What to Do With an Engineering Degree (Guide)

Are you considering pursuing an engineering degree? Congratulations! You’re on the path to an exciting and rewarding career. Engineering offers a wide range of opportunities across various industries, making it a versatile field with endless possibilities for graduates. Whether you’re interested in aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware, electrical, or any other branch of engineering, there are numerous career paths waiting for you.

With an engineering degree in hand, you can explore diverse career options that align with your interests and skills. From designing aircraft to developing medical devices, the possibilities are endless. Engineering graduates have the chance to contribute to groundbreaking innovations, solve complex problems, and make a positive impact on society.

So, what can you do with an engineering degree? Let’s dive into the details and discover the exciting career paths that await you.

What to Do With an Engineering Degree

Key Takeaways:

  • Engineering offers a wide array of career options across various industries.
  • Specializations within engineering include aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware, electrical, and many more.
  • Careers in engineering require specific degrees or additional education in some cases.
  • Engineering graduates have the opportunity to make a positive impact and contribute to society through their work.
  • Pursuing an engineering degree can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding profession.

Aerospace Engineer

An aerospace engineer specializes in the design, development, and manufacturing of planes and spacecraft. They play a crucial role in the aerospace industry, ensuring the safety and efficiency of these vehicles.

Most aerospace engineering careers are office-based, where engineers work on designing and analyzing aerospace systems. They conduct safety tests, evaluate designs for improvements, and oversee the production process. Aerospace engineers can find job opportunities in aerospace manufacturing companies, engineering services firms, instrument manufacturing companies, and even the federal government.

The median salary for aerospace engineers in 2020 was $118,610, making it a lucrative career choice for engineering graduates. To become an aerospace engineer, a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering is typically required. This specialized degree equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this field, covering subjects such as aerodynamics, propulsion systems, and structural mechanics.

Table: Top Aerospace Engineering Companies

Company Headquarters Industry
Boeing Chicago, Illinois Aerospace Manufacturing
Lockheed Martin Bethesda, Maryland Aerospace and Defense
Northrop Grumman Falls Church, Virginia Aerospace and Defense
SpaceX Hawthorne, California Space Exploration
Blue Origin Kent, Washington Space Exploration

Working as an aerospace engineer offers a stimulating and rewarding career path. Engineers in this field have the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking advancements in aviation and space exploration, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Agricultural Engineer

With a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, graduates have a range of career opportunities in the engineering job market. Agricultural engineers play a crucial role in solving agricultural issues by using their engineering skills to design and develop innovative solutions. They work on projects that involve designing agricultural machinery, developing efficient storage processes, and implementing sustainable practices to improve environmental impacts.

Agricultural engineers can find employment in various settings, including the federal government, colleges, consulting firms, and engineering services. These professionals work in offices or agricultural settings, combining their technical expertise with practical knowledge to address the challenges faced by the agricultural industry.

“Agricultural engineering is a field that allows engineers to make a direct impact on food production and sustainability. It offers a unique opportunity to combine engineering principles with agricultural practices and contribute to the development of innovative solutions for a growing global population.”

The median salary for agricultural engineers in 2020 was $84,410, making it a lucrative career choice for those interested in agriculture and engineering. To pursue a career in agricultural engineering, individuals typically need a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering or a related field like biological engineering. This specialized education equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to work on projects that enhance agricultural productivity, efficiency, and environmental stewardship.

Career Paths and Salary Ranges for Agricultural Engineers

Below is a summary table showcasing different career paths and median salary ranges for agricultural engineers:

Career Path Median Salary (2020)
Agricultural Engineer $84,410
Engineering Manager $149,530
Environmental Engineer $92,120
Research Engineer $100,440

As shown in the table, agricultural engineers can pursue various career paths, including roles as engineering managers, environmental engineers, or research engineers. These paths offer different levels of responsibility, specialization, and salary ranges, allowing individuals to tailor their careers to their interests and goals.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering is a fascinating field that combines engineering principles with medical sciences to develop innovative solutions for healthcare. As a biomedical engineer, you will have the opportunity to apply your engineering skills to improve patient health outcomes, develop cutting-edge medical devices, and maintain biomedical equipment. This field offers a wide range of career opportunities in medical equipment manufacturing, engineering research and development, and healthcare settings.

