A baccalaureate degree in engineering is generally awarded in a specific specialty; some of the most common include civil, mechanical, industrial, electronics, computer hardware, and aerospace engineering. These degree programs can take up to five years to complete. To enroll, students must have a high school diploma or GED and a high GPA. High ACT or SAT scores are also beneficial due to the competitive nature of these degree programs.
Baccalaureate Degree in Engineering
Applicants to engineering programs are required to have substantial coursework in math, science, English, and social studies. Specifically, classes in algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, biology, chemistry, and physics are generally required. In these programs, students learn about mathematics, humanities, and social and basic sciences and take introductory courses during the first two years of study. The final portion of the curriculum emphasizes engineering courses in the specialty of choice and therefore varies. Common topics of study may include:
- Introduction to engineering
- Distributed systems and fields
- Materials science
- Control theory
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, various types of engineers earned $126,200 as a median annual wage in 2018.
In the United States, engineers must be a licensed (professional engineer or PE) if they offer their knowledge and skills to the public directly. Earning the PE credential requires completion of a bachelor's degree and two exams as well as four years of professional experience. Most states mandate continuing education in order to maintain licensing credential. Additionally, there are numerous professional organizations, organized by engineering specialty, which offer certification programs. Graduate degree programs are available in engineering, but generally emphasize research and academic training.
A bachelor's degree program in engineering covers many fundamental skills of the field and allows for numerous options for specializing in specific types of engineering, helping to prepare students for various careers. Engineers in nearly any field will need to be licensed, and can also apply for certification in their specialization and pursue graduate education.