Engineering Careers

Contents

Engineer Jobs: 20+ Types of Engineering Careers with Salary and Job Outlook

Engineering is the practice of solving problems through the use of science and mathematics, generally with the goal of making systems more efficient and productive. Modern engineering is a broad discipline with many subfields, including the design and development of civil infrastructure, machines, electronics, software, materials, and energy systems. 

The field of engineering provides professionals with countless opportunities for creative thinking and innovation when creating and refining these systems.

The salary expectations and job outlook for engineers depend on their specialty, in addition to other factors like education and location. In addition to examining some common engineering specialties, this guide discusses general issues of interest to anyone considering a career in engineering.

Statistics on Engineering Careers 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there were about 2.6 million architecture and engineering professionals in the United States in 2022. In comparison, there were about 5.3 million computer and math professionals and 1.5 million life, physical, and social science occupations. 

The BLS projects that the total number of architecture and engineering jobs will grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. About 188,000 openings are projected each year during the decade due to job growth and the need to replace professionals leaving the workforce. 

Certain subfields of engineering will experience more robust job growth during this period, such as software engineers (25%), industrial engineers (12%), mechanical engineers (10%), and chemical engineers (8%).

Popular Engineering Jobs

The following list outlines more than 20 of the most common engineering specialties, including an overview of the profession. This A-Z engineering career list also provides a summary of the salary expectations and educational requirements for each specialty.

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers are primarily concerned with the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft. The field consists of two major branches, with aeronautical engineering relating to aircraft and astronautical engineering relating to spacecraft. 

The branch of astronautical engineering has emerged relatively recently with the development of vehicles that operate in outer space. Astronautical engineering is sometimes commonly referred to as “rocket science.” Avionics engineering is a type of aerospace engineering that deals specifically with electronics.

Key Responsibilities of Aerospace Engineers

The duties of an aerospace engineer include the following:

  • Design and development: Aerospace engineers are responsible for creating and testing aerospace products, including aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. They must ensure these products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental challenges.
  • Research and innovation: They conduct research to find new ways to improve aerospace technology, including fuel efficiency, safety systems, and flight performance.
  • Systems engineering: They oversee the integration of various components and systems within aerospace projects, ensuring that all parts function together as intended.

Subdisciplines of Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Aeronautical engineering: This field focuses on the design and development of aircraft systems within Earth’s atmosphere, including airplanes and helicopters.
  • Astronautical engineering: This discipline deals with the science and technology of spacecraft and launch vehicles that operate outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Propulsion engineering: This field specializes in the mechanics and dynamics of propulsion systems, including jet engines and rocket motors.

Key Skills of an Aerospace Engineer:

Important skills for aerospace engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Aerospace engineers should have the ability to evaluate designs, requirements, and processes to ensure mission success and safety in aerospace projects.
  • Problem-solving skills: They should be skilled in identifying and resolving engineering issues that arise during the design, testing, and manufacturing stages.
  • Technical proficiency: They need a strong understanding of aerospace systems, software, and applications used in the design and simulation of aerospace products.

Aerospace Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for aerospace engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for aerospace engineers was approximately $130,720 in May 2023.

Entry-level positions for aerospace engineers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field.

Agricultural Engineer

Agricultural engineering deals with agricultural applications, such as crop and livestock production. This branch of engineering often weaves in elements from other branches of engineering, such as mechanical, civil, electrical, and chemical engineering. 

Agricultural engineering also involves the application of environmental science and food science. These engineers usually work closely with agriculturalists, an occupation that specializes in agricultural science and farming. Specific duties of agricultural engineers include the planning and development of systems for irrigation, drainage, flood control, and processing of agricultural products.

Key Responsibilities of Agricultural Engineers

The duties of an agricultural engineer include the following:

  • Machinery design and development: Agricultural engineers design and test agricultural machinery and equipment, aiming to improve efficiency and sustainability in farming operations.
  • Environmental impact assessment: They evaluate and mitigate the impact of agricultural operations on the environment, focusing on issues like soil health and water usage.
  • Infrastructure planning: They develop structures and facilities for agricultural use, including irrigation systems, storage buildings, and greenhouses.

Subdisciplines of Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Food engineering: This field focuses on the processing, storage, and distribution of agricultural products to ensure food safety and quality.
  • Bioresource engineering: This discipline involves the sustainable use of biological resources for agriculture, including biomass energy and waste management.
  • Land and water resource management: Professionals in this field manage the design and implementation of systems that utilize and conserve land and water resources in agriculture effectively.

Key Skills of an Agricultural Engineer

Important skills for agricultural engineers include the following:

  • Technical skills: Agricultural engineers should have proficiency in the latest agricultural technology and software for design and analysis.
  • Environmental awareness: They should have an understanding of environmental regulations and methods to promote sustainable farming.
  • Innovative thinking: They need the ability to devise new equipment and systems to boost agricultural productivity and sustainability.

Agricultural Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for agricultural engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for agricultural engineers was about $88,750 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in agricultural engineering typically require at least an agricultural engineering bachelor’s degree or biological engineering.

Audio Engineer 

An audio engineer may also be referred to as a sound engineer or recording engineer. This type of engineer typically balances sounds from various sources by using techniques such as audio effects, dynamics processing, and equalization. These tasks often support live and recorded performances, especially their technical aspects. 

Audio engineers are often closely involved with the placement of microphones and determining settings for many types of audio equipment. This branch of engineering is one of the more creative engineering disciplines.

Key Responsibilities of Audio Engineers

The duties of an audio engineer include the following:

  • Sound mixing and editing: Audio engineers mix, edit, and manipulate soundtracks using technical equipment and software to achieve the desired audio quality and effects.
  • Live sound management: These professionals operate audio equipment during live events to ensure sound levels are appropriate and clear.
  • Recording supervision: They oversee the recording process, including setting up microphones and equipment, to capture high-quality sound for music, film, and broadcasts.

Subdisciplines of Audio Engineering

Audio engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Studio engineering: This field allows audio engineers to work within studio settings to produce audio recordings for music, television, and radio.
  • Sound for film and television: Professionals in this field specialize in sound design, mixing, and editing for visual media.
  • Acoustic consulting: Professionals in this discipline focus on optimizing sound quality in various environments through the design of soundproofing and other acoustic treatments.

