If you’re currently in college to pursue a career in engineering, you’re in good company. There are currently over 1.6 million engineers across America, many of whom are working on some of the most exciting projects within infrastructure, science, space, defense, and medicine right now.
While pay and prospects vary widely, there is plenty of evidence to suggest a career in engineering will put you in one of the country’s top income brackets. As you might have guessed, there are many different types of engineering jobs.
Knowing what the difference between those different types of engineers is essential if you want to get your career off to a strong start. Here are the key engineer types you should know about as early on in your studies as possible.
1. Types of Engineering Jobs: Civil Engineering
If you’re asking “what kind of engineer should I be?”, you have almost definitely already thought about civil engineering. This is the job that most people think of when they hear the word ‘engineer’.
They are essentially responsible for developing the vital infrastructure of the modern world. Think bridges, dams, power plants, subway lines, and highways. It is a rewarding and very in-demand career to enter.
2. Software Engineering
Few people consider the digital realm when they think of engineering. Software is one of the most rewarding areas for a budding engineer to enter.
When it comes to types of engineering and salaries, a professional software engineer can command the highest salaries in the industry, often topping out at $200,000 a year.
Software engineers also benefit from working primarily in comfy office environments, as opposed to some of the harsher climes other engineers may be exposed to.
3. Petroleum Engineering
While this is certainly a specific type of engineering, it is one of the largest engineering industries in the world today.
A petroleum engineer is essentially responsible for the business of fuel production. Think oil extraction, refineries, and shale gas exploration.
Demand is high and salaries are continuing to climb sharply, meaning that there hasn’t been a better time to begin your petroleum engineering training than right now. With America now the largest oil producer in the world, there’s no need to move abroad to thrive in this sector.
4. Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace engineering is concerned with the design and manufacture of jets, passenger planes, satellites, missiles, rockets, and helicopters.
The role requires someone with a perfect understanding of aerodynamics and physics, which is why salaries typically hover around $130,000.
There are lots of different companies that regularly recruit aerospace engineers, with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and Space X being just a few.
5. Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineers take the principles of engineering and apply them to the human body.
While there are many different functions of biomedical engineering, it is most often used in the development of medical devices and vaccines.
As the market for nanotechnology continues to explode, expect this sector to grow exponentially over the next decade.
Now that you know the different types of engineering jobs available to you, it’s time to get serious about applying. Make sure to read our extensive Career Guides to prepare you for the job market once you graduate.