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Engineering Major

Engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 629 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in engineering, 2,779 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 2,149 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 1,325 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Engineering Degree?

Engineering is the most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. This major tends to be male dominated. About 77.7% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of engineering majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 11%
  • Black or African American: 3.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 10.8%
  • White: 57.3%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 10.8%
  • Other Races: 6.2%
Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in engineering. About 10.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending engineering majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as an Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Engineering Majors

A major in engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Engineering Majors

Skills for Engineering Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to engineering:

Important Skills for Engineering Majors

Abilities for Engineering Majors

As an engineering major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for engineering Majors

What Can You Do With an Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with engineering:

Careers Related to Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Transportation Engineers

10.6%

$86,640

Industrial Engineers

9.7%

$87,040

Computer Hardware Engineers

5.4%

$114,600

Agricultural Engineers

7.4%

$77,110

Radio Frequency Identification Device Specialists

3.7%

$102,700

Environmental Engineers

8.4%

$87,620

Manufacturing Engineers

6.4%

$96,980

Electrical Engineers

8.6%

$96,640

Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers

5.5%

$140,760

Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators

-0.5%

$103,380

Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $94,000 to $114,000 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Engineering Major  ( 94000 to 114000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with engineering may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for engineering careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0.1%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

2.1%

Post-Secondary Certificate

3.2%

Some College Courses

3.2%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

5.2%

Bachelor's Degree

58.4%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

3.7%

Master's Degree

16%

Post-Master's Certificate

0.6%

First Professional Degree

0.7%

Doctoral Degree

5.5%

Post-Doctoral Training

1.3%

Online Engineering Programs

There are 2,779 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in engineering, with 44 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is an Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for an engineering grad is $102,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 161% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,254,000 after 20 years!

engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Declan Barnes via License

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