Types of Engineers – Learn About Different Engineer Categories

Engineering might be one of the broadest fields that you can come across with. It is broad in a sense that there are a lot of disciplines associated with the concept itself. Before going any further, let us have a quick definition of what engineering is all about. Engineering is an applied science wherein principles of mathematics and science are utilized to come up with practical ends. The individuals responsible for the advances and cultivation of this science are referred to as engineers. They are people who have been trained to specialize in their chosen branch of engineering. There are types of engineers that you are familiar with, while there are some that you might have never even heard of before. Check the list below for a number of engineer professions with corresponding information about them:

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers deal with the designing of airborne crafts that are launched on to the atmosphere and even outer space. They are involved in the construction and design of aircraft, missiles, spacecraft and satellites. To become an aerospace engineer, one must obtain a degree in aerospace engineering or of a relevant field. For entry level aerospace engineers, a license isn’t mandatory for practice. However, there will come a time later in their careers when a professional engineer (PE) license will be required.

Agricultural Engineer

These engineers are concerned with developing technologies for the advancement of agricultural systems. They deal with a wide array of work which covers matters relating to the agribusiness. Agricultural engineers work on strategies that will help improve agricultural operations while keeping in mind the conservation of resources and safety of personnel, animals and other products.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers use their analytical and design skills for the improvement of patient and medical care. They utilize engineering principles to come up with equipment and devices that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of various disorders in the healthcare industry. Hence, it can easily be inferred how these individuals deal with complex work due to how they should have a solid background both in the fields of engineering and medicine.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers used applied principles of different scientific disciplines such as chemistry, physics and biology to come up with solutions to technical problems. They can usually be seen working in places like manufacturing plants, laboratories and plants to monitor facilities and operations. Chemical engineers deal with problems ranging from food, paper, drugs, fertilizers, fuel and other complex chemical processes. Their field of study is very broad and they have been referred to as universal engineers due to this.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are concerned with the design, development and maintenance of construction projects such as those involving bridges, buildings, dams, roads and other large structures. Due to complexity of the work involved, civil engineers usually develop a specialization in a certain area. To learn more about civil engineers, do check our separate article about them.

Computer Hardware Engineer

The robust growth in computer technology caused the stemming out of problems from these advances. Due to this, individuals who are specialists of computer systems are sought after to work on solutions for these complex problems. This is where the role of a computer hardware engineer comes in. Computer hardware engineers design, develop and examine computer hardware like central processing units (CPUs), motherboards, printers, and even portable storage devices. Due to their work, developments and innovations in computer technology are made possible.

Electrical Engineer

From the name of the occupation itself, it is easy to tell that electrical engineers focus on developing equipment that harness electricity such as radar systems, electric motors, power transmission systems and other electrical equipment. Their responsibilities are important for maintaining and improving products that utilize electrical power. They develop electrical systems and components while considering factors such as safety, sustainability, dependability and practicality.

Marine Engineer

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.

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers are concerned with the manufacturing, development and maintenance of various mechanical systems. Theirs is a discipline that encompasses a vast subject area. You can check this separate article if you want know learn more about mechanical engineers.

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 narrow down your thoughts and think of which among these types of engineers would you want to become.

Electrical Engineering – An Empowering Field

From the term itself, it is easy to tell that electrical engineering is a discipline that focuses on electrical systems. In this manner, electrical engineers are professionals develop, design, test and research on various electrical equipment. They also are involved in the manufacturing process of these devices and machinery. Being the largest branch of engineering, the area of coverage for electrical engineers is wide encompassing small to large scale electrical systems. For instance, the may work on the electrical utilities such as the lighting and wiring of huge buildings. On the other hand, they can also work on smaller devices such as digital cameras or cellular phones. They work on a variety of systems that make use of electrical energy to function.

For us to have a better understanding of the type of work that electrical engineers deal with, let us have a look at some of their tasks and responsibilities:

  • Develop new ways to harness the utilization of electrical power for the improvements of products and other equipment.
  • Oversee the different phases of a project such as the manufacturing and installation of products and electrical systems.
  • Assure that the specifications for certain products are met during the manufacturing process.
  • Evaluate issues encountered with the products and think of solutions to deal with the problem.
  • Modify current electrical systems based on a client’s needs or other factors.
  • Design prototypes for different electrical components and devices.

