5 Careers You Can Pursue With an Engineering Degree

Oct 25, 2019 by

Algebra. Literature. Latin.

These are just a few school subjects that students argue are virtually pointless and serve no real world application. While there may be some truth to that, there are plenty of jobs where your educational foundation will serve you well.

Most forms of math, science, and English composition do, at least in part, prepare you for your future career in some form or another.

The realm of engineering is one such career. Not only do you utilize your math and science skills, but you actually apply these theories and findings to better the world. Engineers use the principles of math and science to develop economic solutions that meet consumer and societal needs.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading to discover eight rewarding careers in engineering.

1. Automotive Engineer

Gearheads unite! Do you love cars? Do the inner workings of a car motor excite you? If so, you’ll love a career in automotive engineering.

As an automotive engineer you’re responsible for researching, designing, and developing new vehicles. You must consider safety features, functionality, and efficiency. Your designs and ideas also need to be economical and profitable. 

Automotive engineers not only create new products but also modify existing ones, troubleshoot problems, and help plan the manufacturing process. And your responsibilities don’t end there. 

Here are a few more aspects of the job:

  • Estimate project and design cost
  • Prepare plans and drawings
  • Create test procedures 
  • Troubleshoot product failures
  • Evaluate the vehicles behavior under changing conditions
  • Work closely with other engineers and professionals

If you’re interested in an automotive engineering career, you’ll need to major in mechanical engineering first or find a school that offers this specialty field of study.

2. Chemical Engineer

If you love chemistry class, this career might be right up your alley! When it comes to chemical engineering, it’s all about the atoms.

In this role, you’ll evaluate and manipulate the interaction of atoms and other molecules. This knowledge is then used to research and develop new materials across a variety of fields including healthcare. This is also an extremely rewarding career since you’ll work closely with other engineers to solve some of the world’s greatest problems.

As a chemical engineer, your home will be the laboratory. Here, you’ll use mathematics and scientific algorithms and experimentation to design processes and systems that direct how atoms interact with each other. These discoveries are then applied to create countless useful materials including food, fuel, medication, and chemicals. 

3. Civil Engineer

This is one of the most popular engineer careers with no signs of slowing down. According to the Bureau of Labor of Statistics, this career is predicted to grow 10.6% by 2026 with 32,000 jobs opening up. This is no surprise, really, since there will always be a need for expansion, development, and growth of buildings and transportation systems. 

Civil engineers are the career that many little boys and girls dream of — specialize in building bridges, designing roads, buildings, water supply systems, and construction. You’ll need managerial skills in this position as well since many civil engineers supervise and oversee construction teams.

The role of civil engineer is also an important one when it comes to ensuring public safety. You’ll guarantee that the buildings, bridges, and roads are structurally and environmentally sound and compliant. They must withstand excessive daily use and major weather events including earthquakes and hurricanes. 

Civil engineers are also lucky enough to work both out in the field, getting their hands dirty and watching their visions come to life, as well as in the office, designing and creating structural plans. 

Looking to fast-track to a career in civil engineering? Try a dual-degree program and save both time and money. 

4. Computer Engineer

For those who prefer to work behind the scenes and are well-versed in computer technology, a computer engineer position is both rewarding and lucrative. With nearly 50% of the US population owning and using a computer every day, computer engineers are tasked with developing and improving computer software programs and the hardware that makes them run. 

Generally, a computer engineer will choose one of the two specialties — either software or hardware. A software engineer program what the hardware engineers create. For example, motherboards and graphics. Those Microsoft Office and Photoshop programs you use were once a jumble of information that was organized, structured and programmed by a civil engineer.

Do you love gaming? You can also thank civil engineers for their ability to program and create games and other software tools. Computer engineers are also tasked with troubleshooting a wide range of issues from email bugs to breakdowns in operating systems. As a computer engineer, you’ll also need knowledge and understanding of coding. You can seek work with the government, in schools, or corporate settings. 

5. Environmental Engineer

Are you passionate about Mother Earth? Does the world’s ecosystem both fascinate and challenge you? Environmental engineers are responsible for maintaining clean and usable water and soil on planet Earth. They also work every day to sustain our atmosphere and, essnetially, life as we know it. 

As an environmental engineer you’ll use both engineering and science principles to help protect and improve the environment. This includes maintaining air, water, and soil quality. If you believe air pollution is a major problem, you can make a difference in the world by following this career path. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle — you learn about it in grade school and now it’s time to see it’s real world application. Environmental engineers brainstorm ways to improve current waste disposal systems, hygiene, and the recycling process. Ultimately, your primary goal is to protect the environment and find ways to improve on everyday practices that may be compromising it.

The beauty of a career in any of the above engineering fields is that you’ll be utilizing both mathematical and scientific skill sets to make tangible changes in the real world. This means through your knowledge and hands-on applications, you can make the world a better, safer place. What could be more rewarding than that? 

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