Online bachelor's degree programs in electrical, fire safety, and construction engineering technology fields are available, as well as several others. These programs are available in online and hybrid formats and may require students to attend scheduled weekly chat sessions for the program. Some programs, such as construction engineering technology, may require students to complete on-campus visits to gain hands-on training in the field and meet a residency requirement. Students may also complete a research or final project in their final semester. Additionally, students may want to look for programs that are accredited by the ABET, since these programs are designed to provide students with the most current skills in the field.
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology
A Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology program teaches students to use mathematics, science, technology and problem-solving skills in the design, development and maintenance of electronic products and services. Electrical engineers are responsible for conducting tests, quality control, inspecting products, collecting data and helping with product design. Some engineers specialize in a particular field of engineering, such as mechanical, civil, aeronautic, electric, environmental or industrial. While employment is possible without a degree, employers overwhelmingly prefer candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree.
Program Information and Requirements
Students generally dedicate four years to completing a bachelor's degree program. For online instruction, students need a computer with Internet connectivity. Instructors teach with downloadable lectures and documents. Enrollees may use a drop box for assignments and access study notes online. Communication occurs through course management systems, e-mail, live chat and phone.
Along with general education requirements, students take beginning and advanced courses in areas, such as circuits and microprocessors, specifically designed for the electrical engineering technology major. Courses give students practical, hands-on experience and prepare them for employment after graduation or further education.
Basics of Computer Circuits
This computer circuitry basics course acts as a foundation for work in electrical engineering technology. Students study and analyze the physical make up and operation of simple and complex circuit systems.
Basics of Programming and Java
Students get introduced to various programming methods, such as command-line-oriented UNIX, Linux and Eclipse IDE. Students also study the programming system, Java, and complex programming methods.
Introduction to Calculus
Instructors teach about the mathematic principles of derivatives, parts and substitution, area under the curve, derivative tests, limits, concavity and integration. An advanced calculus course typically follows this one.
Bachelor of Science in Fire Safety Engineering Technology
Individuals interested in becoming firefighters or fire inspectors or working in other fire prevention positions may be interested in earning a Bachelor of Science in Fire Safety Engineering Technology. Such a program educates students in the prevention, containment and extinguishing of fires. Other training areas include response to medical emergencies and traffic accidents, as well as the collection and disposal of hazardous materials. Some programs require applicants to hold an associate's degree in fire protection prior to enrollment.
Program Information and Requirements
Within four years, students can complete the curriculum for fire safety engineering technology. Online students rely on computers with Internet access. Instructors use traditional texts along with modern teaching technologies, such as web chats, online presentations and course management systems. Students and instructors communicate via e-mail. Some programs may require students to participate in live weekly sessions using a virtual classroom meeting software, such as Wimba.
Students may have the option to choose a concentration, such as fire administration or fire protection engineering. All majors learn fire prevention and emergency services techniques, in addition to taking general education courses.
Basics of Fire Behavior
Students learn basic terminology and concepts applicable to the physical and chemical properties of fire and hazardous materials. They look at the dynamics of fire from a fire prevention and safety standpoint.
Basics of Modern Fire Prevention Systems
This course covers fire detection, fire prevention, containment, control systems and extinguishment methods. Among other things, students examine automatic sprinkler systems, dry chemical, fire alarm systems, standpipes and foam.
Basics of Hazardous Materials
Instructors educate students about the transportation, storage and safe handling of hazardous materials. Topics of special interest include the importance of emergency preparedness and proper response in a hazardous material incident.
Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology
Construction engineers are responsible for and intricately involved in the construction of commercial buildings, residential and industrial structures, bridges, roads, schools and hospitals. They oversee the daily operations on-site, such as zoning and permit issues, hiring of contractors, crew scheduling and budgeting. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering is highly preferable and usually a requirement for employment in mid-level management, upper-level management and supervisory positions.
Program Information and Requirements
To complete a 4-year online or hybrid program, students use an Internet-connected computer. Students may participate in onsite construction visits and observation, in addition to completing online courses. Some programs require certain courses be taken on-campus to fulfill a residence requirement. A research project may be part of the curriculum.
Courses prepare graduates to serve a multi-functional purpose on construction sites, including coordinating, supervising and completing a project from conception to completion. Enrollees also partake in core general courses and electives.
Basics of Construction Methods and Materials
Students get a thorough understanding of basic construction methods and materials, such as wood, masonry, glass, metal and concrete. Special topics of interest related to construction methods include foundation formation, framing, window installation, cladding, door installation and roofing.
Basics of Plans and Specifications
This course covers reading architectural drawings, interpreting plans, deciphering architectural symbols and notes, coordinating and referencing between multiple drawings, construction techniques and legal factors. Students also study the creation of specifications and how to incorporate material properties.
Basics of Mechanical and Electrical Systems
The class looks at mechanical and electrical systems from a design and construction standpoint. Students learn about energy conservation, the HVAC system, fire protection, plumbing, lighting, information systems and electrical distributions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the median annual salary for electrical and electronics engineering technicians as of May 2018 as $64,330. Job opportunities were thought to be best for engineering technicians who hold an associate's degree or higher in engineering technology.
In addition to formal education, aspiring firefighters must pass written and physical examinations. While employment is possible with a high school diploma or associate's degree, more and more working firefighters are choosing to obtain a bachelor's degree. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that local government employed 89% of firefighters and that 5% growth in employment was expected between 2018 and 2028. Firefighters were reported to have earned a median annual wage of $49,620 as of May 2018.
As construction methods and technologies become increasingly more complex, there is a need for well-educated workers with a bachelor's or master's degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) stated that in 2018, about 40% of construction managers were self-employed, and employment was expected to rise 10% from 2018-2028. The BLS placed the median average wage for construction managers to be at $93,370 as of May 2018.
Engineering technology is a broad field that is covered in a number of online and hybrid programs, including a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology, B.S. in Fire Safety Engineering Technology and a B.S. in Construction Engineering Technology. These programs may increase graduates' chances of employment in fields like firefighting, construction managing and electrical engineering.