If you have a creative, scientific mind and enjoy working with intricate designs and technology, then pursuing an online engineering degree is one way you can combine your skills into a fast-paced career.
The field of engineering is both exciting and gratifying. Because it involves technology and innovation, new discoveries and advancements are happening every second of every day.
Online Engineering Degrees
There is a select group of online bachelor’s degree in engineering programs available that can provide students with a solid foundation for future career work in the field.
Once you have completed an online bachelor’s program in engineering, you will be able to design and evaluate hardware and software systems, as well as make professional recommendations for their use and modification.
There are several types of engineering degrees that teach students skills that can be applied to specific industries. Engineering degrees can be used to work in the aerospace, electrical, mechanical, or management sectors and more.
Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Engineering Management
- Industrial Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Systems Engineering
You can explore these programs to see which ones best match your interests and goals.
Online Aerospace Engineering Degree
An aerospace engineering degree combines physics with mechanical and electrical engineering to design various aerospace technologies.
Professionals may use this degree to become aerospace engineers. This career involves designing, developing, and overseeing the manufacture of satellites, space shuttles, planes, and other similar technologies. Most aerospace engineers work for aerospace products and parts manufacturing, the federal government, or engineering services.
The curriculum at the undergraduate level introduces students to basic concepts and principles of aerodynamics and analysis. Courses offered can include low-speed aerodynamics, linear system analysis, flight dynamics, physics, and engineering mechanics.
Online Chemical Engineering Degree
Chemical engineering degrees involve the study of developing and designing a wide variety of consumer products, such as fuel, food, electronics, and clothing. Chemical engineers may specialize in a specific sector, such as nanomaterials or oxidation.
Students are introduced to chemical engineering analysis, thermodynamics, biochemical engineering, chemistry, and physics. Potential careers that can be explored with this degree include plant process engineer, chemical engineer, material engineer, or environmental engineer.
Most professionals with this degree work in research and development and engineering services. Some professionals work in an office, while others work in laboratories or industrial plants.
Online Civil Engineering Degree
A civil engineering degree prepares students for a career as a civil engineer. These professionals are responsible for designing, constructing, and overseeing the construction of various infrastructures. They help build roads, bridges, buildings, dams, and other large projects.
Civil engineering degree programs teach students skills essential to designing, building, and supervising projects. Some courses usually offered include civil engineering systems, computer methods, transportation systems, and architectural engineering.
Students can learn how to analyze survey reports and other data, consider construction budgets, and research government regulations and environmental hazards for planning and risk analysis.
Online Computer Engineering Degree
A computer engineering online degree introduces students to various computer programming and software concepts and principles. Students can learn how to design, develop, and test computer models, systems, and components.
Foundational coursework in a computer engineering degree can include computer programming, engineering computation, software engineering, mathematics, and mechanical engineering. Different career paths one may take with a computer engineering degree includes web developer, computer engineer, computer programmer, game developer, or information systems manager.
Most computer engineers work in research and development or computer systems design services. Others may work for manufacturing businesses or the federal government.
Online Electrical Engineering Degree
Students studying electrical engineering learn how to research, design, develop, and test electrical devices and equipment.
Common coursework studied in this program includes circuit and electrical theory, physics, mathematics, signals and systems, and fundamentals of electromagnetics. Careers professionals can pursue at least a bachelor’s in electrical engineering including electrical engineer, electronics engineer, machine learning engineer, and similar positions.
Electrical engineers can work in the microelectronics, signal processing, and telecommunications sector. Some devices or equipment electrical engineers may design and develop include communications systems, electric motors, and navigation systems.
Online Engineering Management Degree
Engineering management degrees help students develop essential skills and knowledge to become a leader in the engineering field.
Risk management, systems engineering, project management, and engineering administration are key subjects that engineering management majors explore. The engineering management curriculum aims to teach students about business practices and concepts combined with engineering skills and human resource management.
The program prepares students to handle large engineering projects and oversee a team of engineers and other staff. Engineering managers may work in a wide variety of engineering industries. Engineering managers recruit and coordinate with staff, determine equipment needs, and oversee quality assurance.
Online Industrial Engineering Degree
Industrial engineering focuses on developing ways to make production processes more efficient through strategic planning.
