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The broad field of engineering encompasses an array of rewarding opportunities. Most engineers focus on a specific specialization, such as civil, aerospace, or electrical engineering. No matter your specialization, qualified engineers are in demand in a variety of fields.

Engineering positions typically require a bachelor’ degree in engineering or relevant field. Some engineering jobs, especially in management, require a master’s degree. An engineering degree in a specialty area may qualify engineers for a career in a related field. Whatever your area of focus, an engineering degree will require a heavy dose of math and science courses.

Many engineers have rewarding careers working with cutting edge technology. With this advanced technology, the engineering field is ever-evolving and innovative. Engineers typically enjoy working in collaboration with other team members to develop innovations in technology. Their work environment is rarely stagnant.

A study performed by the U.S. Department of Labor shows professional engineers tend to stay employed with the same company for significantly longer periods of time than workers in other professions.

Whether you’re looking interested in a career as an agricultural or materials engineer, we provide information about employment growth, salary, education requirements, and more.

After you’ve browsed this page on Engineering Careers, we encourage you to dig deeper into our website’s extensive career guide which features details on job options, education requirements, and salaries for a variety of career tracks.

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Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians

Education and Certifications Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Need

Candidates for avionics technicians jobs should be detail-oriented and have good communication, critical-thinking, math, technical and interpersonal skills.

Certification is not required to work as an aerospace technician, but skills-based programs can help you earn certification through the Federal Aviation Commission, which can increase your hiring potential.

Certificate and diploma programs offered by vocational-technical schools provide training for work as an aerospace technician, but employers increasingly seek candidates with an associate in aerospace engineering technology degree. Aerospace technicians seeking to work on defense contracts must qualify for a security clearance, which sometimes requires U.S. citizenship.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

Without qualified aerospace engineering and operations technicians, none of us could feel safe getting on an airplane. Aerospace technicians are in charge of the equipment used to test new designs in aviation. An aerospace engineering and operations technician helps find solutions to fix problems.

An aerospace technician career includes using basic engineering principles and technical skills to support the work of engineers and others who develop, make and test aircraft, spacecraft and the systems operating them.

An aerospace technician career includes programming computers for flight simulation to test new aircraft designs; operating and calibrating computer systems so they meet various test requirements. An aerospace technician career also includes building and maintaining test facilities to meet engineers’ specifications.

Aerospace techs conduct tests, record and analyze data and diagnose problems. Sometimes called avionics technicians, they adjust, repair or replace faulty components. Aerospace technicians discuss test procedures with aerospace engineers.

An aerospace tech career may include installing parts and systems to be tested, and monitoring production of aircraft systems to ensure they are of the highest quality.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $67,240
2016, Number of Jobs 12,100
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $102,960
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $43,050

 

Aerospace Engineers

Education and Certifications Aerospace Engineers Need

An entry-level aerospace engineer may need a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field.

Candidates for an aerospace engineer career need analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to handle complex problem-solving. Many aeronautical engineers work on defense projects for the U.S. government, which requires a security clearance.

Some schools partner with companies to give prospective aerospace engineers practical experience while earning their degree. Some universities also offer five-year programs for candidates to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Advanced education may qualify an aerospace engineer to teach or work in product research and development.

Aerospace engineers who gain experience and want to take on more responsibility must earn a license as a professional engineer, which generally requires a degree from an accredited engineering program and passing scores on the Fundamentals of Engineering and the Professional Engineering exams.

Aeronautical engineers can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam after earning a bachelor’s degree, at which point they serve as engineers-in-training or engineer interns to acquire enough experience to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Aerospace engineers in several states must take continuing education courses to maintain their licenses.

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What They Do

The next time you fly, take a minute to think about the people who make it possible. Chief among them: aerospace engineers, the men and women behind the development of ever newer, faster, better airplanes.

Aeronautical engineering focuses on aircraft, while astronautical engineering focuses on spacecraft. A successful aerospace engineer grasps the principles of physics and the intricacies of sophisticated computer software.

Aeronautical engineers are mainly involved with designing aircraft and their propulsion systems, as well as studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials. An aeronautical engineer career involves creating detailed diagrams and conducting simulated tests to ensure everything runs as efficiently as possible.

An aeronautical engineer career may involve supervising the workers who build prototypes to make certain they meet the manufacturer’s or government’s precise specifications.

Many industries rely on aeronautical engineering skills. Aeronautical engineers may also be involved with the science and technology of spacecraft, including how spacecraft perform inside the earth’s atmosphere.

Aeronautical engineers typically specialize in a certain type of aircraft, such as private planes, helicopters, or commercial jets. Most specialize in one of the many electrical or mechanical systems that comprise aircraft, such as the propulsion system, engines, robotics, instrumentation and communication, or navigation boards.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Aerospace engineers can eventually take on the role of technical supervisors to lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some move into executive positions or work as engineering managers. Such advancement usually requires an aeronautical engineer to work as an apprentice under a more experienced aerospace engineer.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $113,030
2016, Number of Jobs 69,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $162,110
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $70,840

 

Agricultural Engineers

Education and Certifications Agricultural Engineers Need

Candidates for an agricultural engineer career typically need a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering or biological engineering. Agriculture engineers who offer services to the public must earn a license, which typically requires four years of experience as an agricultural engineer (which can include an internship), a degree from an accredited program and passing scores on the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams.

Among agriculture engineers’ key skills are critical thinking, mathematics, problem-solving, listening and experience with common office software and computer-aided design software.