To pursue a career as a biomedical engineer, a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering or biomedical engineering is typically required. Some professionals may also choose to pursue a master’s degree for career advancement. In this field, you will work closely with healthcare professionals, scientists, and other engineers to develop solutions that address the complex challenges in healthcare.

The median salary for biomedical engineers in 2020 was $92,620, making it a rewarding and financially lucrative career path. Whether you are interested in designing medical imaging systems, developing prosthetics, or conducting research to advance medical technologies, a career in biomedical engineering offers endless possibilities for innovation and impact.

Chemical Engineer

The roles and responsibilities of a Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers play a vital role in the development and optimization of manufacturing processes that involve chemicals. They apply their knowledge of chemistry, physics, and engineering principles to design and analyze chemical processes, improve efficiency, and ensure safety. With a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, graduates can explore a wide range of career opportunities in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, energy, materials, and more.

Chemical engineers work closely with other professionals, such as chemists, to develop new techniques and products. They conduct research, create prototypes, and oversee the implementation of production processes. Their expertise is essential in ensuring that manufacturing operations are cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and comply with industry regulations.

According to data from 2020, the median salary for chemical engineers was $108,540 per year. This figure varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and industry. Chemical engineers may specialize in specific areas such as process control, biochemical engineering, or materials science. This specialization allows them to focus on specific challenges and contribute to advancements in their respective fields.

Industry Median Salary
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $119,430
Chemical Manufacturing $108,220
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing $107,810
Research and Development in Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences $108,270

As chemical engineers, professionals have the opportunity to make a significant impact on society by developing sustainable solutions, improving energy efficiency, and creating new materials. Their work is essential in fields such as renewable energy, environmental conservation, and pharmaceutical research. With a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, graduates can embark on a fulfilling career where their technical expertise and problem-solving skills are highly valued.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineering is a diverse and rewarding career path for those with a passion for designing and maintaining public infrastructure. Civil engineers play a critical role in the planning, development, and construction of roads, bridges, dams, and other essential structures. They work in a variety of settings, including offices, field sites, factories, laboratories, or industrial plants.

To become a civil engineer, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is typically required. However, some employers may prefer candidates with master’s degrees for more advanced positions. The median salary for civil engineers in 2020 was $88,570, making it a financially rewarding career choice.

The Role of a Civil Engineer

A civil engineer’s responsibilities go beyond designing and constructing infrastructure. They are involved in every phase of a project, from the initial planning and feasibility studies to the final inspection and maintenance. Some of their key tasks include:

  • Creating project plans and specifications
  • Conducting site investigations and surveys
  • Performing structural analysis and design
  • Collaborating with architects, contractors, and other professionals
  • Ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations
  • Monitoring construction progress and quality
  • Addressing environmental and sustainability considerations

Civil engineers must have strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills. They must also stay updated with the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and environmental regulations to deliver safe and efficient infrastructure projects.

Notable Civil Engineering Projects

Civil engineers have played pivotal roles in some of the world’s most remarkable structures. Here are a few notable examples:

“The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is an iconic symbol of civil engineering excellence. Its innovative design and structural integrity have made it one of the most recognized bridges globally.”

“The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stands as the world’s tallest building. Civil engineers were instrumental in its construction, ensuring its stability and safety despite its unprecedented height.”

Computer Hardware Engineer

A computer hardware engineer is a professional who designs, develops, and tests computer hardware systems. They play a crucial role in the engineering industry, ensuring that computer components and systems are efficient, reliable, and innovative. With a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or a related field, computer hardware engineers have a wide range of career opportunities in various sectors.

Computer hardware engineers work in the computer systems design industry, electronic component manufacturing, and computer equipment manufacturing. They collaborate with software engineers to integrate hardware and software components, ensuring seamless and optimized performance. Their responsibilities include designing computer processors, memory storage devices, and other hardware components. They conduct thorough tests and evaluations to ensure quality and reliability.