Core subject areas studied in this program include engineering database systems, quality assurance, probability and statistics, and logistics and supply chain management.
Industrial engineering majors may pursue a wide variety of careers geared toward production and manufacturing efficiency, such as industrial engineer, quality assurance inspector, industrial designer, supply chain analyst, and energy efficiency engineer.
The program can help students understand industrial engineer responsibilities, which can include developing efficient systems, effectively communicating with clients and vendors, and implementing quality control procedures.
Online Mechanical Engineering Degree
A mechanical engineering degree focuses on the research, design, and development of mechanical and thermal devices. This can include various types of machinery and tools.
Mechanical engineering students may gain hands-on experience in this program by learning computer-aided design strategies and developing prototypes based on device designs. Examples of machines that a mechanical engineer may design and build include electric generators, air conditioning systems, elevators, and conveyor systems.
Students may enter a variety of industries, such as the automobile, robotics, or medical field. Career options can include mechanical engineer or technician, civil engineer, maintenance engineer, and computer-aided design technician.
Online Software Engineering Degree
Software engineering majors learn how to design, develop, and test software. Students learn how to research and analyze the needs of users to brainstorm ways they can develop new software or improve existing computer systems.
Foundational coursework in a software engineering degree includes programming languages, design and analysis of data structures and algorithms, computer systems fundamentals, and principles of database management. Career paths software engineering majors might consider include software developers, video game designers, or software engineer.
Software engineers and similar professionals are employed by computer systems design services, finance and insurance, software publishers, manufacturing, and other related services.
Online Systems Engineering Degree
A systems engineering degree is a broad engineering degree because it can be applied to a number of industries.
Learning objectives involve designing, building, and managing various types of systems. Students may concentrate in electrical systems, chemical systems, biological systems, or other engineering sectors. Foundational coursework in systems engineering examines systems design, systems evaluation, systems engineering concepts, and physics.
This interdisciplinary program teaches students how to develop complex systems that solve a problem. Career pathways for professionals with a systems engineering degree include systems engineer, software engineer, systems administrator, and systems analyst.
Engineering Careers & Salaries
From electrical and civil engineering to project management and supervising, there are countless ways to utilize your online engineering degree to build a lucrative career. Engineers work in a variety of fields across several industries.
To help you understand the job choices available, we have put together a list of popular careers in engineering and their mid-career pay based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary||$104,940|
|Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians||$60,460|
After working more than 10 years in the professional engineering field, there is potential for you to earn a six-figure annual income in a variety of engineering career fields.
Please keep in mind that some employers look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a few of these positions. While the average salary varies based on educational level, experience, and specific industry, engineers often are able to earn enough to live a comfortable, upper-class lifestyle.
Bachelor of Engineering Online Curriculum & Courses
Online engineering programs include STEM subject matter that teaches students how to conduct research and design and build various products or services.
- Intro to Engineering Design and Prototyping: Students explore different fabrication tools used in machine shops and how these tools can be used in relation to engineering designs and construction.
- Engineering Math: This course teaches students about mathematics that can be applied to engineering processes, such as trigonometric models, complex numbers, and signal processing.
- Biological Physics: Students learn about the principles of physics and engineering from a biological perspective.
- Design of Experiments and Quality Analysis: This course introduces students to engineering design and analysis techniques along with statistical process control.
- Computer-Aided Design: Students are introduced to computer-aided design, including 2-D and 3-D design with a hands-on lab.
- Engineering Programming: Students learn how to solve engineering problems by learning basic computer programming practices and developing algorithms.
- Thermodynamics: Basic concepts and principles of thermodynamics, including the laws of thermodynamics, is explored in this course.
- Intro to Environmental Engineering: Students are introduced to various technologies and human impacts on the environment to address environmental issues like pollution.
- Engineering Project Management: Basic fundamentals of engineering project management, including project planning and funding proposals, are explored in this course.
- Structure and Property of Materials: Students learn about materials science and its relation to the engineering field, including the properties of materials and their structures.
Foundational concepts and principles of engineering are explored in introductory courses. Once you build foundational knowledge in engineering, you can begin to focus on coursework that fits the field you wish to work in.