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What They Do

“Agricultural engineer” may sound like a fancy word for farmer, but these professionals handle a complicated array of responsibilities. Depending on their area of specialization, an agricultural engineer’s scope of expertise can focus on bioprocess technology, aquaculture, forestry, traditional farming, developing biofuels and conservation methods, planning animal environments or improving the way industry processes food.

Agriculture engineers tackle problems encompassing every aspect of farm operation: machinery, power, buildings, crops and animals. Some people who work in agricultural engineering develop new tools and methods for using them; design food processing plants; provide advice on water quality and pollution management and oversee land reclamation projects. An agricultural engineering career typically involves computer-aided design technology.

An agricultural engineer career may involve testing agricultural equipment to ensure proper performance. Agriculture engineers work indoors and outdoors, visiting agricultural sites to ensure equipment functions according to manufacturers’ instructions and government regulations. Professionals in agriculture engineering also work in research and development laboratories.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

As agriculture engineers gain experience, they work more independently and may advance to leading a team of agricultural engineers. Some agriculture engineers choose roles as engineering managers or segue into sales work.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $74,780
2016, Number of Jobs 2,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $114,880
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $47,280

 

Biomedical Engineers

Education and Certifications Biomedical Engineers Need

A biomedical engineer typically has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, but may earn a bachelor’s in a different engineering field and then study for a master’s in biomedical engineering or pursue on-the-job training in biomedical engineering.

Many bachelor’s degree programs for biomedical engineers offer co-ops or internships so students can experience the practical application of their studies.

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What They Do

Biomedical engineers’ work directly affects the care we get from our doctors and in hospitals. Biomedical engineers are problem-solvers who try to boost the quality and effectiveness of patient care, often designing products that help those with debilitating health conditions live fuller, longer lives.

A biomedical engineer might specialize in research or oversee teams manufacturing drugs or an array of devices.

Biomedical engineers analyze problems in biology and medicine to design solutions to health care problems. A biomedical engineering career typically includes developing and evaluating biological and health systems and products. A biomedical engineering career may include designing artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems and health management and care delivery systems.

A biomedical engineer career involves collaborating with manufacturing personnel, scientists and other medical professionals. Biomedical engineering, a scientific and creative field, offers a sense of satisfaction that comes from biomedical engineers’ realization they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

With an advanced degree, a biomedical engineer can lead a research team. Some biomedical engineers attend medical or dental school to specialize in such things as using electric impulses to get muscles to move again. Some biomedical engineers earn law degrees and work as patent attorneys.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $88,040
2016, Number of Jobs 21,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $142,610
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $52,070

 

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Education and Certifications Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Need

A cartographer or photogrammetrist usually has a bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, geomatics, surveying, forestry, physical science or engineering.

Cartographers and photogrammetrists’ need for education and computer skills has grown with the development of geographic information system technology.

Some schools offer an Associate degree in Geographic Information Systems or a Master of Geographic Information Systems degree.

Some states require licensing for cartographers and photogrammetrists, who may also earn certification from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Both licensing and certification of cartographers and photogrammetrists generally require formal education and passing scores on an industry test. Some states require a photogrammetrist to have a surveyor’s license.

The field of cartography includes apprenticeships as a cartographic drafter or geospatial specialist.

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What They Do

Simply put, cartographers and photogrammetrists make maps. Their specialized skills are far from simple. Cartographers and photogrammetrists’ work affects the way we travel, how communities are mapped out and the government’s ability to plan for national security.

Both a cartographer career and a photogrammetrist career involve measuring, analyzing and interpreting information. The maps they create serve political, cultural, environmental and educational purposes.

A cartographer career includes compiling data from various sources, such as surveys, and using web-based technology to makes maps. A photogrammetrist career includes using satellite images, light-imaging detection and ranging technology, and photos — especially aerial photos — to make surveys and maps.

Some cartographers and photogrammetrists also use geographic information system technology to create maps important to industries and governments that make decisions involving environmental studies, engineering, land use and marketing.

Specializations include geographical information systems, land surveying, photo inspection, surveying technology, and photogrammetry.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $63,990
2016, Number of Jobs 12,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 19%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $100,670
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $40,390

 

Chemical Engineers

Education and Certifications Chemical Engineers Need

Candidates for entry-level chemical engineer jobs typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some schools offer five-year programs culminating in a bachelor and master’s degrees in chemical engineering. Many schools offer a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree, also named a Bachelor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree.

Licensing is recommended but not as prevalent among chemical engineers when compared to other engineering fields. Licensure generally requires a degree from an accredited program, relevant work experience and passing scores on Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams. A number of states require continuing education to maintain licensing.

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What They Do

In the world of science, chemical engineers’ work has a creative artistry all its own. Chemical engineers devise processes for making myriad chemicals and products, including gasoline, plastics, cement, synthetic rubber, paper, pulp and more.

Chemical engineering careers involve using the principles and technology of several sciences: chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. Chemical engineering careers can also involve supervising production and designing equipment used in chemical plants for large-scale manufacturing.

Chemical engineers work in a variety of industries, everything from specialty chemicals to semiconductors to food processing. Chemical engineers’ research often focuses on safer technology for producing potentially dangerous chemicals.

A chemical engineer career involves gathering relevant information for individual projects from a variety of sources and using computers for entering data. A chemical engineer career may also involve writing software and setting up functions.