The median annual wage for electrical engineers in the year 2010 was recorded to be $84,540. This means that at that time, those who belonged to the highest 10 percent earned more than $128,610. On the other hand, those who belonged to the lowest 10 percent had a median annual salary of $54,030. Furthermore, between the years 2010 and 2020, jobs for electrical engineers are expected to have an increase of 6 percent. This rate is slower than average compared to other professions. However, there is an anticipated increase for demand of electrical engineering jobs in engineering services firms. This is the case since companies are expected to contact engineering firms for services rather than directly employ individual engineers. [1]

To become an electrical engineer, an electrical engineering degree or a bachelor’s degree program of a relevant discipline in engineering is necessary. While still in high school, it is important for aspiring electrical engineers to take mathematics and physics courses since this will help the candidate develop a strong foundation for the said subjects in an early age. Furthermore, experience and a professional engineer (PE) license are recommended for individuals who want to increase their chances of getting employed for ideal electrical engineering jobs.

Without a doubt, the services provided by electrical engineers during these modern times are indeed essential for us to be able to keep with our pace. More innovations and developments in the field of electrical engineering can most certainly bring us further in terms of science and technology.

  1. Electrical and Electronics Engineering”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved August 27, 2013.

Civil Engineering – Building our Modern World

Civil engineering makes the existence of large structures such as bridges, roads, buildings and different water supply systems possible to be built. Civil engineers supervise the construction of these infrastructures that are a big part of our world; they deal with various aspects of the construction process. During planning, they must also consider different aspects of the project such as the costs, impact on the environment, lifetime and environmental factors that can potentially have a huge effect on a project. Due to the complexity of some projects, civil engineers can have several specializations to choose from which include geotechnical engineering, structural engineering and transportation engineering.

You can understand the nature of the work of civil engineers through looking into the kind of responsibilities that they have. Hence, here is a list of tasks that civil engineers usually deal with:

  • Examine technical and feasibility reports in preparation for a project.
  • Estimate the cost of a project through creating and presenting a budget plan.
  • Evaluate the project site to determine the environmental aspects of a certain location.
  • Test and decide materials that are to be used for a project.
  • Utilize computer software to come up with detailed project designs.
  • Manage the materials and resources that are going to be used for construction.
  • Deal with workers, contractors, architects and other individuals during implementation of the project.
  • Look over the construction process and make sure that everything gets in place during the target timeframe.

To become a civil engineer, one must have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or another relevant engineering degree. Enrolling in a degree program accredited by ABET is important for those who are seeking licensure as a professional engineer (PE). A license is mandatory for civil engineers who intend to work for the public sector.

In the year 2010, civil engineers earned a median annual wage of $77,560 (equivalent to an hourly rate of $37.29). Civil engineering jobs are expected to have a 19 percent growth between the years 2010 and 2020. The skills of a civil engineer are needed in the repair and rebuilding of certain structures that are seen as ever-changing throughout the years. Civil engineers play an important role in the maintenance of these structures.­­ [1]

Imagine a world without civil engineers and you might end up thinking of a world of disordered proportions. Transportation can become a huge problem due to the lack of highways and bridges or drinkable water might become a rare commodity if there would be no one to look after our water systems. Hence, it is safe to say that the next time your eyes meet a building of some sort, breathe a sigh of relief for you know that behind these structures are civil engineers who possess the knowledge and abilities to keep our modern world intact.

  • Civil Engineers”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved August 27, 2013.

Mechanical Engineering – A Look into the Discipline and Profession

Mechanical engineers encompass a wide area of study, hence mechanical engineering is considered to be one of the broadest disciplines of engineering. Mechanical engineers design and build different kinds of tools and devices. They are knowledgeable in principles from fields such as physics, kinematics, mathematics and mechanics, among others. Through their background in these disciplines, they are able to analyze, research, and develop mechanical devices and prototypes.

