There are several main subspecialties that fall beneath the umbrella of engineering. These include computer, civil, mechanical, electrical, environmental and chemical engineering jobs. Each type of engineering has its own unique set of tasks and products on which employees work, ranging from hardware to prescription drugs to medical equipment to bridges. Engineers must have a strong background in physics and other sciences as well as upper level math, since they use these laws and this knowledge to design things that are safe for all users. Any structure or product has an engineer's stamp of approval before the public can use it.
Engineer Job Education Requirements
An engineer must have a bachelor's degree, at minimum, to qualify for a position. There are some engineering technician jobs available with certain companies that only require an associate degree, but these employees will always work under the supervision of a licensed engineer. Engineering technicians can work in most of the subspecialties of engineering but will have more limits on their job duties. Some jobs might also require a postgraduate degree, but this is not usually required in jobs outside of teaching or performing research on medical devices and other more specialized products.
Engineer Job Market
Engineering is a field that will always continue to grow since so many companies around the world rely on engineers to design safe products and buildings. For this reason, the number of engineer jobs will continue to rise, with an average growth of between 5 and 20 percent. The difference in the percentage will depend on the subspecialty since some are growing much faster than others. One of the faster growing engineering subspecialties is civil engineering because there are many roads, bridges and structures around the country that need to be rebuilt for safety, and because of growth in new construction.
Engineer Job Salary Information
Salaries for engineer jobs will also depend on the subspecialty. Some of the highest paid engineers in 2012 were nuclear, petroleum and aerospace engineers, who each earned salaries in the six-figure range. Mechanical and civil engineers earn a median salary of $80,580 and $79,340, respectively. Engineering is a field where experience is heavily valued, so those with more work history and experience working on specific projects will earn much higher wages than those who are just starting in the field. An engineer who passes the licensure exam can become a partner and earn a higher salary.