How to Know if an Online Engineering Bachelor Degree is Right for Me
When considering, “Is an online degree in engineering right for me?” it’s helpful to keep in mind that engineering is considered a highly “hands-on” discipline.
Due to this, the options for online engineering degree programs may not be as extensive as other majors, but there are still several options available to help you reach your career and educational goals.
Many adult students pursuing an online degree in engineering are already working professionals, and the flexibility provided by distance learning can be a great fit for their busy lifestyles. The advantages of taking online courses when working toward your engineering degree include:
- Innovative interdisciplinary and dual degree programs
- Ability to attend classes on your schedule to continue your professional career
- Access to state-of-the-art technology
- Flexibility to finish your degree at a faster pace
- Lower costs than traditional on-campus engineering programs
Whether you are interested in research and management or one of the many specialized subfields, engineering is a highly respected degree program that has long-term potential for a fulling career.
Online Bachelors in Engineering Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements can vary between schools and programs. General application and admissions requirements for engineering degrees online include:
- Official transcripts
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- An essay or personal statement
Admissions offices may also consider prior courses you’ve taken, whether in high school or college. Demonstrating a strong background in STEM may be beneficial for admission into online schools for engineering. You may also have the opportunity to express your STEM background in your personal statement essay if it’s included in the application process.
Online Engineering Degree Programs Accreditation
Accreditation is the process by which a college has its degree programs reviewed for quality and effectiveness.
If you choose to enroll in a non-accredited program, you may encounter difficulties with future employers not seeing your degree as reputable. Avoid the “degree mill” scams by looking for the following accrediting agencies when researching your online engineering degree program.
For more information and an extensive list of recognized accrediting agencies, take a look at the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Engineering Licensure and Certifications
Licensure or certification may not be required for some engineering occupations, but it can demonstrate one’s skills and abilities to perform engineering responsibilities. Here are some examples of engineering licenses and certifications.
- Professional Engineer license
- Project Management Professional certification
- Certified Quality Engineer certification
A Professional Engineer license can be pursued if you have an accredited online engineering degree. Licensure requirements can vary by state, but general criteria usually include four years of work under a PE and passing two exams. Certifications can help demonstrate specialized skills in a specific area, such as project management or quality assurance.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
There are many engineering scholarships available. Some are exclusive to students at particular online engineering schools, in particular majors or concentrations, those working on a certain degree level, to a minority gender or ethnicity, or to those in a specified region.
Some of the best resources for finding scholarships for engineering students are as follows:
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME): SME is an association of professionals, educators, and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry.
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE): SWE Scholarships support women pursuing ABET-accredited bachelor or graduate student programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science in the United States.
Finally, don’t forget to apply for financial aid. Engineering students at all levels should complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). Every year millions of students assume they will not qualify for need-based assistance, so they do not apply, and billions of dollars in federal funds go unused.
What Is an Engineer?
An engineer is a professional that designs builds, or maintains engines, machines, or public works. Engineers bring together science, math, technology, and creativity to solve problems.
Engineers are those who want to make things better, faster, stronger, simpler, smarter, quicker, quieter, greener, and more efficient. The solutions and innovations of engineers can be found everywhere in our daily lives. Engineers have a hand in the technology used to create the cars you drive, the roads you drive on, the smartphones you use, the water you drink, and much more.
What Skills Do You Need to Be an Engineer?
Engineering requires a blend of technical, creative, and interpersonal skills. When choosing between various online colleges for engineering, it’s important to remember that engineering can be quite challenging because it covers subjects that are traditionally difficult for students: mathematics, science, and technology. These subjects are rigorous and require extensive homework and labs.
But you will need more than just technical know-how as an engineer. Engineers will typically possess the following skills or traits:
- Problem-solving skills
- Attention to detail
- The ability to think outside the box / think creatively / imagine and innovate
- Leadership skills
- Strong communication (verbal and written)
Those last attributes of interpersonal skills are often overlooked, but they’re essential in this field. Engineers almost always work in teams with other people throughout their careers.
What Can You Do With an Engineering Degree?
Earning an online degree in engineering will equip you will a broad range of skills that will be valuable in a number of industries. You could work in a large corporation, for a small non-profit, at a hospital, or in the zoo.
