What Is Engineering? Encompassing a variety of specialties, engineering is a growing industry that offers competitive pay as well as new opportunities to develop and work with various technologies. Engineers use science, critical thinking, and mathematics to develop new ideas, products, and technologies, often to make life simpler or more efficient. Engineers will often specialize in one field, such as electrical, aerospace, mechanical, or civil engineering.
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Engineering Degree Options
With the current job market being volatile, engineering is an industry with a stable growth rate, and a bachelor's degree offers consistently top-paying employment opportunities.
Students wishing to earn their bachelor's in engineering can choose between a variety of specializations, which include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, architectural engineering, software engineering, and chemical engineering.
Obtaining a bachelor's degree in engineering is generally the minimum educational requirement for those aspiring to become engineers; however, certain positions require one to obtain a master's degree.
Individuals striving to find a position in research and development are often required to obtain their Ph.D. in that particular field. Aspiring engineers who wish to find employment as a university or college professor are required to obtain doctoral degrees in engineering. Doctoral degrees provide a range of specializations, including biotechnology, green engineering, engineering physics, and nanotechnology.
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What Should Engineers Be Passionate About?
Professionals in the engineering field must have a thorough knowledge of science and mathematics, keeping abreast of current advancements in the technology of their specialized fields. While engineers focus on earning a degree in their field of specialization, obtaining a degree in one branch may qualify individuals for work in other engineering branches.
Some Types of Engineering Have Licensure Requirements
Those who wish to provide engineering services to the public must also earn their license. Obtaining one’s license can be a stringent process, requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university as well as the completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering test. Upon passage of the examination, engineers are required to work as engineers in training for four years and successfully complete the Principles of Engineering test in order to obtain their license.
Most states require engineers to keep their license current through continuing education.
Engineering Career Opportunities
Obtaining a degree in engineering can be a rewarding career move, opening many new doors for employment. Because the engineering field holds diverse career opportunities, individuals can seek employment as a:
- Mechanical Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Civil Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Aircraft/Aerospace Engineer
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), states that opportunities for employment in engineering should increase by approximately 11 percent between 2008 and 2018, with employment increases including:
- Biomedical engineering at 72 percent
- Environmental engineering at 31 percent
- Civil engineering at 24 percent
Individuals seeking to obtain their engineering degrees should remember that wages vary according to their specializations; however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that engineering provides highly competitive wages compared to other career paths.