Key Skills of an Audio Engineer

Important skills for audio engineers include the following:

  • Technical proficiency: Audio engineers need a deep understanding of audio hardware and software, including mixing boards, microphones, and digital audio workstations.
  • Creative thinking: They should have the ability to creatively manipulate and enhance sound to fit the context of the project.
  • Attention to detail: They need a keen ear for subtle aspects of sound and the ability to identify and correct audio issues.

Audio Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for audio engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for broadcast, sound, and video technicians, including audio engineers, was about $54,160 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in audio engineering typically require some form of postsecondary education such as a certificate or bachelor’s degree in audio engineering. Specific requirements may vary depending on the type of work they perform. Individuals looking to expand their career growth options could benefit from advancing their skillset with an audio engineering master’s degree.

Automotive Engineer 

Automotive engineering is a type of vehicle engineering that deals with automobiles, motorcycles, and trucks as well as more specialized vehicles. Automotive engineers are typically employed by vehicle manufacturers in the design and development of vehicles based on research and the application of mathematical models. 

These engineers often work on one particular design throughout its life cycle, from the original concept to correcting flaws in production models. The major functions of automotive engineering include development, manufacture, and production.

Key Responsibilities of Automotive Engineers

The duties of an automotive engineer include the following:

  • Vehicle design: Automotive engineers design and develop new vehicle models, focusing on aspects such as aesthetics, safety, and functionality.
  • Performance testing: They conduct tests on various components and systems to ensure vehicles meet safety standards and performance specifications.
  • Quality assurance: They monitor and improve the production processes to ensure the final product is of high quality and meets all regulations.

Subdisciplines of Automotive Engineering

Automotive engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Powertrain engineering: This field concentrates on the design and development of components such as engines, transmissions, and drivetrains.
  • Vehicle dynamics: This discipline focuses on the behavior of vehicles in motion, studying aspects like suspension, handling, and ride comfort.
  • Safety engineering: This field specializes in the design of systems and mechanisms to protect passengers during accidents.

Key Skills of an Automotive Engineer

Important skills for automotive engineers include the following:

  • Innovative design skills: Automotive engineers need the ability to create new vehicle designs that are practical, aesthetically pleasing, and technologically advanced.
  • Problem-solving abilities: They are skilled in identifying and addressing engineering problems during the design and development stages.
  • Technical knowledge: They have comprehensive knowledge of automotive systems and the latest industry technologies.

Automotive Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for automotive engineers include the following:

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering, also known as medical engineering, applies principles of biology and medicine to the development of healthcare devices and equipment. It has only recently emerged as a distinct field of study compared to other engineering disciplines. 

The scope of biomedical engineering primarily includes the three general categories of monitoring, diagnosis, and therapy. However, it also involves managing medical equipment according to industry standards. This type of biomedical engineer may be known more specifically as a biomedical equipment technician or clinical engineer.

Key Responsibilities of Biomedical Engineers

The duties of a biomedical engineer include the following:

  • Medical device design: Biomedical engineers design and test medical devices, such as implants, prosthetics, and instruments, ensuring they are safe and effective.
  • Research and development: They conduct research to develop new technologies and applications in the medical field to improve patient care.
  • Clinical solutions: They work directly with healthcare professionals to tailor engineering solutions to meet clinical needs.

Subdisciplines of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Bioinstrumentation: This discipline focuses on the development of devices that measure physiological data or assist in diagnostic or therapeutic treatments.
  • Biomaterials: Individuals in this field specialize in the development of materials that interact with human tissue, used for implants and prosthetics.
  • Biomechanics: This field is focused on the study of the mechanics of biological systems, applying engineering principles to understand and replicate the movements and conditions of the body.

Key Skills of a Biomedical Engineer

Important skills for biomedical engineers include the following:

  • Engineering expertise: Biomedical engineers need a strong background in engineering principles and their application to the medical field.
  • Analytical skills: They should have the ability to analyze complex biological and medical data to develop effective solutions.
  • Communication skills: They should be proficient in communicating complex technical information to nonengineers, including healthcare professionals.

Biomedical Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for biomedical engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for biomedical engineers was about $100,730 in May 2023.

Entry-level biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering, although some positions require a graduate degree.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineering deals with methods of improving production in chemical processes as well as the design and operation of chemical plants. These engineers often develop methods for converting raw materials into salable products on a commercial scale. 

The scope of this engineering discipline can also include chemical processes on a small scale in the laboratory through the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnology. Aspects of plant design and operation that chemical engineers are closely involved with include safety assessments, construction specifications, and control engineering. While they make the greatest use of chemical principles, chemical engineers also apply principles of biology, economics, mathematics, and physics.

Key Responsibilities of Chemical Engineers

The duties of a chemical engineer include the following:

  • Process design and optimization: Chemical engineers design and optimize processes for the production of chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, and other products, focusing on efficiency and sustainability.
  • Safety and hazard management: They ensure that chemical processes operate safely, adhering to environmental and health regulations to prevent accidents and harmful exposures.
  • Quality control: Chemical engineers monitor and adjust production processes to meet quality standards and improve product yield.

Subdisciplines of Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Biochemical engineering: This subdiscipline applies the principles of chemical engineering to processes involving biological organisms or molecules.
  • Process engineering: This field focuses on the design, operation, control, optimization, and intensification of chemical, physical, and biological processes.
  • Materials engineering: This field specializes in the development and production of new materials with enhanced performance characteristics for various applications.

Key Skills of a Chemical Engineer

Important skills for chemical engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Chemical engineers must be able to analyze chemical properties and process parameters to improve system performance.
  • Problem-solving abilities: They are adept at identifying issues within chemical processes and developing effective solutions.
  • Technical proficiency: Mastery of chemical engineering software and equipment is crucial for designing and monitoring complex processes.

Chemical Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for chemical engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median salary for chemical engineers was approximately $112,100 per year in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in chemical engineering generally require a chemical engineering bachelor’s degree or a degree in a related field. Some employers will also require the completion of an internship.

Civil Engineer 

Civil engineering involves the design, construction, and maintenance of physical structures, including the structural components of buildings as well as bridges, roads, and dams.

Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines. The pyramids of Egypt and the qanat canals in Iraq are some of the earliest examples of civil engineering projects. However, this discipline has only been formally taught since the 17th century.