A chemical engineer must have excellent communication skills to collaborate and share highly technical information with other scientists, co-workers and supervisors.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

With a master’s or doctorate, a chemical engineer can work as a college instructor or in research and development. Increased training and experience enable a chemical engineer to take on more difficult projects and enjoy increased independence while developing products and solving problems. Chemical engineering careers also include management and sales positions.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $102,160
2016, Number of Jobs 32,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $169,080
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $62,230

 

Civil Engineering Technicians

Education and Certifications Civil Engineering Technicians Need

An associate in civil engineering technology degree may provide a foundation for this line of work, although some employers do not require civil engineering tech candidates to have formal education in the field.

Certificate and diploma programs offered by vocational-technical schools provide training for work as a civil engineering technician. Some employers provide on-the-job training in lieu of classroom work.

Certification requires an exam and documentation that includes work history, references and, usually, a supervisor’s verification of specific work experience.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

Look all around your community and you will see the accomplishments of a team of professionals including civil engineering technicians. All major infrastructure, such as highways, bridges and utilities, result from the planning and design expertise of civil engineers, assisted by civil engineering technicians.

A civil engineering tech career includes overseeing construction and maintenance under the direction of scientists and engineering staff. A civil engineering technician applies the theories and principles of civil engineering in planning and design.

Civil engineer technicians take measurements, estimate the cost of materials and draft design schematics. A civil engineer technician career includes frequently surveying potential work sites for supervisory staff.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Certification can help a civil engineering tech advance. Career advancement opportunities also exist for: civil engineering technicians who learn how to design systems specific to a variety of projects, such as storm and sanitary sewer systems; and those who become proficient at reading graphic plans, called profiles.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $51,620
2016, Number of Jobs 74,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $78,660
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $32,220

 

Civil Engineers

Education and Certifications Civil Engineers Need

People seeking a civil engineer career typically need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or one of its specialties from an accredited program.

Civil engineering programs include classroom, lab and field work. Some schools provide an Associate in Civil Engineering Technology degree or a Master in Civil Engineering degree.

A civil engineer needs a license to have direct control of a project and supervise other civil engineering staff.

Licensing requires passing grades on the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination, meeting other state requirements, and serving as a civil engineering intern or engineer-in-training. To qualify as a civil engineering professional, candidates must also have experience and pass more exams.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

Civil engineers spend much of their time indoors behind a desk, but their work shows up everywhere in the communities around them. All of the streets, structures, airports, bridges, dams, tunnels, and water and sewage plants comprising a town or city’s infrastructure started with a design created by civil engineers.

A civil engineer career includes visiting construction sites at times to monitor work progress and ensure the project conforms to design specifications and safety standards. A civil engineering career can also include directing or participating in land surveys to lay out installations or determine reference points, grades or elevations to guide the project.

A civil engineering career also involves preparing and presenting reports to the public regarding bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements or right-of-way descriptions.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

About 20 percent of civil engineers have a master’s degree. Post-graduate work can help a civil engineer get a job as a manager.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $84,770
2016, Number of Jobs 303,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $138,110
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $54,150

 

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians

Education and Certifications Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians Need

Electrical technicians and electronic engineering technicians typically need an Associate in Electronic Engineering Technology degree or an Associate in Electrical Engineering Technology degree from a vocational-technical school or community college to enter the field.

Technical institutes offer many certificates that vary in length and scope as well as accredited associate degree programs serving regional students and emphasize training needed for local companies. Community colleges provide similar programs, however they also offer more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.

Students may need an electrical technician or electronic technician certification from a provincial association, such as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, obtained after two or more year’s supervised work experience.

After completing an associate degree program, graduates may get jobs as electrical and electronic technicians or continue their education in a related field, such as an electrical engineering technologist, at a 4-year college.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

An electrical technician career and an electronic engineering technician career attract people who enjoy inspecting, researching and solving a myriad of technical problems across a diverse digital and electronic landscape. Electrical technicians and electronic technicians should be detail oriented and have a strong ability to work well with others.

An electrical technician career and an electronic engineering technician career involve assisting engineers with designing communications equipment, computers, navigational equipment, medical devices as well as other electrical and electronic engineering equipment. An electrical technician career and an electronic technician career may also involve working in product evaluation and testing and using measuring devices to adjust and repair equipment.

Specifically, electrical technicians piece together electrical and electronic systems as well as build and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment. An electrical engineer technician career involves inspecting designs for quality control and making recommendations. An electrical engineering technician modifies and evaluates the performance of developmental parts, assemblies or systems under test conditions.

Electronic engineering technicians work under an engineer’s direction to design basic circuitry and draft sketches to explain details of design plans. Once designed, some electronic technicians assemble, test, and maintain electronic components according to engineering instructions. An electronic technician career also includes creating parts, identifying and fixing equipment problems and performing preventative maintenance on equipment.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $63,660
2016, Number of Jobs 137,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 2%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $93,810
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $37,420

 

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Education and Certifications Electrical and Electronics Engineers Need

Electrical engineers and electronics engineers typically need have a bachelor’s degree to begin an entry-level position. Programs normally last four years and include classroom, labs, and field studies.

Some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering, a Bachelor in Electronics Engineering Technology or a Bachelor in Electronics and Communications Engineering Technology. Many schools offer a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering.

Engineering programs should be accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
Employers highly value practical experience; some schools provide cooperative programs which allow students to obtain practical experience while completing their education program.

