Careers in the Engineering Field: Typical Courses & Degrees

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  • 0:02 What Is Engineering?
  • 1:12 Careers in Engineering
  • 4:22 Educational Requirements
  • 5:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

While there are many different fields of engineering, they all focus on design, development, and manufacturing. This lesson covers the details of many different types of engineering.

What Is Engineering?

Hi. So, you think you might like to be an engineer? That sounds great! But, do you know what an engineer does?

The thing is, that isn't really an easy question to answer. Basically, an engineer designs, develops, or manufactures things to enhance or improve society. Initially, 'the field of engineering' referred to:

Chemical

Civil

Electrical

Mechanical

engineering. Each of these contained more specific fields, but these four were the main schools of engineering.

Now, however, the different schools of engineering have expanded to include:

Aerospace

Agricultural

Architectural

Biomedical

Civil

Chemical

Computer

Construction

Electrical

Environmental

Industrial

Geotechnical

Manufacturing

Marine

Mechanical

Metallurgical

Mining

Nuclear

Safety

• And many more than that!

Careers in Engineering

Work in the engineering field doesn't just mean building things; engineering fields range from computer science through agricultural engineering. The field literally spans from space (aerospace engineering) to underground (mining engineering). With a field so broad, anyone with a strong aptitude for maths and sciences can find a career to suit them in the area of engineering.

Another great thing about engineering work is that there are many different environments in which you can work - you might be in the field working with your hands or at a desk working at a computer. You could write an instruction manual for how to put together a model kit and then go to the lab to follow your own instructions, ensuring that nothing has been missed.

So, what actual career paths can you follow in engineering? Well, the answer to that depends greatly on the field of engineering in which you get your degree. I will highlight just a few of the careers available in four different engineering fields.

Let's take aerospace engineering first. Aerospace engineering careers deal with the design, development, and manufacture of aircraft. Careers may be civil or military (or civilian-military contractor). You could enter into a career in avionics or aerospace/astronautics or become an aircraft technician, aircraft architect, or payload specialist.

Another field of engineering is biomedical engineering, which focuses on the design, development, and manufacture of biological and medical products to enhance the medical field. Some careers in this field are found in the areas of biomechanics, drug design and delivery, medical imaging, and pharmaceuticals.

Agricultural engineering is a field that focuses on the design, development, and manufacture of materials used to improve agricultural issues. As an agricultural engineer, you could work for the government, construction or mining companies, food manufacturers, or agricultural companies.

Finally, consider a career in the field of industrial engineering, which is the design, development, and manufacture of both goods and services in an industrial setting. Jobs in this field include safety engineer, quality assurance manager, or factory floor manager.

I only mentioned four engineering fields; did you notice how different each was from the other? From planes to hospitals to fields to factories - all of these areas require specially trained engineers to enhance their workings. Notice also that each area of engineering focuses on design and development. The basic science of invention is important to all fields of engineering.

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