Primarily, civil engineering deals with the conceptualization, design, construction, and maintenance of physical infrastructures that play an integral role in modern society. This could include not only structural elements of buildings but also vital systems like water supply, sewage treatment, transportation networks, and flood management systems.

Key Responsibilities of Civil Engineers

The duties of a civil engineer include the following:

  1. Design: Civil engineers utilize software and design principles to create detailed plans for infrastructure projects, ensuring that these designs adhere to safety standards and comply with construction regulations.
  2. Construction supervision: They often oversee construction sites, ensuring that projects are built according to the design and specifications.
  3. Infrastructure maintenance: After construction, civil engineers might be involved in the maintenance and repair of these structures, ensuring their longevity and safety.
  4. Project management: These engineers often lead teams, manage budgets, and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
  5. Research and development: They research materials and construction methods, aiming to make infrastructures more sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective.
  6. Environmental impact assessments: They assess potential project impacts on the environment and propose mitigating solutions.

Subdisciplines of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Structural engineering: This discipline focuses on designing and analyzing structures like bridges, buildings, and dams.
  • Geotechnical engineering: Individuals in this field study the behavior and properties of soil and rock, which influence the design of foundations and earth structures.
  • Transportation engineering: This field deals with the planning, design, and operation of transportation systems.
  • Environmental engineering: This field is concerned with creating solutions for wastewater management, air pollution control, and waste disposal.
  • Hydraulic and water resources engineering: This focus area is concerned with the flow and management of water, including the design of reservoirs, dams, and channels.
  • Construction engineering: This discipline focuses on the logistics and methods of constructing infrastructures.

Key Skills of a Civil Engineer

Important skills for civil engineers include the following:

  1. Analytical skills: Civil engineers need to have the ability to analyze complex data and design solutions for intricate problems.
  2. Technical proficiency: They should have familiarity with CAD software, simulation tools, and other industry-specific technologies.
  3. Project management: They need to be good at organizing tasks, managing time, and ensuring project completion within budget and timeframe.
  4. Team collaboration: Civil engineers need to be able to work effectively with various professionals, from architects to construction laborers.
  5. Communication skills: They should be able to convey complex technical information clearly to both professionals and the general public.
  6. Problem-solving: They need the ability to quickly adapt and find solutions when unforeseen challenges arise.

Civil Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for civil engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for civil engineers was about $95,890 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level civil engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. 
  • To offer public services in most jurisdictions, a government-issued professional engineering (PE) license is mandatory, which often necessitates further education, work experience, and passing a rigorous exam.

Computer Engineer 

Computer engineering is a branch of electrical engineering that deals with the development of computer components. It also overlaps with software engineering, although computer engineering is more closely associated with hardware. 

Computer engineers routinely design microcontrollers and microprocessors as well as entire computer systems. They may also work on computer architecture, computer networks, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics. Integrating components into larger systems is also the purview of computer engineering.

Key Responsibilities of Computer Engineers

The duties of a computer engineer include the following:

  • System design: Computer engineers design and test the hardware and software integration of computers and electronic devices to improve performance.
  • Network configuration: They configure and manage networks to ensure secure and reliable communication between electronic systems.
  • Hardware development: Computer engineers develop and test various computer hardware components, such as processors, circuit boards, and memory devices.

Subdisciplines of Computer Engineering

Computer engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Embedded systems: This field focuses on the development of computing systems embedded within electronic devices that perform specific functions or tasks.
  • Signal processing: This field deals with the analysis and manipulation of signals that are represented in physical forms, such as sound, images, and scientific measurements.
  • VLSI design: Individuals in this discipline specialize in the design of very large scale integration circuits, which allow for the creation of complex microchips.

Key Skills of a Computer Engineer

Important skills for computer engineers include the following:

  • Programming proficiency: Strong programming skills in multiple languages are essential for developing and testing software.
  • Systems thinking: They need the ability to see both the big picture and the details within computer systems, understanding how components interact.
  • Innovation: Keeping pace with rapid technological changes and contributing to advancements in computer technology is important.

Computer Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for computer engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for computer hardware engineers was approximately $138,080 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in computer engineering require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, although the specific name of the discipline varies by institution.

Data Engineer 

Data engineers, sometimes referred to as data scientists, develop methods for collecting, storing, and using data. Data engineering is a branch of software engineering that has existed as a distinct discipline since the late 1970s/early 1980s. 

Data engineering also entails analyzing large amounts of data to glean meaningful insights, which often involves the use of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning. 

Key Responsibilities of Data Engineers

The duties of a data engineer include the following:

  • Data architecture: Data engineers design, construct, install, test, and maintain highly scalable data management systems.
  • ETL development: They develop and organize systems to extract, transform, and load data from a wide variety of sources.
  • Data pipeline maintenance: Regular maintenance of data pipelines for performance efficiency and data quality is a critical responsibility.

Subdisciplines of Data Engineering

Data engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Big data engineering: This field focuses on technologies and tools like Hadoop and Spark that manage vast amounts of data.
  • Machine learning engineering: Individuals in this discipline work on implementing and scaling predictive models and machine learning algorithms.
  • Database management: Individuals in this field specialize in the management and optimization of data storage and retrieval systems.

Key Skills of a Data Engineer

Important skills for data engineers include the following:

  • Programming skills: Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Scala, or Java is essential for building and managing data applications.
  • Data warehousing: Knowledge of data warehousing solutions is critical for effective data management and retrieval.
  • Analytical mindset: Data engineers must possess strong analytical skills to understand complex data systems and optimize them for better performance.

Data Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for data engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for data scientists was about $108,020 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in data engineering typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. Some positions require a master’s or doctoral degree.

Drafting and Design Engineer 

A drafting and design engineer may be known by other titles, such as engineering drafter or drafting technician. These professionals create detailed technical drawings of various objects, such as buildings, machinery, electronics, and other components of infrastructure. 

Historically, drafters made these drawings by hand with the aid of simple tools. However, modern drafters typically convert designs from architects and engineers into technical drawings with the aid of computer software. Drafters also sketch engineering drawings from preliminary concepts.

Key Responsibilities of Drafting and Design Engineers

The duties of a drafting and design engineer include the following:

  • Technical drawing creation: They create detailed technical drawings and plans for manufacturing and construction projects using CAD software.
  • Specification development: Drafting and design engineers develop specifications for materials and dimensions based on project requirements.
  • Revision and updating: They revise designs and drawings based on feedback and changes in project scopes or regulations.

