Online Engineering Degrees

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If you have a creative, scientific mind and enjoy working with intricate designs and technology, then pursuing a career in one of the fields of engineering is one way you can combine your skills into a fast-paced career!

    Online Engineering Degrees

    Online Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering

    There is a select group of bachelor’s degree programs in engineering technology available online that can provide students with a solid foundation for future career work in the field.

    When working towards your online bachelor’s degree in this engineering sub field, you can expect to take courses that include:

    • In-depth electronic technology classes
    • Computer science
    • Electronics theory
    • Circuit and microprocessor design
    • Advanced computer engineering skills

    Once you have completed this online bachelor’s in engineering program, you will be able to design and evaluate hardware and software systems, as well as make professional recommendations for their use and modification.

    Careers in Engineering

    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 occupations and their mid-career pay:

    Job Title

    Mid-Career Pay

    Director of Engineering

    $144,235

    Design Engineering Manager

    $107,497

    Project Manager, Engineering

    $94,404

    Civil Engineer

    $67,056

    Engineering Technician

    $55,982

    Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com

    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! While the average salary varies based upon educational level, experience, and your specific industry, engineers often are able to earn enough to live a comfortable, upper-class lifestyle.

    Is an Online Degree in Engineering Right for me?

    design engineer working in her office

    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 pursing an online degree in engineering are already working professionals, and the flexibility provided by distance learning can be a great fit to their busy lifestyle. The advantages of taking online courses when working towards 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.

    Accreditation

    University offering Online Engineering Degrees

    Accreditation is the process in which a college has their degree programs reviewed for quality and effectiveness. If you choose to enroll in a non-accredited program, you may encounter difficultly 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.

    What is an Engineer?

    Engineer checking the control system room

    An Engineer designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines or public works. Engineers bring together science, math, technology and creativity to solve problems.

    As Julie Ulseth, director of marketing enrollment services at Kettering University (MI), puts it, Engineers are “people 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, notes Dr. Manos Maragakis, Engineering Dean for the University of Nevada Reno. “From the cars you drive, to the roads you drive on, to the smartphones you use, to the air we breathe and the water we drink” says Maragakis. “All of this is engineering.”

    Why Engineering?

    Senior engineer training the new hire

    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. There is no end to the learning process; Engineers are always building upon something new. Ulseth points out, “There are fields of study and new industries that don’t even exist yet that will come into being because of engineers!”

    And the things Engineers are working on today, can change lives tomorrow. (And not just the medical advancements!)

    “[There are] plenty of opportunities for a career that can be personally rewarding and can make a major contribution to the improvement of people’s lives and the advancement of our nation,” says Maragakis. “Examples [of contributions] include engineering applications related to all aspects of infrastructure national security, renewable energy, natural disaster response and medical applications.”

    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 zoo – anywhere!

    The possibilities really are endless, but let’s take a look at some of the highest paid Engineering majors:

    Major / Career Potential Salary
    Petroleum Engineer $132,280
    Computer Hardware Engineer $115,120
    Aerospace Engineer $113,030
    Nuclear Engineer $105,810
    Chemical Engineers $102,160

    (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook)

    More specifically, your Engineering degree could land you unique, interesting jobs like these:

    • Formula One Racing Engineer
    • 3D Printing Engineer
    • LEGO® Designer
    • Rollercoaster Engineer
    • Storm Tracker

    Which Engineering degree is in high demand?

    Senior Petroleum Engineer welcoming the new staff

    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.

    There are nine primary branches of engineering to consider: chemical, mechanical, aerospace, industrial, civil, structural, electrical, computer and biomedical. Under these branches are hundreds of majors or concentrations, which vary by school and by region.

    As students narrow down their focus, they should be considering which industries are likely to grow, which may become oversaturated or obsolete, and so on. This is impossible to know with certainty, of course, but we can make predictions.

    Currently, the fastest growing fields are those in the IT sphere, but technology isn’t the only promising path.

    According to NewEngineer.com, these are the most in demand engineering jobs with the highest salary potential:

    Engineering Job Average Mid-Level Salary
    Petroleum Engineer $120,000
    Data Science & Machine Learning $107,000
    Automation & Robotics Engineer $92,000
    Mining Engineer $89,000
    Project Engineer $89,000
    Alternative Energy Engineer $82,000
    Electrical Engineer $82,000
    Civil Engineer $72,000

    Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) supports this. For example, the BLS expects employment in Petroleum Engineering to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

    What skills do you need to be an Engineer?

    high school students in chemistry class

    Engineering requires a blend of technical, creative and interpersonal skills.

    As a major, 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.

    To prepare while in High School or Community College, students may wish to take the following foundational courses:

    • Algebra
    • Trigonometry
    • Calculus
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer programming
    • Computer Science

    But you will need more than just technical know-how as an Engineer. You will need the ability to think like an Engineer, always identifying and solving problems.

    Engineers will need the following skills or traits:

    • The ability to work under pressure, with tight deadlines
    • Resilience
    • 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)
    • The ability to work in a team setting

    Those last attributes – the interpersonal skills – are often overlooked, but they’re essential in this field.

    “Engineers almost always work in teams with other people—often non-engineers. Participation in team activities is important so that prospective students will learn how to get along with others and focus on accomplishing a task,” says Dr. W. L. Scheller II, Head of the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department at Kettering University.

    Can you get an Engineering Degree Online?

    Man getting his degree in Engineering online

    Absolutely!  Engineering is a field that is always changing – even by the minute – 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’s to doctoral!

    An online associate degree in Engineering is an excellent starting point, providing the foundational education necessary to pursue jobs in civil, electronic or mechanical engineering, for example, assisting licensed professionals. This online degree can get you into the field quickly, and allow you to earn a more advanced degree in the future.

    Earning a bachelor’s degree in Engineering online will open many more doors, allowing you to focus your education on a specialized field and increasing your earning potential dramatically. A 4-year bachelor’s degree is the most common degree for Engineers.

    An online Engineering master’s degree provides further professional development, managerial skills and, generally speaking, increased earning potential. The BLS reported that Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers and Architectural and Engineering Managers with master’s degrees all had median salaries that were 9 to 13% higher than the median wages of their counterparts who had just a bachelor’s degree.

    If you’re most interested in research and academia within the Engineering field, an online doctorate would be beneficial to your career path. With a doctorate, you can pursue any concentration, and work on cutting edge investigation and development.

    Are Scholarships available for Engineering majors?

    Financial Aid for Engineering Majors

    There are literally hundreds of Engineering scholarships available. Some are exclusive to students at a particular school, in a particular major or concentration, 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 is an association of professionals, educators, and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry.
    • Society of Women Engineers – 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. … Applicants complete one application and are considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible.

      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.

      Ready to start your journey?
      Elizabeth Abner
      WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

      Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.