Licensure in both electronics engineering and electrical engineering include completing a training program, four years of work experience and passing a 2-stage written examination. Obtaining a license earns electrical and electronics engineers the credential of professional engineer (PE) and improves their chances for employment. Licensure for electrical and electronics engineers isn’t as common as licensure for other engineering occupations.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Master’s of Science degrees are only offered in electrical engineering; however, these programs are suitable for those looking to advance their skills in electronics design and development. A graduate degree also allows an engineer to work as an instructor at universities, or in research and development.

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What They Do

Electrical engineer and electronics engineer careers are great for people who possess analytical, creative and logical personalities and who continually dream about designing, developing and fixing the latest and greatest in electronic or electrical equipment. Both electrical and electronics engineers use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks.

Specifically, electrical engineers design, develop, test, resolve electrical problems and oversee the building of precision components and systems such as electric motors, aircraft systems, navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. An electrical engineer also works with managers to make sure projects operate effectively and efficiently.

Alternatively, electronics engineers design and implement diverse applications, electronic equipment and technology, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPS). Many work in areas closely related to computer hardware. Electronic engineers also work for the federal government, researching, developing, and evaluating electronic devices such as satellites and flight systems used in areas such as aviation and manufacturing.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Electrical and electronic engineers can become supervisors of engineers and technicians. Some engineers become an engineering manager or a program manager.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $97,970
2016, Number of Jobs 324,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $150,340
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $60,250

 

Electro-Mechanical Technicians

Education and Certifications Electro-Mechanical Technicians Need

Electro-mechanical technicians usually need an associate degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some colleges offer an Associate in Electronic Engineering Technology degree program. An associate degree program for electro-mechanical technicians typically take two years to complete. Vocational and technical schools and community colleges provide these programs.

Technical institutes offer many certificates, sometimes called an Associate of Technical Study degree or ATS which vary in length and scope serving regional students and emphasize training needed for local companies.

Community colleges provide education programs similar to those provided by technical schools but the education programs may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.

Most ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited associate degree programs include at least college trigonometry and algebra and basic science courses. These accredited programs also offer specialties in engineering technology.

Some colleges offer a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering Technology degree program or a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering Technology degree program; however, graduates of these degree programs typically work as mechanical engineering technologists or electrical engineering technologists, rather than as technicians. An associate degree in electronic engineering technology makes it easier to enter a bachelor’s degree program.

Electro-mechanical technicians who pursue a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to obtain a state license as a professional engineer. This involves passing the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying exams. Voluntary professional certifications are available through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology.

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What They Do

People with a steady hand, an incredible eye for detail and skilled at fixing technical problems may enjoy a career as an electro-mechanical technician. Electro-mechanical technicians combine the know-how of mechanical technology with the understanding of electrical and electronic circuits.

An electro-mechanical technician career involves aligning, assembling, inspecting, repairing, and upgrading electronic and computer-controlled parts and hardware, such as robotic assembly machines. An electro-mechanical technician career may also involve operating unmanned submarines, aircraft or other equipment such as hazardous waste removal equipment.

An electro-mechanical technician career includes reading blueprints, schematics, and technical orders to determine methods of assembly as well as scrupulously checking size and scope of parts with detailed instruments and calibrating hydraulic assemblies to meet operational specifications.

Upon completion of technical operations and testing procedures, electro-mechanical technicians analyze and report test results.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $56,740
2016, Number of Jobs 13,800
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 4%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $87,970
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $36,550

 

Engineering Managers

Education and Certifications Engineering Managers Need

Engineering managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in the field of engineering, especially since they need to have years of experience working on complex projects, making important decisions, training and licensing in their own specialty to actually become an engineering manager.

Many managers also have business experience after gaining a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree or a Master in Engineering Management (MEM) degree before working in the occupation. In addition, many companies pay employees to attain a master’s degree in business during employment.

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What They Do

If managing several engineering projects and groups of people in a “systems-thinking” environment sounds like a great job, then, an engineering manager career is in your future. Engineering managers prepare and coordinate activities in engineering as well as development and research. Communication skills are essential in this line of work as well as flexibility, leadership and time management skills.

Engineering managers wear many hats that include organizing and integrating sizable projects that could rival the work of a small army.

A project engineering manager career includes organizing and directing the design of various machinery and equipment and formulating specific plans to reach certain engineering goals.

An engineering manager career includes managing the teams involved in the project, reviewing and approving any project changes or revisions, interpreting blueprints and schematics and overseeing the technical details of work.

A project engineering manager consults with other areas and levels of management, hires and supervises employees, organizes and proposes budget costs, manages contracts as well as decides all equipment needs.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $137,720
2016, Number of Jobs 180,100
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $208,000
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $88,050

 

Environmental Engineers

Education and Certifications Environmental Engineers Need

People interested in an environmental engineer career typically need a bachelor’s degree, typically a Bachelor in Environmental Engineering degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree or a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering degree. A bachelor’s degree program usually includes classroom, lab and field studies.

Cooperative engineering programs allow students to gain college credit for job experience; employers prefer candidates with hands-on experience.

Some colleges and universities offer a Master in Environmental Engineering degree program.

Some employers prefer to hire candidates who graduate from an accredited program. The ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) provides accreditation for many engineering programs. People interested in becoming a licensed professional engineer typically need a degree from an ABET-accredited program. A license also improves the chances for employment.

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What They Do

Environmental engineering is a great career for someone who enjoys identifying environmental problems and designing solutions to repair them. Environmental engineers truly understand what the term “being green“ is all about and they use this principle along with engineering, soil science, biology and chemistry to develop solutions to fix air, land and water problems.