Subdisciplines of Drafting and Design Engineering

Drafting and design engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Architectural drafting: This discipline focuses on creating technical drawings and plans for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Mechanical drafting: Professionals in this field specialize in drawings for mechanical devices and machinery, detailing every component and assembly.
  • Electrical drafting: This field deals with the creation of diagrams for electrical systems, ensuring compliance with codes and operational efficiency.

Key Skills of a Drafting and Design Engineer

Important skills for drafting and design engineers include the following:

  • CAD software proficiency: Mastery of computer-aided design software is essential for creating accurate and detailed drawings.
  • Attention to detail: Precision and attention to detail are crucial in producing clear and accurate technical documents.
  • Visualization skills: The ability to visualize objects in three dimensions from two-dimensional plans greatly enhances drafting effectiveness.

Drafting and Design Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for drafting and design engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for drafters was approximately $62,530 in May 2023.
  • Engineering drafters typically complete their education through a technical school or community college. Some programs lead to an associate degree in drafting or a related discipline. 

Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers are involved in the design, development, and application of devices that use electricity. It emerged as a separate engineering discipline during the late 19th century, coinciding with the development of commercial devices such as electrical power generators, telegraphs, and telephones.

Today, electrical engineering has many branches due to the specialization this discipline requires, including computer engineering, power engineering, electronics engineering, and optical engineering. These disciplines often overlap, resulting in electrical engineering and electronics engineering being used interchangeably in some cases. In addition to formal educational requirements, electrical engineers often need government-issued licenses to practice their trade.

Key Responsibilities of Electrical Engineers

The duties of an electrical engineer include the following:

  • Circuit design: Electrical engineers design and develop electrical circuits, systems, and devices that use electricity to function, ensuring they are efficient, safe, and meet regulatory standards.
  • Testing and troubleshooting: They test electrical systems and components to ensure they operate as intended and troubleshoot any issues that arise during testing or deployment.
  • Project management: Electrical engineers often oversee projects from conception through implementation, coordinating with other engineers and professionals to meet project deadlines and budgets.

Subdisciplines of Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Power engineering: This field focuses on the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity as well as the design of related devices like transformers and generators.
  • Control engineering: This field focuses on designing controllers that make systems behave in a desired manner, using sensors and actuators.
  • Telecommunications engineering: This discipline deals with the transmission of information across channels like cables, optical fiber, or airwaves.

Key Skills of an Electrical Engineer

Important skills for electrical engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Electrical engineers should have a strong ability to analyze complex electrical systems and components to improve functionality and efficiency.
  • Problem-solving skills: They should be skilled at quickly identifying and resolving issues with electrical systems and equipment.
  • Technical proficiency: They should have extensive knowledge of industry-specific software and hardware tools used in electrical engineering.

Electrical Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for electrical engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median salary for electrical engineers was about $109,010 per year in May 2023.

Entry-level positions in electrical engineering typically require at least an electrical engineering bachelor’s degree. Individual employers may also require practical experience in the form of internships or cooperative programs.

Engineering Manager

Engineering managers plan and oversee engineering activities, including the hiring and supervision of engineering staff. This role entails both the technical problem-solving ability of engineers and the planning, organizational, and administrative abilities of management. 

Engineering managers typically oversee large engineering projects, often those involving multiple engineering disciplines. This discipline emerged as a separate occupation during the early 20th century, with the proliferation of engineering occupations during that period. Engineering managers often obtain a formal education in management after working as engineers.

Key Responsibilities of Engineering Managers

The duties of an engineering manager include the following:

  • Team leadership and development: Engineering managers lead and develop teams of engineers, providing technical and professional guidance to ensure project goals are met.
  • Project planning and management: They plan and oversee the execution of engineering projects, ensuring they are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
  • Resource allocation: Engineering managers are responsible for allocating resources, including personnel, budgets, and technologies, to maximize efficiency and results.

Subdisciplines of Engineering Management

Engineering management encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Product development management: This field focuses on leading cross-functional teams in the development of new products from concept to market release.
  • Operations management: Individuals in this field specialize in optimizing operational processes and technologies to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Quality assurance management: This field concentrates on ensuring products meet quality standards and regulations through systematic process checks and balances.

Key Skills of an Engineering Manager

Important skills for engineering managers include the following:

  • Leadership skills: Engineering managers should have a strong ability to motivate, guide, and inspire engineering teams to achieve their best performance.
  • Strategic thinking: They should be skilled in planning and implementing long-term strategies to meet the technical and business goals of an organization.
  • Communication skills: They should be effective communicators with the ability to convey complex technical information clearly and concisely to diverse audiences.

Engineering Management Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for engineering managers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for engineering managers was approximately $165,370 in May 2023.
  • Engineering managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, but a master’s degree in engineering management is often preferred.
  • Engineer managers will also need to have significant experience as an engineer. 

Environmental Engineer 

Environmental engineers develop solutions to environmental issues by applying principles of engineering, biology, chemistry, and other relevant disciplines. Environmental engineering is closely related to environmental science and is usually considered a branch of civil engineering, although it may also be treated as a type of chemical engineering. Typical projects for environmental engineers include the design, construction, and maintenance of water supplies and wastewater treatment centers. They may also develop plans for improving sanitation in both urban and rural areas.

Key Responsibilities of Environmental Engineers

The duties of an environmental engineer include the following:

  • Pollution control: Environmental engineers develop systems and processes to reduce, control, or eliminate pollution in its various forms, including air, water, and soil.
  • Sustainable design: They design and implement projects that improve sustainability, such as wastewater treatment facilities and air pollution control systems.
  • Regulatory compliance: Ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations is a critical responsibility, including conducting environmental impact assessments.

Subdisciplines of Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Water resources engineering: This field focuses on the management and treatment of water to make it safe for human consumption and returning it safely to the environment.
  • Waste management engineering: This discipline deals with the collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of waste, aiming to minimize and recycle waste materials.
  • Air quality engineering: Individuals in this field specialize in assessing and controlling air pollution to protect human health and the environment.