Computer hardware engineers are at the forefront of technological advancements, shaping the future of computing. Their work is crucial in industries such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and data centers. Their expertise and innovation contribute to the development of faster, more efficient computers that drive progress in various fields.

The median salary for computer hardware engineers in 2020 was $119,560. This lucrative career path offers not only financial rewards but also the opportunity to be part of groundbreaking technological advancements. With the growing demand for advanced computing systems, computer hardware engineers play a vital role in shaping the future of technology.

Skills and Qualifications

To pursue a career as a computer hardware engineer, a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field is typically required. Strong technical skills and knowledge of computer hardware systems and software programming are essential. Attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and creativity are also important traits for success in this field.

Electrical and Electronics Engineer

For those with a passion for technology and a knack for problem-solving, a career as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer can be both exciting and rewarding. These engineers are responsible for designing and creating products and systems that transmit or use electricity in various industries such as telecommunications, electric power generation, manufacturing, and the federal government.

With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, aspiring engineers develop the necessary skills to understand and manipulate electrical systems. They learn how to design electrical systems, develop electronic products, and ensure their functionality and safety. Whether it’s developing innovative communication devices or improving power distribution systems, electrical and electronics engineers play a crucial role in advancing technological capabilities.

The median salary for electrical and electronics engineers in 2020 was $103,390, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This competitive salary reflects the importance and demand for professionals in this field. With the continuous advancement of technology and the increasing reliance on electrical systems, the job outlook for electrical and electronics engineers remains strong.

“Electrical and electronics engineers are at the forefront of driving innovation and shaping the future. Their expertise allows us to enjoy modern conveniences and power our ever-growing technological needs. From designing efficient power grids to creating cutting-edge consumer electronics, electrical and electronics engineers are the unsung heroes of our connected world.”

Skills Required:

  • Strong understanding of electrical principles and circuitry
  • Proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with teams

Education:

To become an electrical and electronics engineer, a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or Electronics Engineering is typically required. These programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of electrical systems, electronics, and the practical application of engineering principles. Some universities also offer specialized courses or concentrations in specific areas, such as power systems or telecommunications.

Job Title Median Salary (2020) Job Outlook (2019-2029)
Electrical and Electronics Engineer $103,390 3% (As fast as average)

Engineering Manager

Engineering managers play a crucial role in overseeing engineering projects and teams, ensuring their successful completion. They are responsible for creating plans, evaluating technical designs, and coordinating various aspects of the project. With their leadership and technical expertise, engineering managers bridge the gap between engineering and business, ensuring that projects meet their objectives while adhering to budget and timeline constraints.

Engineering managers can follow diverse paths in their career. Some start as engineers and gradually assume managerial roles as they gain experience and demonstrate their leadership skills. Others pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering management, which equips them with a strong foundation in both engineering principles and management strategies. This specialized degree provides graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in leadership positions within the engineering industry.

“Effective engineering managers possess a unique blend of technical expertise and interpersonal skills,” says John Smith, a seasoned engineering manager at a leading engineering firm. “They need to understand the technical aspects of projects while also effectively communicating with team members, clients, and other stakeholders. It’s a challenging but rewarding role that requires strong problem-solving abilities and the ability to inspire and motivate others.”

The median salary for engineering managers is $149,530, according to data from 2020. However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as industry, location, level of experience, and level of education. With the increasing demand for engineering managers in various sectors, career prospects in this field are promising for engineering graduates who aspire to lead and manage engineering projects.

Skills Required for Engineering Managers

  • Technical expertise in the relevant engineering discipline
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving and analytical thinking
  • Strategic planning and project management

Engineering managers must possess a combination of technical and soft skills to excel in their roles. They need to have a deep understanding of engineering principles, as well as the ability to lead and inspire their teams. Effective communication skills are crucial for collaborating with stakeholders and conveying complex technical concepts to non-technical individuals. Problem-solving and analytical thinking are essential for addressing challenges and making informed decisions. Additionally, engineering managers must be adept at strategic planning and project management to ensure the successful execution of engineering projects.

