When pursuing a career in engineering, you will be surprised by the various fields and paths you can take. No matter what degree you choose, each focuses on some form of problem-solving, making engineering highly interesting.
There are several employment opportunities for engineering students because countless engineering specializations are available, and the demand for engineering talent keeps growing across various industries. Also, considering that the average salary of an engineer in the United States of America is $58,354 per year, landing a career in this industry is a no-brainer.
Ultimately, your engineering specialization and personal interests will play a role in the engineering job you eventually land. Hop on as we explore the top engineering major options available for students.
1. Mechanical Engineering
This field of engineering focuses on creating machines or mechanical systems. Mechanical engineering degrees for undergraduates strongly emphasize teaching students the fundamentals of mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering so that they can pursue more specialized careers. Graduate-level mechanical engineering degree programs improve a mechanical engineer’s knowledge of quality control, financial planning, and client interaction.
For success, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering is recommended. The good news is that there is a way for you to continue your education while pursuing your career – online education. After completing your Online Masters of Mechanical Engineering, you should be able to pursue higher-level employment opportunities as an automotive engineer, aerospace engineer, construction engineer, technology specialist, or biomedical engineer with a degree in mechanical engineering.
2. Aerospace Engineering
As the name implies, a major in aerospace focuses on flying. Students study the mechanics that propel airplanes and rockets. Calculus, chemistry, and physics are typical courses in an aerospace engineering curriculum. Pursuing a graduate degree in aeronautical engineering could land you a job with commercial airlines, space companies, or even the military.
3. Chemical Engineering
Chemical engineering is the field that focuses on exploring chemical and biological processes to create valuable materials or substances. It is a multidisciplinary study that combines mathematics, economics, life sciences, and natural and experimental sciences like chemistry and physics. If you are into logical thinking, are interested in natural or life sciences, and are curious about how items are made chemically, this field of study is for you. A chemical engineer can choose from career paths such as process engineering, plant design, chemical reaction engineering, and process design.
4. Biomedical Engineering
This field of engineering combines technology with medicine. You will study recent technological developments, such as diagnostic imaging tools or artificial organs. Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are available in biomedical engineering.
Anatomy, computer programming, electrical systems, and biology are common topics in biomedical engineering programs.
After graduating as a biomedical engineer, you can work as a researcher, a biomaterials developer, or even a medical technology developer. Some medical schools require a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering too.
5. Computer Engineering
Computer engineering involves the creation and use of computer systems. Students who earn a degree in computer engineering are prepared for a wide range of occupations, including those in network security, software app development, telecommunications, computer programming, and hardware development.
Computer science, software engineering, network security, electrical engineering, and algebra are some of the subjects that are frequently taught in computer engineering degree programs.
6. Environmental Engineering
This field of study involves using science and technology to improve the environment. Creating healthier water systems, reducing air pollution, and completing construction projects without endangering the local environment are some common objectives of environmental engineers.
Students usually take chemistry, calculus, sustainable design, air pollution control, and water quality control courses when they enroll in an environmental engineering degree program. One can pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. in environmental engineering.
Graduates can work as wastewater treatment engineers, environmental compliance specialists, or pollution control engineers.
7. Structural Engineering
It may be called a subset of civil engineering, which focuses on building residential and commercial structures. Students pursuing a degree in structural engineering learn how to create buildings in various environments and how to protect structures from natural disasters like wind and erosion.
This engineering field focuses on building math and science competencies, such as physics and calculus. Although there are graduate and undergraduate programs available in structural engineering, these programs are more inclined toward civil engineering. As you graduate with a degree in structural engineering, you can join teams that create buildings in the public or private sectors.
8. Architectural Engineering
This type of engineering focuses on the study of building design. Architectural engineering degrees are available to students of all academic levels, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral.
Architectural engineering differs slightly from architecture, focusing on a building’s electrical, mechanical, and structural systems. As you enroll in an architectural engineering program, you gain information about the design of buildings and building systems on a theoretical and practical level. Courses in physics, electrical systems, calculus, and architectural history are taught in the program. Graduates from architectural engineering programs frequently start their careers at places like architecture companies or real estate companies.
9. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering studies the construction of structures like roads, buildings, railroads, and bridges. It is one of the most important branches of engineering. Therefore, you may find lucrative career opportunities as a civil engineer. The average salary of a Civil Engineer in the US is $72,513. Still, the salary range can vary based on education, additional skills, certifications, and years of professional experience.
The courses taught in this program include linear algebra, project management, physics, and mechanics. After graduation, you can easily find a public or private sector job as a project engineer, geotechnical engineer, or structural engineer. Your responsibilities may include preparing proposals, estimating labor and material costs, establishing project completion dates, and more.
As soon as you start your engineering degree, you will have to decide on the major soon. Although there is no fuss about hopping from one engineering branch to another, you will have to take new classes. Learning about the engineering disciplines while still in high school is recommended to avoid this and save time. Do your research and work with a career counselor to determine your interests. Once you know enough about the disciplines available, compare them to your hobbies and professional aspirations and decide from there.