Key Skills of an Environmental Engineer

Important skills for environmental engineers include the following:

  • Problem-solving abilities: Environmental engineers should be proficient at developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.
  • Technical knowledge: They need a strong understanding of environmental science and related technologies.
  • Regulatory knowledge: They should have in-depth knowledge of environmental regulations and the ability to apply this knowledge in a practical context.

Environmental Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for environmental engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for environmental engineers was about $100,090 in May 2023.
  • Environmental engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, but they may also have a degree in chemical or civil engineering. 

Genetic Engineer 

Genetic engineers modify an organism’s genetic code, including the transfer of existing genes between species. They may also create new genes by recombining DNA or synthesizing it from scratch. In addition, genetic engineers may create constructs to insert the new DNA into the host organism. 

This engineering discipline originates from the early 1970s, although genetic engineering has only been performed on a commercial scale since the 1990s. Genetic engineers may also be known as bioengineers or biomedical engineers.

Key Responsibilities of Genetic Engineers

The duties of a genetic engineer include the following:

  • Gene editing: Genetic engineers modify the genetic material of organisms to alter their properties or capabilities, often using techniques like CRISPR.
  • Research and development: They conduct research to understand genetic functions and applications, leading to new scientific advances and technologies.
  • Bioethics and regulation compliance: They ensure that genetic engineering practices comply with ethical standards and regulatory requirements.

Subdisciplines of Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Medical genetics: This discipline focuses on modifying genes to treat medical conditions and improve health outcomes.
  • Agricultural genetics: This field focuses on enhancing crop resistance to pests and environmental stress, improving food production and sustainability.
  • Industrial genetics: Individuals in this field apply genetic engineering techniques to produce chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other products in more sustainable and efficient ways.

Key Skills of a Genetic Engineer

Important skills for genetic engineers include the following:

  • Molecular biology skills: They should be proficient in techniques related to DNA manipulation, sequencing, and analysis.
  • Innovative thinking: Genetic engineers should have the ability to think creatively to solve complex biological problems and develop new engineering applications.
  • Attention to detail: Paying careful attention to experimental protocols and results is crucial to ensure accuracy and reproducibility in research.

Genetic Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for genetic engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median salary for bioengineers and biomedical engineers, including genetic engineers, was approximately $100,730 per year in May 2023.
  • Genetic engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, or a related discipline. Some positions require a graduate degree. 

Geological Engineer

Geological engineering applies principles of geological science to engineering projects, especially in construction, mining, and forestry. These engineers often support other disciplines in identifying the best locations for a project by conducting geological studies. 

Geological engineers may also predict the impact that an engineering project could have on the surface and subsurface environment, which is often a critical consideration in selecting a location. The earliest applications of geological engineering are ancient, but it didn’t emerge as a formal discipline until the early 20th century. 

Key Responsibilities of Geological Engineers

The duties of a geological engineer include the following:

  • Site analysis: Geological engineers conduct site investigations to understand soil, rock, groundwater, and other geological conditions, crucial for the planning and design of engineering projects.
  • Resource management: They manage and evaluate the extraction of natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and gas, ensuring sustainable and efficient operations.
  • Environmental protection: Geological engineers develop solutions to environmental problems, including contamination and erosion control, to protect the earth’s surface and subsurface.

Subdisciplines of Geological Engineering

Geological engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Engineering geology: This discipline applies geological science to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geological factors regarding the location, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of engineering works are recognized and accounted for.
  • Hydrogeology: This field focuses on the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks of the Earth’s crust, commonly in aquifers.
  • Geotechnical engineering: Individuals in this field specialize in the behavior of earth materials and how they interact with man-made structures.

Key Skills of a Geological Engineer

Important skills for geological engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Geological engineers need a strong ability to analyze geological data and make informed decisions based on complex information.
  • Problem-solving abilities: They should be skilled in identifying and addressing engineering challenges related to geological conditions.
  • Technical proficiency: They should be proficient in using specialized tools and software for geological analysis and modeling.

Geological Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for geological engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for geological engineers was about $100,640 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in geological engineering typically require a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering, geology, or a related discipline.

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers generally work on optimizing organizations, processes, and systems, primarily in manufacturing operations. They also improve the integration of their various components, such as equipment, information, finances, and people. 

Industrial engineers apply knowledge from many disciplines, including mathematics, physics, and the social sciences. In addition, they use engineering principles to design and evaluate systems and processes. Industrial engineers often specialize in one or more standardized practices for managing workflows.

Key Responsibilities of Industrial Engineers

The duties of an industrial engineer include the following:

  • Process improvement: Industrial engineers design and implement efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
  • Quality control: They develop processes that ensure product quality and operational efficiency are maintained at high standards.
  • Supply chain management: Industrial engineers analyze and improve supply chain systems, reducing costs and improving responsiveness to customer needs.

Subdisciplines of Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Operations research: This field focuses on mathematical modeling of complex operations and the use of these models to improve decision-making.
  • Systems engineering: This discipline deals with the design, integration, and management of complex systems over their life cycles.
  • Human factors and ergonomics: Individuals in this field specialize in designing systems, processes, and products that improve human conditions by increasing operational performance and safety.

Key Skills of an Industrial Engineer

Important skills for industrial engineers include the following:

  • Systems thinking: Industrial engineers need to have the ability to understand and design complex systems and processes.
  • Efficiency optimization: They need expertise in finding ways to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and utilize resources effectively.
  • Communication skills: They need strong skills in communicating complex ideas and systems to stakeholders of varying backgrounds.

Industrial Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for industrial engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median salary for industrial engineers was approximately $99,380 per year in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in industrial engineering typically require a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a related field like mechanical or electrical engineering. 

Marine Engineer

Marine engineering is an engineering discipline that specializes in marine vessels and structures. It’s most closely associated with vessels like ships and submarines, but marine engineers may also work on structures like offshore oil rigs and wind turbines. 

Marine engineers apply the principles of many major branches of engineering, such as computer, electrical, and mechanical, especially when designing propulsion systems. They also work on power plants, control systems, piping, and many other types of machinery.

Key Responsibilities of Marine Engineers

The duties of a marine engineer include the following:

  • Ship design and construction: Marine engineers design, build, and maintain ships, boats, and other marine vessels and their internal systems, like engines and electrical networks.
  • Maintenance and operations: They ensure that all systems on marine vessels operate efficiently and safely, performing upgrades and routine maintenance as needed.
  • Regulatory compliance: Marine engineers ensure that vessels comply with national and international safety regulations.