Skills Description
Technical Expertise Engineering managers should have a solid foundation in the relevant engineering discipline to effectively lead their teams and make informed decisions.
Leadership and Management Strong leadership and management skills are essential for effectively guiding and motivating engineering teams.
Communication and Interpersonal Effective communication skills are crucial for collaborating with team members, clients, and other stakeholders.
Problem-Solving Engineering managers must be adept at solving complex problems and making informed decisions to overcome challenges.
Strategic Planning and Project Management The ability to strategically plan and manage engineering projects is essential for ensuring their successful execution.

Conclusion

An engineering degree provides a wide range of career options and excellent job prospects in today’s engineering job market. Graduates can explore diverse fields such as aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer hardware engineering, and many more. The demand for engineers is strong, making it an opportune time to pursue a career in this field.

Engineers play a crucial role in developing and advancing society. Their expertise and skills are highly valued in various industries, whether it is designing and manufacturing aerospace equipment, improving medical devices, or developing innovative chemical processes.

With a bachelor’s degree in engineering, graduates can embark on rewarding careers, contributing to technological advancements and making a positive impact on the world. There is a continuous need for engineers, providing abundant opportunities for career growth and professional fulfillment. If you are passionate about problem-solving, innovation, and making a difference, a career in engineering is a promising choice.

FAQ

What career options are available with an engineering degree?

Engineering majors have a wide array of career options available to them. They can pursue careers as aerospace engineers, agricultural engineers, biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, civil engineers, computer hardware engineers, electrical and electronics engineers, engineering managers, environmental engineers, industrial engineers, materials engineers, mechanical engineers, nuclear engineers, or petroleum engineers.

What does an aerospace engineer do?

Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design, development, and manufacturing of planes and spacecraft. They conduct safety tests, analyze designs for improvements, and oversee the production process.

What is the median salary for aerospace engineers?

The median salary for aerospace engineers in 2020 was $118,610.

What does an agricultural engineer do?

Agricultural engineers use their engineering skills to solve agricultural issues. They design agricultural machinery, develop storage processes, and work on improving environmental impacts.

What is the median salary for agricultural engineers?

The median salary for agricultural engineers in 2020 was $84,410.

What does a biomedical engineer do?

Biomedical engineers apply engineering techniques to solve medical problems. They develop medical devices, improve patient health outcomes, and maintain biomedical equipment.

What is the median salary for biomedical engineers?

The median salary for biomedical engineers in 2020 was $92,620.

What does a chemical engineer do?

Chemical engineers are involved in the creation of manufacturing equipment and products that use chemicals. They conduct research, develop safety procedures, and analyze manufacturing processes.

What is the median salary for chemical engineers?

The median salary for chemical engineers in 2020 was $108,540.

What does a civil engineer do?

Civil engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and dams. They also work on private sector infrastructure projects.

What is the median salary for civil engineers?

The median salary for civil engineers in 2020 was $88,570.

What does a computer hardware engineer do?

Computer hardware engineers are involved in the development and testing of computer hardware systems. They design computer processors, memory storage devices, and other hardware components.

What is the median salary for computer hardware engineers?

The median salary for computer hardware engineers in 2020 was $119,560.

What does an electrical and electronics engineer do?

Electrical and electronics engineers work on designing and creating products and systems that transmit or use electricity. They design electrical systems, develop electronic products, and work in various industries.

What is the median salary for electrical and electronics engineers?

The median salary for electrical and electronics engineers in 2020 was $103,390.

What does an engineering manager do?

Engineering managers oversee engineering projects and teams. They create plans, evaluate technical designs, and ensure successful project completion.

What is the median salary for engineering managers?

The median salary for engineering managers in 2020 was $149,530.

What are the benefits of pursuing an engineering degree?

An engineering degree opens up numerous career paths and opportunities across various industries. Engineers contribute to the development and advancement of society, and there is a strong demand for engineers with potential for career growth.

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