Engineering is a broad field encompassing many different specialties; it offers opportunities to work with and develop a variety of technologies. Read on to learn if a career in engineering is right for you.
Engineers use math, science and critical thinking to develop new products, technologies and ways to make everyday life more efficient. Engineers typically specialize in one branch of the field, such as aerospace, electrical, nuclear or mechanical engineering. These professionals must be knowledgeable in math and science, and they must keep abreast of the latest technology and advancements in their specialties.
There's a lot to know before you enter the field of engineering. Study.com has the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education and career.
Education and Licensure Information
While engineers tend to earn a degree in their specialty area, an education in one branch of engineering may qualify students for employment in another applicable branch. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common majors in this field are electrical and electronics engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering (www.bls.gov). A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum education requirement for one hoping to enter this industry; however, some positions, particularly in management, require a master's degree. Those who want to work in research and design must often earn Ph.D.s in their field.
Engineers who provide their services to the public must also become licensed. The licensure process is stringent, entailing completion of an accredited bachelor's degree program and passage of the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Candidates must then work four years as an engineer in training and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam to obtain licensure. Many states also require engineers to maintain licensure through continuing education.
The articles listed below highlight a few degree options and can help you choose the education path that's right for you.
- Engineering Bachelor's Degrees
- Bachelor's Degree in Avionic Engineering
- Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Engineering
- Civil Engineering Master's Degree Programs
- Doctoral Degrees in Engineering
Many schools and universities offer engineering courses and programs online; however, some are not accredited and may not meet licensing standards. Additionally, these courses and programs may have in-person requirements. Check out the pages below to learn more about distance education options in engineering.
- Online Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering
- Civil Engineering Bachelor's Degree Online
- Online Structural Engineering Master's Degree
- Online Doctorate in Safety Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering Degrees Online
Due to the diverse nature of the engineering field, there are many different career paths. Below are just a few options to consider.
According to the BLS, employment of engineers overall was predicted to grow 9% from 2012-2022, although job prospects vary by specialty. During this time, jobs for biomedical engineers were expected to increase 27%, which is much faster than average (BLS). During the same decade, employment of environmental engineers was expected to increase 15%, while civil engineering jobs were expected to grow 20%, both of which are also faster than average (BLS). Meanwhile, jobs for electrical and electronics engineers were predicted to increase 4%, and employment of mechanical engineers was expected to grow 5% during the same time frame, both of which are slower than average rates (BLS).
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