If you enjoy working with science and chemicals, becoming a chemical or petroleum engineer may suit your skills. However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach and analytical problem-solving, an industrial or mechanical engineer may be the right path for you.
For those with computer skills and knowledge, a computer hardware engineer, software engineer, or electronics engineer may be a good path. Other common engineering occupations for online BS in Engineering graduates include aerospace engineer and nuclear engineer.
An engineering degree opens up a lot of possible opportunities and the opportunity depending on your skill set and overall personal goals.
What Engineering Jobs Are in Demand?
Engineering as a whole is a lucrative and rewarding field, but with so many concentrations available it can be difficult to select the right one.
As students narrow down their focus, they should be considering which industries are likely to grow after attending engineering programs online. According to the BLS, the job market for petroleum engineers is expected to grow 8% over the next decade while chemical engineers will see a 14% increase over the same time period.
For those who are interested in mechanical engineering, you can expect a 2% growth over the next 10 years, while computer hardware engineers can enjoy a 5% increase over the same time period.
Can You Get an Engineering Degree Online?
Engineering is a field that is always changing, which makes it particularly well-suited for online learning. Whether you’re newly graduated or want to go back to school for engineering, online degrees are available at any level, from associate to doctoral.
- An online associate degree in engineering is an excellent starting point, providing the foundational education necessary to pursue various engineering jobs.
- Earning a bachelor in engineering online will open many more doors, allowing you to focus your education on a specialized field and increasing your earning potential dramatically.
- An online engineering master’s degree provides further professional development, managerial skills and, generally speaking, increased earning potential.
- If you’re most interested in research and academia within the engineering field, an online doctorate would be beneficial to your career path.
Regardless of the path you choose, be sure that you attend an engineering degree online accredited program to ensure your degree is reputable.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online?
A traditional, 16-week semester bachelor’s program takes four years to complete if you attend full-time. Traditional bachelor’s programs typically require a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete.
Students attending full-time may take 15 credit hours or more per semester to finish in four years. You can finish in less time if you follow an 8-week semester program and stay continuously enrolled year-round, including during the summer. It can take longer than four years to finish if you’re enrolled part-time.
Is an Online Engineering Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online engineering degree is worth it for many professionals. An engineering degree can offer you the freedom to be inventive. You can learn about the process of research, design, and development to test your work.
An engineering degree can be a multidisciplinary program used in a variety of industries, such as mechanics, electrical, biomedical, chemical, or aerospace. According to the BLS, engineering, and architecture occupations are projected to grow by 4% over the next decade. Some engineering occupations, such as industrial and biomedical engineers, are expected to experience faster than average job growth.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Engineering Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
American Public University offers a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. The program is fully online and includes hands-on learning opportunities. Up to 90 qualifying credit hours may be transferred in toward the program’s 128 required credit hours. Classes are 8 or 16 weeks long, and monthly start dates are offered. Concentrations offered include Communications and Mechatronic Systems.
APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report named Arizona State University one of the top ten schools for online bachelor’s degrees. ASU offers several fully online bachelor’s degree programs in engineering. Fields offered include engineering management, electrical engineering, and human systems engineering. Most courses are conducted in an asynchronous format and are 6.5 to 7 weeks long.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Colorado Technical University offers several engineering degrees through its Computer Science Department. All of these programs are online, and some are also available on campus.
There are several start dates offered throughout the year. Fields of study offered include computer engineering, software engineering, and cybersecurity engineering. The CTU Fast Track program allows students with experience to take assessments for credit.
Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
ECPI University offers three online engineering degree programs through the school’s Online+ program. Fields of study offered include mechatronics, mechanical engineering technology, and electronic engineering systems technology. Courses are online with live weekly meetings. The degrees can potentially be completed in 18 months when attending accelerated courses year-round. Courses include hands-on experiences.
ECPI University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University among the top ten online programs in the country. ERAU offers a BS in Engineering and a BS in Engineering Technology. Both programs are available entirely online and require the completion of 122 to 128 credit hours. There are ten start dates offered each year, and each session is 9 weeks long.
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Excelsior University offers a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and a BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology. Both programs require the completion of 124 credits, and up to 117 qualifying credits may be transferred in. Both programs are fully online, and there are start dates offered every 8 weeks. Most courses are offered in an asynchronous format.