An environmental engineering career may include improving recycling, waste disposal and public health. Environmental engineers also address global issues, such as climate change and pollution as well as perform safety inspections on oil and gas production.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Students can also enroll in a five-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Examples of master’s degrees are Master in Environmental Engineering (MEE) or a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MSEE). A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a classroom instructor or to do research and development.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $86,800
2016, Number of Jobs 50,850
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $134,060
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $52,160

 

Health and Safety Engineers

Education and Certifications Health and Safety Engineers Need

Typically, a person seeking a health and safety engineer career needs a bachelor’s degree in electrical, mechanical, chemical, industrial or some other engineering field.

Students interested in entering the relatively new field of software safety engineering should pursue a computer science degree. Applicable bachelor’s degree programs, typically four-year programs, include classroom, lab, and field studies in applied engineering.

Employers value hands-on experience, thus students should consider taking a college cooperative-education engineering program. Some colleges offer health and safety engineering courses designed in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These programs incorporate field experience into the curriculum.

ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits engineering programs.

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What They Do

Health and safety engineer careers attract people who care about preventing others from getting sick or injured and demonstrate a keen ability to adapt to changing environments, situations and challenges. Health and safety engineers combine knowledge of health, safety and systems engineering to ensure chemical biohazards, machinery, software and other products won’t harm people or buildings. Health and safety engineering also involves investigating industrial accidents, injuries, or work-related diseases to determine their causes and implement prevention.

The field of health and safety engineering includes positions such as aerospace safety engineers, fire protection and prevention engineers, product safety engineers and systems safety engineers.

Health and safety engineers play an active role in two related fields: Industrial hygiene and occupational hygiene. In industrial hygiene, health and safety engineers focus on the effects of physical, chemical, and biological agents.

They analyze and control hazardous agents to prevent people from getting injured or sick. In occupational hygiene, health and safety engineers investigate work environments and utilize science and engineering to recommend changes to ensure workers don’t get exposed to sickness or injuries.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

A few schools provide five-year accelerated programs leading to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. A master’s degree allows engineers to enter the field at a higher level providing them opportunities to create and implement safety systems.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $88,510
2016, Number of Jobs 25,900
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $139,630
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $51,820

 

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Education and Certifications Industrial Engineering Technicians Need

People seeking an industrial engineering technician career typically need an associate degree or postsecondary certificate. Some industrial engineering technicians have an Associate in Industrial Engineering Technician degree or an Associate of Industrial Engineering Technology degree.

Individuals with a Bachelor in Industrial Technology degree with an emphasis in manufacturing technologies or engineering may increase their chances of obtaining a senior engineering technician position or a management position in administration or production.

Students interested in pursuing a career as an industrial engineering tech should consider taking computer, math, science and drafting courses during high school.

Vocational schools, technical schools and community colleges offer applicable technical degrees and certificates. Technical institutes offer many certificates varying in length and scope serving regional students and emphasize training needed for local companies. Community colleges provide associate degree programs which include more theory-based liberal arts courses.

ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits industrial engineering technician programs.

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What They Do

Industrial engineering technicians; what they do: Industrial engineering technician careers attract people who enjoy organizing projects, tweaking technical gadgets, and building things from concept to completion. Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers. Industrial engineering techs are concerned with the efficient use of workers, materials, and machines utilized to produce goods and services.

An industrial engineering tech helps prepare machinery and equipment layouts, creates charts describing workflows, interprets engineer drawings, schematics and formulas. An industrial engineering tech career involves managing production schedules and reviewing production costs.

Industrial engineering technician careers include planning work assignments in conjunction with employee performance, machine capacity, production schedules, or anticipated deliverable delays.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $54,280
2016, Number of Jobs 63,900
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 1%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $87,470
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $34,090

 

Marine Engineers and Naval Architects

Education and Certifications Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Need

People interested in a marine engineer career or a naval architect career typically need a Bachelor in Marine Engineering degree, a Bachelor in Naval Architecture degree, or a Bachelor in Marine Systems Engineering degree.

Cooperative engineering programs, award credit for job experience; they’re valuable since employers favor hands-on experience. A Master in Naval Architecture degree and a Master in Marine Engineering are also available. A small number of schools located in the United States offer a degree in marine engineering.

Programs in marine engineering, naval architecture, and marine systems engineering are accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

High school students who are interested in maritime engineering or naval architecture benefit from taking courses in mathematics, science and drafting.

According to The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), individuals need a Professional Engineer (PE) license to provide engineering services to the public throughout the United States. The National Counsel of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) conducts licensing exams.

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What They Do

People who enjoy the ocean, dream of designing enormous ships and engines, and who love fixing mechanical problems should consider a marine engineer career or a naval architect career. Marine engineers and naval architects design, build, and maintain ships from cruise ships to submarines. Marine engineers work on mechanical systems, including propulsion and steering. Naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls.

A maritime engineering career includes researching, developing, inspecting and constructing waterborne transport and their component parts. Marine engineer careers include testing equipment, preparing budgets, contracts and schedules, and compiling reports for other workers such as contractors.

Naval architects work on the various stages of vessel design, maneuverability, specifications and construction, especially the hull. Naval architect careers include working in conjunction with professionals in ship engineering on the characteristics of a ship such as passenger compartments, cargo space and elevators.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $90,970
2016, Number of Jobs 8,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 12%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $145,550
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $63,980

 

Materials Engineers

Education and Certifications Materials Engineers Need

People interested in a materials engineer career must have a Bachelor of Materials Engineering degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Cooperative engineering programs allow students to gain college credit for job experience; employers prefer candidates with hands-on experience.

The ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) provide accreditation to many materials engineering programs. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who graduated from an accredited program. People interested in becoming a licensed professional engineer typically need a degree from an ABET-accredited program. A license also improves the chances for employment.
Career Advancement Opportunities

Students can also enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master in science degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a classroom instructor or to perform research and development.

Find the best school for you:
The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

Materials engineering is a great career for someone who enjoys problem solving, building objects, scientific discovery and opening new doors in technology.

Materials engineers work with metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, and other substances to create new materials and find new ways to use them which meet certain technical criteria. Materials engineers may choose these materials for their strength, electrical properties, resistance to heat or many other property values.

A material engineer career includes studying materials at an atomic level. Materials engineers utilize computers to replicate the characteristics of materials and their components.

Material engineers solve problems in numerous engineering fields such as electrical, chemical, mechanical, nuclear, civil and aerospace engineering.

A material engineer also supervises other scientists and technologists, evaluates technical specs, as well as prepares and manages labor costs and budgets.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $94,610
2016, Number of Jobs 27,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 2%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $149,860
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $57,080

 

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

Education and Certifications Mechanical Engineering Technicians Need

A mechanical engineering tech career may begin with an associate degree from a vocational-technical school or a community college accredited by The Technology Accreditation of ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology). Many vocational schools and community colleges provide an Associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Mechanical engineering technicians also receive additional on the job training once they are hired.

Some schools offer a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Technology degree, however most mechanical engineering technicians have an associate degree. Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology typically work as mechanical engineering technologists.

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What They Do

Do you have an eye for extreme detail but absolutely no interest in being a writing editor? No problem, you are the perfect mechanical engineering technician candidate. Mechanical engineering technicians are the writers, editors, and fact checkers of the engineering world, only they use pictures and numbers instead of pesky words.

A mechanical engineer tech evaluates drawing designs of new or improved tools by measuring the drawing dimensions against the original specifications before preparing the layout and illustrated directions for piecing together new parts. A mechanical engineering tech clearly explains and demonstrates changes in how to assemble a part or how to use a part to coworkers.

A mechanical engineering technician career includes conducting numerous tests of parts to assure they are working most efficiently. A mechanical engineering tech also offers proposals for improvements when applicable. All tests involve scrupulous recording of procedures followed and data used or resulted.

A mechanical engineer tech career includes estimating labor costs, equipment life, and plant space.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $55,360
2016, Number of Jobs 46,100
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 5%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associates degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $85,230
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $34,440

 

Mechanical Engineers

Education and Certifications Mechanical Engineers Need

Many entry-level mechanical engineering positions require a bachelor in mechanical engineering degree. It is not uncommon for a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from an ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited university to take students four to five years to earn, as internships and co-ops are often done in conjunction with the university program, which stretches out the completion time but may provide students with valuable work experience.

Some engineering schools award a dual bachelor’s degree to students who spend three years in a liberal arts college studying pre-engineering subjects followed by two years in an engineering school focused on core subjects.

Some colleges offer a five-year program where students can concurrently earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. There are also universities that offer five and six-year cooperative plans providing students with engineering work experience through classroom study and practical work cooperative plans.

Every state requires mechanical engineers who sell services directly to the public to obtain a professional engineer (PE) license. The license is obtained through taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam upon college graduation then, after obtaining some experience, engineers must take the Principles and Practices of Engineering Exam.

Many states also require continued education to annually renew the PE license. Many states will recognize a license obtained from a different state, so long as the requirements for the obtained license meets or exceeds the requirements for the current state’s license.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and other professional organizations offer various programs for engineers to obtain recognition for competency in specific areas of mechanical engineering.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

Mechanical engineers are the ‘jack of all trades’ in the engineering world; they do it all, from start to finish! Very thorough problem solvers, mechanical engineers fully immerse themselves in every step from design to development through testing and teaching.

Mechanical engineers determine how mechanical devices can solve problems. If a mechanical device does not currently exist to solve an issue, the mechanical engineer designs blueprints, builds a prototype, and conducts tests on a new device until it can successfully resolve the issue at hand. A mechanical engineering career sometimes involves overseeing the manufacturing of a mechanical device once its prototype has passed all tests.

In order to conduct their work, mechanical engineers work with an extremely wide variety of tools, engines, and machines. They might work with machines as large as electric generators and internal combustion engines, small tools held by a hand, tools as intricate as a robot, and just about any mechanical device in-between.

Mechanical engineers heavily rely on computers for design production and analyzing, simulating machine tests, monitoring product quality, and controlling manufacturing and production.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Common advancement positions for mechanical engineers include a research and development program, joining a higher education faculty, or an administration or management position. All advanced positions require a graduate degree, typically in engineering or business administration.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $85,880
2016, Number of Jobs 25,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $133,900
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $55,310

 

Mining and Geological Engineers

Education and Certifications Mining and Geological Engineers Need

Mining engineers and geological engineers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Few schools offer a Bachelor’s in Mining and Geological Engineering specifically; many individuals in this career field earn a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering or a Bachelor’s in Geological Engineering or a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, or Agricultural Engineering. Many research positions in the mining and geological engineering field require a Masters or Doctorate degree.

Mining Engineers working in the public sector must obtain a state certification, obtained after passing two tests conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The first test covers the fundamentals of engineering (FE) which individuals can take immediately following university graduation. Individuals with four years of relevant work experience can take the second test which covers the principles and practices of engineering (PPE).