Subdisciplines of Marine Engineering

Marine engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Naval architecture: This field focuses on the overall design of ships and marine vessels, including their form, structure, and stability.
  • Offshore engineering: This field deals with the design and construction of structures intended to work in a maritime environment, like oil rigs and wind farms.
  • Oceanographic engineering: This field involves the development of technology to explore, study, and manage the ocean environment.

Key Skills of a Marine Engineer

Important skills for marine engineers include the following:

  • Technical knowledge: Marine engineers need a deep understanding of marine systems and equipment.
  • Problem-solving skills: They should have the ability to quickly identify and resolve issues aboard ships and other marine vehicles.
  • Attention to detail: They need to pay precise attention to the specifications and operational parameters of marine engineering projects.

Marine Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for marine engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for marine engineers was approximately $100,270 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in marine engineering typically require a marine engineering bachelor’s degree, but they may also hold degrees in related fields like mechanical engineering. 

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers design, develop, and oversee the manufacture of mechanical and thermal devices and systems. It’s one of the major branches of engineering and has many areas of specialization. 

Mechanical engineers routinely apply principles of mathematics and physics to design, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. In addition to mechanics, core areas of study for these engineers include materials science, structural analysis, thermodynamics, and electricity. Modern mechanical engineers also make regular use of computer-aided design (CAD) to design machines.

Key Responsibilities of Mechanical Engineers

The duties of a mechanical engineer include the following:

  • Product design: Mechanical engineers design and develop mechanical devices, from initial concept to manufacturing.
  • System optimization: They optimize mechanical systems and components for improved performance and efficiency.
  • Project management: Mechanical engineers often lead projects, coordinating between teams and ensuring that technical and safety standards are met.

Subdisciplines of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Thermodynamics: This field focuses on heat and its transformation into different forms of energy.
  • Mechatronics: This field combines mechanical engineering with electronics and computer technology to improve the design of systems and products.
  • Robotics: This field involves the design and creation of robots and automated systems that can perform a variety of tasks.

Key Skills of a Mechanical Engineer

Important skills for mechanical engineers include the following:

  • Creativity: They need the ability to think creatively in designing new devices and solutions.
  • Technical proficiency: Mechanical engineers should be skilled in the latest engineering software and tools used in mechanical design and analysis.
  • Analytical skills: They need a strong capability to analyze mechanical systems and optimize their performance.

Mechanical Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for mechanical engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median salary for mechanical engineers was about $99,510 per year in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions for mechanical engineers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and may also require specialization in a particular area.

Nanotechnology Engineer 

Nanotechnology engineers work on a very small scale, such that at least one dimension is no more than 100 nanometers (for scale, a piece of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative). 

These engineers manipulate atoms and molecules, making quantum effects a significant design consideration. This type of engineering incorporates many fields of science, including molecular biology, organic chemistry, and semiconductor physics.

 Common applications of nanotechnology engineering include the miniaturization of conventional devices and new approaches to manufacturing, like molecular self-assembly. These engineers also develop new materials by directly controlling matter at the atomic scale.

Key Responsibilities of Nanotechnology Engineers

The duties of a nanotechnology engineer include the following:

  • Material synthesis: Nanotechnology engineers create materials at the nanoscale that exhibit unique properties to enhance product performance.
  • Product development: They develop new products using nanomaterials, from electronics to pharmaceuticals, focusing on enhancing capabilities and efficiency.
  • Research and testing: They conduct thorough research and tests to explore the properties and potential applications of nanomaterials.

Subdisciplines of Nanotechnology Engineering

Nanotechnology engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Nanomaterials: This field focuses on the design and production of materials with enhanced properties due to their nanoscale dimensions.
  • Nano-electronics: Individuals in this field specialize in using nanotechnology in the development of electronic components that are significantly smaller and more efficient.
  • Nano-biotechnology: This field applies nanotechnology to medical and biological problems to create innovative diagnostics, treatments, and therapies.

Key Skills of a Nanotechnology Engineer

Important skills for nanotechnology engineers include the following:

  • Innovative thinking: They need the ability to think outside the box and apply knowledge to the development of cutting-edge technologies.
  • Precision and detail-oriented: Precision is critical when working at the nanoscale, as small changes can have large impacts on outcomes.
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge: They need proficiency in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering principles to work effectively in nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for nanotechnology engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for materials engineers, including nanomaterials engineers, was about $104,100 as of May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in nanotechnology engineering typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in nanoengineering or a field like chemical engineering, although many positions require more advanced degrees. 

Petroleum Engineer 

Petroleum engineering deals with activities related to natural petroleum products like crude oil or natural gas. Exploration and production are common areas of focus for this discipline, with an emphasis on maximizing the economic returns of recovering petroleum. 

Petroleum engineers often apply geology and geophysics to evaluate deposits, along with their knowledge of the behavior of gas, oil, and water under high pressure. Additional concepts that are highly relevant to this branch of engineering include drilling, well logging, reservoir simulation, and artificial lift systems. Other types of engineers are often recruited into petroleum engineering positions.

Key Responsibilities of Petroleum Engineers

The duties of a petroleum engineer include the following:

  • Reservoir management: Petroleum engineers analyze reservoir dynamics to optimize the extraction of oil and gas, ensuring efficient recovery of resources.
  • Drilling operations: They design and implement drilling plans to safely and efficiently access underground oil and gas reserves.
  • Production optimization: Petroleum engineers develop techniques to maximize hydrocarbon recovery through improved production strategies and technologies.

Subdisciplines of Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Reservoir engineering: This field focuses on the assessment and management of oil and gas reservoirs to optimize production and maximize economic recovery.
  • Drilling engineering: Individuals in this field specialize in the technical aspects of drilling production wells, including design, planning, and safety.
  • Production engineering: This discipline deals with the day-to-day management of oil and gas production operations.

Key Skills of a Petroleum Engineer

Important skills for petroleum engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Petroleum engineers need a strong ability to analyze geological data and engineering parameters to make informed decisions.
  • Problem-solving abilities: They should be skilled in developing solutions to technical and operational challenges in oil and gas extraction.
  • Technical proficiency: They should be proficient in the use of industry-specific software for simulation and analysis of reservoir behavior.

