There’s really no such singular discipline called “Engineering.” Dozens of types of engineers exist, and many of them seem to have almost nothing in common. For instance, what does an Aerospace Engineer have in common with a Marine Engineer? Or what does a Mechanical Engineer have in common with a Computer Engineer? Therefore, anyone entering some kind of “engineering degree” program obviously needs to be specific. Any preliminary research into these fields would be wise to review the current engineering degrees and salary statistics.
Different Kinds of Engineering Degrees
There are different kinds of engineering degrees. Now, this is not to say that engineers don’t have a few things in common. An engineer is active in an “applied science.” This term typically means that ideas and foundations in mathematics have been put together in such a way as to have a practical use. An engineer “does stuff,” whether it’s building bridges, installing electricity in a high-rise building, or creating new precision surgical tools for the rising tide of baby boomers. It is true that some of these roles seem 180 degrees different from one another; and it’s true, the technology and practices are different. But if you don’t have a basis in mathematics and science, earning an engineering degree might not be the perfect fit. Following this brief list of common engineering disciplines, please see the more in depth descriptions of selected engineering jobs and their salaries:
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Genetic Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Military Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Forensic Engineering
- Reverse Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
Aerospace Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
Aerospace engineers specialize in designing and planning development of aircraft that can withstand tremendous speeds, cover vast areas, and even handling the rigors of outer space. They’re instrumental in the development and configuration of flying machines, rockets, shuttles, space apparatus and satellites. To become an aerospace engineer, you must earn a degree in some kind of aeronautical or applicable field. Good news for Aerospace Engineer prospects is that you can begin the field at slightly lower educational levels – which do not require becoming a “licensed” aerospace engineer. This will give you time to practice, experience some on-the-job training, and possibly continue going to school to reach a higher level, at which time an expert engineer (PE) permit will be needed. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $104,000*.
Agricultural Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
These engineers are involved in making innovations for the advancement of rural frameworks – from aquaculture (raising food, such as fish, that thrive in water) to land farming to forestry. They also work on developing biofuels, environment conservation, and planning animal environments. Agricultural engineers plug away – sometimes over a course of years – to improve agrarian operations across vast expanses of land, while at the same time respecting the natural environment, working conditions, and general welfare of the land (and animals) involved. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $74,000*.
Biomedical Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
Biomedical engineers use their logical process skills to help improve patient and medicinal outcomes. They use engineering standards to conjure supplies, gear, gadgets, and medication to effectively and efficiently bolster the healthcare industry. Thus, you can imagine some of the rigors and complexities of both making profit for your employer, while at the same time keeping patient costs and comforts within a reasonable scope. Many biomedical engineers go on to exclusively test and design new medications – in the hopes of making breakthroughs in combatting some of the most stubborn diseases. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $87,000*.
Chemical Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
Chemical engineers are complex, in that they combine many diverse engineering modalities to solve problems. For instance, they’ll apply biology, chemistry, and physics, to solve massive problems associated with such things as assembling plants, laboratories, research facilities and operations. Chemical engineers manage issues including food, paper, drugs, manures, fuel and other complex synthetic procedures. Their field of study is exceptionally expansive and they have been alluded to as “universal engineers” because of this. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $94,000*.
Civil Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
Civil engineers focus on the design, development and maintenance of vital construction projects such as those involving roads, dams, bridges, buildings, airports, tunnels, and water treatment sewage systems, and other large structures. Because the work is so complex, civil engineers normally build up their skills in very specialized areas. For example, some engineers might be more involved in finding the right materials for building safe apartment buildings, while other civil engineers might be called in by the state or local government, and even on massive engineering projects in nations outside the US. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $79,000*.
Computer Hardware Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
The tremendous growth in computer electronics has propagated growth in different branches of computer hardware. When you think about it, computer hardware now exists in everything from cars and appliances, to average desktop computers, to highly sophisticated (fast!) central processing units (CPUs). Any time something related to a computer needs to be built, be assured a computer hardware engineer is nearby. Most high-paying jobs with lots of responsibility and skill require an MS/MA Degree – but when you consider that the top 10 percent of engineers make an average of $130,000 per year, the education is worth it. In addition to CPUs, computer hardware engineers build such equipment as printers, routers, networks, portable storage devices, computer motherboards, and memory devices. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $101,000*.
Electrical Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
From the name of the occupation itself, it is easy to tell that electrical engineers focus on developing equipment that harness electricity such as navigation and radar systems, communications systems, electric motors, power transmission systems, electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft, plus power generation equipment. Their responsibilities are important for maintaining and improving products that utilize electrical power. For electrical engineers, there’s also extreme consideration on factors such as safety, sustainability, dependability and practicality, when developing components. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $89,000*.
Marine Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
These engineers design the mechanical systems found in large marine vessels such as ships, submarines, and tankers. They use their background on mechanical and electrical engineering to come up with these mechanical systems (i.e. propulsion, steering and other on-board systems). Marine engineers also look after the maintenance of these machineries. They usual work hand in hand with naval architects to supervise a ship’s construction. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $88,000*.
Mechanical Engineer Salary Statistics, 2014
Mechanical engineers are concerned with the manufacturing, development and maintenance of various mechanical systems. Theirs is a discipline that encompasses a vast subject area, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal devices, including tools, engines, and machines. Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree; Median Pay: $81,000*. The list above only includes a few of the dozen of engineering professions present today. If you are considering a career as an engineer, then carefully consider your most personal interest among these types of engineers, then you can plan your pursuit of earning an engineering degree, whether at an online college or on a campus, or both. * Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012