Typically, mining and geological engineers must continue taking educational credits to keep their licenses updated. Most states recognize other state’s licenses, so long as the requirements meet or exceed the first state’s requirements.

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What They Do

Not everyone gets to help society while also having an underground adventure, but mining and geological engineers do! The word “geology” tends to make people think of someone gently hammering at a delicate section of rock searching for clues about the past, but a mining and geological engineering focuses on the major task of making the land and underground mines safer and more sustainable for the future.

Companies continually develop new mines around the world as they discover new resources and locations of those resources. Mining engineers and geological engineers are the individuals behind the design and construction of open-pit and underground mines, tunnels, and other underground operations.

Both a mining engineer career and a geological engineer career include preparing technical reports for miners, engineers and managers as well as monitoring efficiency of production. Both a mining engineer career and a geological engineer career include developing methods of efficient transportation of minerals from mines to processing plants.

Playing a large part in helping to secure a future with sustainable energy, engineers in mining and geological engineering are also heavily involved in developing solutions for land reclamation, water and air pollution, and overall sustainability.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

After working under a more experienced engineer for some time or receiving training through company seminars and classes, a mining and geological engineer may advance via working on more difficult projects or through managing a group of engineers or technicians. Some mining engineers and geological engineers move into a managerial position or sales work.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $94,240
2016, Number of Jobs 7,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements N/A
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $160,320
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $54,700

 

Nuclear Engineers

Education and Certifications Nuclear Engineers Need

A Bachelor in Nuclear Engineering degree is required for nuclear engineer entry-level positions. It is not uncommon for the required bachelor’s degree from an ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited university to take engineers four to five years to earn, as internships and co-ops are often done in conjunction with the university program, which stretches out the completion time but provides students with valuable work experience.

Some engineering schools award a dual bachelor’s degree to students who spend three years in a liberal arts college studying pre-engineering subjects followed by two years in an engineering school focused on core subjects.

Some colleges offer a five-year program where students can concurrently earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. There are also universities that offer five and six-year cooperative plans providing students with engineering work experience through classroom study and practical work cooperative plans.

A nuclear engineer working in a nuclear power plant doesn’t need a license. However, nuclear engineers may want to carry the title of professional engineer (PE), obtained only through graduating with an engineering degree from an ABET accredited university, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering test, having relevant work experience, and passing the PE test.

Some states require ongoing enrollment in continuing education classes for engineers to maintain their licenses. Many states will recognize a license obtained from a different state, so long as the requirements for the obtained license meets or exceeds the requirements for the current state’s license.

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What They Do

Nuclear engineers bring nuclear energy to the average person. Nuclear engineers develop processes, tools, and systems that use nuclear energy and radiation to help with everything from cancer treatment to spacecrafts. How many people can say that about their job?

Nuclear engineers hold a massive responsibility to keep society safe, as they design and build nuclear equipment and radiation shielding, as well as test, monitor, and troubleshoot nuclear equipment and plant operations. A nuclear engineer career may include writing the operational instructions used in nuclear plants or for any other organizations or individuals handling and disposing nuclear waste.

When nuclear accidents do occur, nuclear engineers can order a plant shut down and must assess the situation, determining the source of the problem and a plan of action to avoid any future similar problems. A nuclear engineer career may include directly overseeing maintenance and operations at nuclear power plants to ensure the facilities meet safety standards.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

After working under a more experienced engineer for some time or receiving training via company seminars and classes, a nuclear engineer may advance by gradually earning more independence to work on more difficult projects or managing a group of engineers or technicians. Some nuclear engineers become a technical specialist, an engineering manager or get involved with sales work.

A nuclear engineer with a master’s degree can become a medical physicist and work in the nuclear medicine field.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $105,810
2016, Number of Jobs 17,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 4%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degrees
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $159,330
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $66,400

 

Petroleum Engineers

Education and Certifications Petroleum Engineers Need

Petroleum engineers need a bachelors degree in engineering, preferably a bachelor's of petroleum engineering degree, from an ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited program upon entering the workforce.

Many colleges offer a four-year bachelor’s program combining class work, laboratory work, and fieldwork. Cooperative programs, often available through universities, allow students the opportunity to gain vital work experience prior to graduation.

Some colleges offer a five-year program where students can concurrently earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. There are also universities offering five and six-year cooperative plans providing students engineering work experience through classroom study and practical work cooperative plans.

Every state requires a professional engineer (PE) license for petroleum engineers offering services to the public. Individuals obtain the license through taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam upon college graduation from an ABET accredited university then, after obtaining some experience, engineers must take the Professional Engineer (PE) exam.

Many states also require continued education to keep the PE license. Many states will recognize a license obtained from a different state, so long as the requirements for the obtained license meets or exceeds the requirements for the current state’s license.

Petroleum Engineers may obtain certification from The Society of Petroleum Engineers. Qualifications for certification include a membership in the society and passing an exam, among other more specific qualifications.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences Programs in the World

What They Do

Like it or not, we live in a country dependent on gas; therefore, we also live in a country dependent on petroleum engineers. Petroleum engineers are responsible for developing oil and gas extraction methods from the earth via existing and new wells.

Petroleum engineers play a major part in the oil extraction process from start to finish. They design the equipment used for extraction, test the equipment and assure it is properly maintained, and develop or improve upon methods to extract the maximum amount of oil using ideas such as injecting water, chemicals, gases or steam into an oil reserve. A petroleum engineer career may include designing and conducting tests, surveys, and evaluations for the wells.