Petroleum Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for petroleum engineers was about $135,690 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level petroleum engineers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a related field like civil, chemical, or mechanical engineering. 

Robotics Engineer

Robotics engineers design, construct, and operate robots, which are a type of machine that replicates human actions such as cognition, walking, speech, and lifting. While many robots are designed to resemble humans, this isn’t a design requirement. 

Robotics engineers use knowledge from other branches of engineering, including mechanical, electrical, and computer. Robots are often used in hazardous applications, such as the disposal of bombs and radioactive materials, as well as operating in underwater environments and in outer space. 

Key Responsibilities of Robotics Engineers

The duties of a robotics engineer include the following:

  • Robot design: Robotics engineers design and build robots, integrating sensors, actuators, and software to perform desired tasks.
  • System integration: They integrate robotic systems into existing processes and workflows, customizing solutions as needed for specific applications.
  • Testing and optimization: Robotics engineers test and refine robots to ensure reliability and efficiency in real-world applications.

Subdisciplines of Robotics Engineering

Robotics engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Industrial robotics: This discipline focuses on the development and implementation of robots in manufacturing environments to improve productivity and safety.
  • Service robotics: Individuals in this field specialize in creating robots that assist in non-manufacturing environments, such as healthcare, retail, or personal use.
  • Human-robot interaction: Individuals in this field study and improve the interfaces and interactions between humans and robots to enhance usability and effectiveness.

Key Skills of a Robotics Engineer

Important skills for robotics engineers include the following:

  • Programming skills: They should be proficient in programming languages relevant to robotic control, such as Python or C++.
  • Mechanical and electrical skills: They need a strong foundation in mechanical and electrical engineering principles to build and troubleshoot robotic systems.
  • Innovative thinking: They should have the ability to innovate and think creatively in the design and application of robotic technologies.

Robotics Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for robotics engineers include the following:

  • Payscale reports that the median annual salary for robotics engineers was about $93,000 in April 2024.
  • Entry-level positions in robotics engineering typically require a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or electronics engineering, often with a specialization in robotics.

Software Engineer

Software engineers apply engineering principles to the design, development, and maintenance of software. They may also be known as programmers, although this term fails to convey the role’s engineering approach to software development. 

Software engineers seek to improve the software life cycle through engineering-based techniques for assessment, especially performance measurement. They also rely heavily on software configuration management to systematically control configuration changes, which helps maintain the configuration’s integrity. Software versioning is also a key aspect of software engineering.

Key Responsibilities of Software Engineers

The duties of a software engineer include the following:

  • Software development: Software engineers design, develop, and maintain software applications that meet user needs and system requirements.
  • System testing and debugging: They rigorously test software to identify and fix bugs, ensuring software reliability and performance.
  • User interface design: Software engineers often design user interfaces that are intuitive and responsive, enhancing the user experience.

Subdisciplines of Software Engineering

Software engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Application development: This field focuses on creating software applications for desktop, mobile, or web platforms.
  • Systems software: These professionals specialize in developing software that manages the hardware and system resources.
  • Software security: This discipline deals with the creation and maintenance of secure software systems to protect data and prevent unauthorized access.

Key Skills of a Software Engineer

Important skills for software engineers include the following:

  • Coding proficiency: Software engineers need to have mastery of multiple programming languages, such as Java, Python, or Ruby.
  • Problem-solving skills: They need strong analytical skills to solve complex software issues effectively.
  • Attention to detail: Keen attention to detail is essential for writing and reviewing code that is efficient and error-free.

Software Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for software engineers include the following:

  • The BLS reports that the median annual salary for software engineers was approximately $130,160 in May 2023.
  • Entry-level positions in software engineering typically require a software engineering bachelor’s degree or a degree in a field like computer science or information technology. Some employers prefer to hire software engineers with a master’s degree. 

Structural Engineer 

Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering that specializes in the shape and form of human-made structures. These engineers consider factors like strength, rigidity, and stability when designing these structures, often for the purpose of reducing their vulnerability to earthquakes. 

The designs of structural engineers must be integrated into the designs of other professionals, like building services engineers and architects, requiring a high degree of collaboration. Structural engineers are also closely involved with the design of other components affecting a structure’s safety, including elevators, medical equipment, and emergency vehicles. 

Key Responsibilities of Structural Engineers

The duties of a structural engineer include the following:

  • Structural design: Structural engineers design buildings, bridges, and other structures to ensure they are safe and capable of withstanding various loads and forces.
  • Load analysis: They calculate and analyze loads, stresses, and strains to determine whether a structure can safely support them.
  • Inspection and assessment: Structural engineers inspect existing structures to assess their condition and recommend repairs or modifications.

Subdisciplines of Structural Engineering

Structural engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Earthquake engineering: This field focuses on designing structures that can withstand seismic activities.
  • Forensic engineering: This field focuses on investigating structural failures and recommending solutions.
  • Bridge engineering: This discipline deals with the design and maintenance of bridges, ensuring their safety and longevity.

Key Skills of a Structural Engineer

Important skills for structural engineers include the following:

  • Analytical skills: Structural engineers should be proficient in analyzing structural elements to ensure they meet safety and design criteria.
  • Technical proficiency: They should be skilled in the use of design and analysis software specific to structural engineering.
  • Problem-solving abilities: They need the ability to creatively address design and engineering challenges while adhering to regulatory requirements.

Structural Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for structural engineers include the following:

  • Payscale reports that the median salary for structural engineers was approximately $77,000 per year as of April 2024.
  • Entry-level positions in structural engineering typically require a structural engineering bachelor’s degree or a degree in civil engineering or a related field.

Telecommunications Engineer 

Telecommunications engineers design and develop systems for communicating at a distance. It’s primarily a subfield of electronics engineering, but it also incorporates elements of civil and systems engineering. 

Telecommunications engineering entails the design of basic circuits as well as large-scale electronic components. These engineers often oversee the installation of equipment such as microwave transmission systems, switching systems, and IP networks. They’re also responsible for laying cables such as coaxial, optical, and twisted pairs.

Key Responsibilities of Telecommunications Engineers

The duties of a telecommunications engineer include the following:

  • Network design and implementation: Telecommunications engineers design and deploy networks that support voice, data, and video communication.
  • System maintenance and troubleshooting: They maintain and troubleshoot telecommunications systems to ensure continuous service and minimal downtime.
  • Performance optimization: Telecommunications engineers optimize network performance through regular updates and enhancements.