Excelsior University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Florida International University offers two engineering degrees: a BS in Computer Engineering and a BS in Electrical Engineering. Both programs are fully online. FIU offers fall, spring, and summer start dates, and courses follow a semester schedule. Both programs require the completion of 128 credits. Courses are asynchronous but provide opportunities for interaction and hands-on experience.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Indiana State University offers a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology and a BS in Engineering Technology Management through its online degree completion program. Applicants must have credits in core courses before applying. The programs are offered online and on campus. Classes are offered in the fall, spring, and summer. Courses are available in 16 week and 8 week formats.
Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Kennesaw State University offers a BS in Software Engineering and a BS in Industrial Engineering Technology. Both programs are fully online with hybrid options. Courses in the fall and spring are 16 weeks long, while summer courses are 8 weeks long. Both programs require the completion of 120 to 127 credits. Students in the program may be able to begin work on their master’s as well.
Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lamar University offers a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Industrial Engineering. Both programs are online, but the industrial engineering program does require minimal campus visits. Applicants are expected to have an associate degree in a related field. Courses are offered in asynchronous and synchronous formats and are 8 or 16 weeks long. Up to 73 credits may be transferred in.
Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National University offers a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a BS in Manufacturing Design Engineering. Both programs may be completed fully online or on campus. Courses are 4 weeks long, and start dates are offered each month. National offers continuous enrollment. The programs require the completion of a senior capstone project.
National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Old Dominion University offers a variety of bachelor’s degrees that may be completed fully online through its Global learning program. Many courses are asynchronous with set due dates, while others are conducted through live weekly online meetings. Most courses follow a regular semester schedule. Fields of study offered include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer engineering.
Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern Illinois University—Carbondale offers a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering Technology and a Bachelor’s in Industrial Management and Applied Engineering. Both degrees may be completed fully online, but some courses may be taken on campus. Both programs require 120 credit hours. Students may be able to complete a capstone project to reduce how many credit hours they need to complete.
SIU – Carbondale is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Stony Brook University offers a BS in Electrical Engineering. The program is available fully online. Students must have an associate degree before entering the program and are required to purchase equipment to complete labs at home. Courses are offered in the fall, spring, and summer and follow a regular semester schedule.
Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tarleton State University offers a BAAS in Manufacturing and Industrial Management through its School of Engineering. The program is entirely online. It requires the completion of 120 credit hours and can potentially be finished in 4 years. Students may be able to earn credit through work experience or professional training.
Tarleton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Thomas Edison State University offers online engineering degree programs, including degrees in electronics systems engineering technology and nuclear energy engineering technology. Courses are conducted in an asynchronous format with set due dates. There are start dates offered each month, and courses are 12 weeks long. The programs typically require the completion of 120 credit hours.
Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Alabama one of the best schools for an online bachelor’s degree. The school offers a BS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. The programs are primarily online but do require live, in-person proctoring. Start dates are offered in the fall and spring.
The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of North Carolina—Charlotte the fourth best college in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. The school offers fully online programs for a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and a BS in Engineering Technology in Fire Safety. Courses are offered in synchronous and asynchronous formats.
UNC Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of North Dakota offers several bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Most of these programs are fully online. Some programs are offered in an accelerated format, and some allow students to earn graduate credits while completing their undergraduate studies. Fields of study offered include chemical engineering, civil engineering, and geological engineering. Courses are 7 to 14 weeks long.
UND is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a BS in Industrial Engineering Technology with an optional concentration in Logistics. The program is entirely online. It requires the completion of 120 credit hours, 39 of which are in major courses. Some classes are offered in an 8 week format, while others follow a traditional semester schedule.
The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Bachelors in Engineering Online
Engineering online degree programs can offer students the skills and hands-on experience needed to enter an engineering career. You may have the option to enter a specialized program that focuses on a specific discipline that interests you.
The engineering curriculum involves learning about research and development, design, and building and testing products, equipment, or services. If you like to think creatively and enjoy STEM subjects, you might enjoy majoring in engineering.
You can take the first steps toward earning an engineering degree by researching accredited engineering schools online that pique your interest and align with your career goals.