A petroleum engineering career includes working with computers, geologists, and other specialists to study geological rock formations surrounding oil reserves on land or under water, in order to develop the most effective, safe, and cost efficient method of extraction. Petroleum engineers are also always working toward new, more efficient, extraction methods.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

After working under a more experienced engineer for some time or receiving training though company seminars and classes, a petroleum engineer may advance by gradually earning more independence to develop designs, problem solve, and make decisions.

Petroleum engineers can also advance by becoming a supervisor or manager of a group of technicians or engineers, or by conducting sales work.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $132,280
2016, Number of Jobs 33,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 15%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $208,000
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $74,400

 

Sales Engineers

Education and Certifications Sales Engineers Need

People interested in a sales engineer career typically need a Bachelor of Engineering degree, or a bachelor degree in a similar field.

Engineering majors generally have an emphasis on a specific type of engineering, such as electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering. Many employers also prefer sales engineers with sales experience. Employers may provide new sales engineers training.

Sales engineers often sell products that are always evolving and improving, thus they take continuing education courses in order to be up on the latest advances and technologies.

Sales engineers don’t need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

If selling complex scientific and technological products sounds a whole lot more fun than having to build them, you may be interested in a sales engineer career. Sales engineers need a complete understanding of all products they sell; for people who love learning the ins and outs of the latest technological products, this could be your dream job.

Sales engineers must prepare and deliver technical presentations explaining products and services to customers. A sales engineer career includes working with customers, answering their questions and gathering feedback and ideas regarding how to make products more efficient or more helpful in the future.

Sales engineers sometimes work with sales teams to share customer input and provide sales support so sales engineers can focus less on the marketing aspect of things and more on the technical side.

A sales engineer career involves making product recommendations to customers, based on advances or improvements to products as well as potential savings through improved efficiency for clients. Sales engineers offer assistance if a customer has any issues installing a product or having it work properly.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Career advancement for sales engineers may include a higher commission, a larger sales territory, or advancing to a supervisor or marketing manager position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $98,720
2016, Number of Jobs 74,900
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $162,740
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $56,940

 

Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Education and Certifications Surveying and Mapping Technicians Need

Surveying technicians generally have a high school diploma, although some obtain an Associate in Survey Technology degree or an Associate in Geomatics Technology degree. Surveying technicians learn primarily from on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed surveyor.

Surveying technicians begin their surveying careers placing markers; they gradually perform more difficult tasks until they’re helping determine what land to measure and how. Surveying technicians usually ultimately get an apprenticeship or associate degree to further develop math, drafting, and technical drawing skills.

Mapping technicians, however, generally have an Associate of Geomatics degree or a Bachelor of Geomatics degree or an undergraduate degree in a relevant field.

A general certification, called the Certified Survey Technician credential, is available, as well as the more specific certifications through The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and through The National Society of Professional Surveyors.

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What They Do

Mapping and surveying technicians help map the world and define boundaries. Mapping and surveying technicians work under surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists in collecting the necessary information for map creation.

Surveying technicians who work in fields, forests and dirt areas operate surveying instruments taking measurements, setting new markers, searching for old markers, and collecting data. A surveying technician career includes performing office work, such as transferring their information collected from the field onto computers and processing data.

Mapping technicians select which information is used in creating computerized maps showing boundaries, location of water, elevation, and other terrain features. A mapping technician career includes regularly inspecting maps for accuracy and updating them as needed. A mapping technician career may also involve helping photogrammetrists identify areas not yet captured on aerial photography via studying aerial photographs in sequence.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

After obtaining relevant work experience and formal training in surveying, a surveying technician may become a senior survey technician, then party chief. After meeting state-specific licensing requirements, a surveying technician may also become a licensed surveyor.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $43,340
2016, Number of Jobs 60,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements High School Diploma or Equivalent
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $71,440
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $26,670

 

Surveyors

Education and Certifications Surveyors Need

Typically, surveyors need a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor in Surveying Technology degree or a Bachelor in Surveying Science degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as civil engineering or forestry.

Surveyors must have a license to provide public surveying services and to certify legal documents in any of the 50 states. Unlicensed surveyors may only work as survey technicians under the direction of a licensed surveyor.

Individuals can acquire a surveyor license with a bachelor’s degree and generally a minimum of four years of work experience under the direction of a licensed surveyor. Surveyors must also pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam, and any other state-specific qualifications for licensure.

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What They Do

Surveyors set the boundaries for pretty much everyone; they determine boarders on land, water, and airspace. Utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS), surveyors measure above and below the Earth’s surface to draw maps and determine the ownership lines of properties, define airspace or airports, and measure construction and mining sites.

Surveyors also use special equipment to pinpoint locations of important features, research land records, and prepare plots, maps, and reports. A surveyor career includes writing land descriptions for deeds, leases, and other legal documents. A surveyor career may include providing professional testimony in court.

Surveyors generally perform their work in a group consisting of a licensed surveyor and survey technicians. A surveyor career involves working with a variety of people including civil engineers, landscape architects, urban and regional planners, cartographers, and construction managers.

Some surveyors specialize as geodetic surveyors, geophysical prospect surveyors, and marine or hydrographic surveyors.

See also: What can I do with an Engineering degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $61,140
2016, Number of Jobs 44,800
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $100,420
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $34,470

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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