The responsibilities of a mechanical engineer primarily consist of the following:

  • Create mechanical devices that will help solve a problem in focus.
  • Modify devices or equipment for improvements in reliability, economy and safety.
  • Design and test prototypes for mechanical devices.
  • Suggest modifications needed to be done after yielding results on prototype tests.
  • Monitor processes involved in the manufacturing of devices.
  • Communicate with clients, engineers and other professionals for the improvement or production of equipment.

The duties of the mechanical engineer aren’t limited to the aforementioned. Considering the wide area where their skills and abilities can be used in, there are a number of industries where their help are being sought in. For instance, their expertise can be applied in the development of complex equipment used in healthcare or for simple mundane devices such as door locks. Hence, they can be found working on many different areas where mechanical processes are present.

To pursue a job as a mechanical engineer, candidates must obtain a degree in mechanical engineering or other degrees in related engineering disciplines. For accredited mechanical engineering colleges, you can check the list generated from ABET’s (Accredited Board of Engineering and Technology, Inc.) website. Acquiring a program accredited by ABET can later help candidates when they begin to seek for jobs.

Mechanical engineers received an annual median pay of $78,160 in 2010. This is equivalent to a rate of about $37.58 per hour. Moreover, an expected increase of 9 percent is expected for mechanical engineering jobs from the years 2010 to 2020. The job outlook can be affected by the type of industry that they work in, considering how mechanical engineers can work in a wide range of fields. Due to this, you can easily tell that mechanical engineers can be found working in a variety of locations and sectors. For instance, they work in research and development departments, government agencies and manufacturing plants. They can be seen doing their work in offices or they go to work sites from time to time to monitor problems or processes that require their presence. [1]

The work done by mechanical engineers are significant in many areas of technology and even in other fields of engineering. Without a doubt, these individuals have had a wide range of contributions to our society.



Types of Engineering Degrees – Considering your Field of Study

Once you have read or reviewed about the different types of engineers, you might end up wondering about where you should begin with your dream of becoming an engineer. Considering that there are quite a number of engineering branches, there is a possibility that you can end up being confused about what particular field you should engage in. Hence, here comes a list of types of engineering degrees which may help you in narrowing down your search:

Aerospace Engineering

This degree is designed for candidates who choose to pursue a career path as an aerospace engineer. That is, they are to design and test aircraft, missiles and spacecraft. For individuals who intend to take up a degree in aerospace engineering, focusing on chemistry, physics and mathematics in high school would help in preparing for the degree. The degree program lasts four typically four years and its students will take courses relating to aerodynamics, thermodynamics and other subjects concerned with aircraft and space systems design.

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers think of the best and most efficient ways of utilizing factors such as workers, machines, equipment and energy involved in production. They look at the overall situation and come up with ways to help in the improvement of the setting. Candidates who are interested in becoming an industrial engineer must complete a degree program in industrial engineering or general engineering. These bachelor’s degree programs offer courses about manufacturing technology, production optimization and others. There are institutions that offer programs which allow students to engage with practical experience while completing their degrees.

Nuclear Engineering

Earning a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering allows individuals to specialize in the research and development of systems and processes involved in harnessing nuclear energy and radiation. The program includes courses about nuclear systems, radiation production, and other mathematics and science subjects. Taking up courses in high school such as trigonometry, calculus, chemistry and physics is important for students who intend to pursue a degree in nuclear engineering.

Software Engineering

For people who want to become software engineers, there are a number of computer-related degree programs available. Some of these degrees are software engineering, information systems, and computer science and information technology. Other degrees are also recognized, what is important is that the candidate has good programming and analytical skills. A solid knowledge in computer science concepts and other computer systems are important for those who are interested in pursuing a career as a software engineer. Postgraduate courses are available for those who think that they need more training to hone their skills and become worthy of the job.

The list for types of engineering degrees definitely doesn’t end here. The field of specializations that engineers engage in are vast. Deciding upon a degree that will help you become an engineer will most definitely depend on your capabilities and interests.