Engineers use the math and science to develop efficient solutions to technical problems. Are you constantly looking for ways to make a product or process better? Do you like to research problems and come up with the best possible solution? Are you able to apply mathematical concepts in your research? You might find engineering work highly satisfying, both intellectually and financially since engineers are constantly learning and are among the highest earning college graduates. While most engineering opportunities do require a bachelor’s degree, you should bear in mind that there are many different types of engineers and the courses required for each are equally diverse.
All engineers draw from mathematics, physics, and science to solve problems. However, there are specialties within the engineering industry. Here is a list of some types of engineers and a brief description of what they do:
Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircrafts, spacecrafts, and missiles as well as supervise the manufacturing of these products.
Agricultural engineers use engineering technology and science to contribute to the agricultural industry. Agricultural engineers design equipment, study ways to improve the processing of agricultural products, and develop power systems and structures.
Biomedical engineers design and develop devices and procedures that aid medical and health-related problems.
Chemical engineers use chemistry to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals and biochemicals.
Civil engineers work with the design, construction, and maintenance of all forms of infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, dams, roadways, and tunnels.
Computer engineers research, design, develop, and test computer hardware and software.
Electrical engineers work with the design and development of electrical products, such as lighting and wiring.
Environmental engineers use biology and chemistry to solve environmental issues.
Industrial engineers determine the most efficient way to use people, materials, machines, information, and energy to manufacture a product or offer a service.
Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, and test mechanical devices, such as tools, machines, and engines.
Nuclear engineers design and develop the instruments and processes used to obtain benefits from nuclear energy.
Petroleum engineers search out reservoirs for oil and natural gas then work with other specialists to extract these resources.
Qualities and Skills
Those interested in pursuing an engineering degree need to possess an affinity for investigation and research as well as solid mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Depending on the type of engineering you choose, you will be required to take specialized courses like chemistry, algebra, geometry, and computer programming. Good communication skills, both written and oral, will also be essential to this field since you must be able to effectively convey your ideas.
Civil engineers hold a large portion of the 1.5 million engineering jobs in the U.S., while agricultural engineers occupy the least. Approximately twelve percent of all engineering jobs fall under the government. Engineers are needed everywhere—from metropolitan to rural areas.
Earnings vary by industry, specialty, and education, with the highest earners being those with a master’s degree or Ph.D.