Subdisciplines of Telecommunications Engineering

Telecommunications engineering encompasses numerous subdisciplines, including:

  • Wireless communications: This field focuses on the design and implementation of wireless networking and communication systems.
  • Fiber optics engineering: Individuals in this field specialize in the technology and application of fiber optics for high-speed data transmission.
  • Network security: This discipline deals with the protection of telecommunications networks from unauthorized access and attacks.

Key Skills of a Telecommunications Engineer

Important skills for telecommunications engineers include the following:

  • Technical knowledge: They need a strong understanding of telecommunications systems, including hardware, software, and network infrastructures.
  • Problem-solving skills: They need the ability to quickly diagnose and resolve network issues to prevent or minimize system downtime.
  • Attention to detail: They should pay critical attention to detail to ensure that all aspects of network deployment and maintenance are performed accurately and effectively.

Telecommunications Engineering Salary and Education Requirements

The salary and education requirements for telecommunications engineers include the following:

  • Payscale reports that the median salary for telecommunications engineers was about $83,000 per year as of April 2024.
  • Entry-level positions in telecommunications engineering often don’t require a college degree, although some employers may require vocational training or certifications. Telecommunication engineers looking to advance their careers could benefit from a telecommunications master’s degree.

Engineering Career Salary and Job Outlook 

The salary and job outlook of engineers vary greatly by the specific discipline, but the BLS reports that the number of architecture and engineering jobs is expected to grow at an average rate of 5% from 2022 to 2032. 

This rate is faster than the average growth expected for all occupations during this period (3%). About 134,900 new architecture and engineering jobs will become available during this period, with about 188,000 openings each year, on average, due to job growth and retirements or career changes.

Average Engineering Salary 

The BLS reports that the median annual salary across all architecture and engineering jobs was approximately $91,420 in May 2023, which is significantly higher than the average of $48,060 per year for all occupations.

Highest-Paying Engineering Job 

The highest-paying engineering job is computer hardware engineering with a median annual salary of $138,080, according to the BLS. The BLS also reports that the highest-earning computer hardware engineers made about $212,770 per year in 2023. The industry with the highest median salaries for computer hardware engineers was scientific research and development, with a median salary of about $169,260. 

Learn more about engineering salaries by checking out our list of the highest paying engineering careers.

States with Highest Engineering Salaries 

The state with the highest median salary for computer hardware engineers was California, at approximately $173,270, while Massachusetts had the second-highest at $158,070. However, other states may offer higher salaries to engineers in other disciplines.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?

An engineering bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline is usually sufficient to qualify for most entry-level engineering positions. However, you may also need a degree in a particular specialization to qualify for certain positions.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Engineering Master’s Degree?

If you’re looking to advance your career, you may need a master’s degree in engineering. This is especially true in research, particularly in new fields of engineering. Management positions may also require a master’s degree in engineering or business.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Ph.D. in Engineering? 

A PhD in engineering is particularly beneficial for teaching positions at the postsecondary education level, where this degree is usually required. Some research positions may also need a PhD, such as project leads.

Engineering Career FAQ 

What is an engineering career? 

An engineering career refers to the professional pathway that involves applying scientific and mathematical principles to design, analyze, and develop technological solutions for various challenges. Engineers utilize their knowledge and skills to create products, systems, and processes that serve specific purposes, often with the goal of improving functionality, safety, and efficiency.

What do engineers do?

Engineers generally apply scientific knowledge to practical applications, although the specifics depend on the discipline. Specifically, engineers are problem-solvers who:

  • Apply principles: They use scientific and mathematical principles to design and develop systems, structures, and technologies.
  • Identify challenges: Before creating a solution, engineers understand and analyze the problem.
  • Conduct research: They gather data and insights to inform their designs.
  • Design and test: Engineers create solutions and test their effectiveness to ensure reliability and safety.
  • Collaborate: They work with professionals from various disciplines, ensuring comprehensive solutions.
  • Continuous learning: As technology evolves, engineers update their knowledge to remain current.

In essence, engineers bridge the gap between theoretical science and its practical application, turning innovative ideas into real-world solutions. They may design manufactured objects, from toys to space shuttles. Engineers may also develop other things, like new food products or special effects in movies. Others may find ways to reduce pollution or make the world more sustainable in other ways. Some engineers work to improve more abstract concepts like processes or methodologies.

What are the four main engineering fields? 

The four main fields of engineering are chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The vast majority of all engineering disciplines fall under one or more of these fields. Only a few of the newest disciplines, like genetic engineering, aren’t clearly part of these four major fields.

What areas of engineering are growing the most? 

Software engineering will experience the fastest growth between 2022 and 2032, growing at a rate of 25%, leading to the creation of 451,200 new jobs, according to the BLS.

What is the future job outlook for engineers? 

The future job outlook for engineers is faster than that of job growth overall, with a growth rate of about 5% over the next decade. This shouldn’t be surprising, given how many jobs in the U.S. are some type of engineering. The future of individual engineering disciplines varies greatly, as some technologies continue to develop while others become obsolete.

Do you need a master’s degree to be an engineer? 

You generally don’t need a master’s degree to become an engineer, with the exception of some newer disciplines. However, the lack of an advanced degree may keep you out of some positions later in your career, especially in academia and management.

What are potential future engineering careers?

The rapid pace of technological and scientific advancement means that the engineering landscape is constantly evolving. Here are some potential future engineering careers that could emerge or become more prominent in the coming years:

  1. Space habitat engineer: As space exploration advances, there will be a need for engineers who specialize in designing and constructing sustainable habitats on other planets or in space stations.
  2. Biomedical nanotechnology engineer: These engineers will work on the interface of nanotechnology and medicine, designing nano-scale devices and treatments for various diseases.
  3. Neural interface engineer: As brain-computer interfaces develop, engineers in this field will design and refine systems that directly connect the human brain to computers and other devices.
  4. Climate change mitigation engineer: These engineers will focus on developing technologies and infrastructures to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise or extreme weather events.
  5. Virtual reality infrastructure engineer: As virtual and augmented realities become more integrated into daily life, these engineers will design the systems and structures that support these digital worlds.
Scroll to Top