, and ventilation systems needed to operate. The blueprints and schematics are created by marine engineers, who also estimate the project’s cost and development timetable. To ensure that these boats are in good functioning order, they also conduct testing and inspections.
Education and training prerequisites: A marine engineering bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited institution is required. A graduate degree could open up executive employment in the marine or naval architectural industries.
Engineers need several crucial abilities. These enable them to generate inventions that will assist them to progress in their professions and success.
- Creativity: Engineering requires creativity since it allows for the development of novel ideas and fresh methods.
- Communication: Engineering professionals must effectively communicate their thoughts to the rest of their team. Either verbally or in writing is acceptable.
- Detail-oriented: In engineering, even the smallest details can have a significant impact. These experts need to have an acute eye for the smallest minute details of a project.
- Self-control: Engineering is a demanding profession that always throws up new issues that need to be resolved. Engineers need to possess the self-control to focus intently on each project till it is finished.
- Technical talents: An engineer’s range of scientific and technological capabilities varies depending on their specialty, however, all engineers need to have strong technical abilities.
Engineering is a vast area with numerous career routes to choose from based on your interests, talents, and engineering career objectives. Mechanical, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering were the four basic fields that made up engineering in the past. The variety of engineering degrees and employment options has grown dramatically over time. There are currently hundreds of different subcategories of engineering within each of the six primary engineering areas chemical, mechanical, civil, management, electrical, and geotechnical.
Frequently Asked Questions on engineering careers
Below are a few frequently asked questions concerning the engineering career and their responses:
- Do I require a diploma or a degree?
It’s crucial to think about if your chosen occupation calls for a degree in engineering or only a certification. A college education may occasionally be necessary for more highly specialized professions, such as synthetic and nuclear engineering, even though certification can enable you to begin your engineering career more rapidly.
- Do I need to enlist in a professional organization?
Look at a few of the engineering professional groups and think about joining. The majority of these organizations aid aspiring engineers in beginning their engineering careers.
- Do I require a license for engineering?
The majority of firms need candidates for employment to have the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) licenses. It’s critical to examine the prerequisites for your preferred engineering career path because certain jurisdictions additionally call for extra licensing.