Types of Degrees Engineering Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Engineering Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to engineering and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Engineering Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Skills for Engineering Majors
When studying engineering, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Abilities for Engineering Majors
As a engineering major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Engineering Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with engineering:
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of engineering majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||4,914|
|Hispanic or Latino||14,723|
Students from other countries are interested in Engineering, too. About 10.7% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Engineering Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering made a median starting salary of $62,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $57,500 (25th percentile) and $67,575 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to engineering.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $93,720 to $114,000 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Engineering
Some degrees associated with engineering may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to engineering have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.1%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||2.1%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||3.2%|
|Some College Courses||3.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||5.2%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||3.7%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||0.6%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.7%|
Online Engineering Programs
In 2018-2019, 1,217 schools offered a engineering program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||154||16|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||81||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||11||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||1,327||33|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||4||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||9||0|
Is a Degree in Engineering Worth It?
The median salary for a engineering grad is $101,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 155% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,234,000 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to engineering.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Computer & Information Sciences||220,337|
|Biological & Biomedical Sciences||162,961|
|Mathematics & Statistics||49,748|
|Agriculture & Agriculture Operations||38,513|
|Natural Resources & Conservation||29,904|
|Architecture & Related Services||17,753|
|Communications Technologies & Support||15,972|
|Science Technologies / Technicians||7,448|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Petty Officer 3rd Class Declan Barnes under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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