The Different Fields of Engineering
Engineering is an exciting profession that encompasses many different subfields. Engineers are professionals who invent, analyze, design, test and build anything from machines to structures to complex systems. They are often pushed to work within parameters of safety, cost, regulations, and even practicality.
According to Southern New Hampshire University, engineering is divided into four main categories: chemical, civil, mechanical, and electrical. However, there are dozens of subtypes of engineering. As problems are encountered, engineering disciplines are developed to train highly specialized individuals to solve issues. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points to strong job growth outlooks, and salaries starting in the high five-figures to low six-figures, engineering is a fine career to pursue.
The following is a breakdown of the various fields of engineering, courtesy of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, TypesOfEngineeringDegrees.org, and SNHU.
· Aerospace: These engineers design, analyze, model, simulate, and test various aircraft, rockets, satellites, and other craft. Aerospace engineers may help develop space mission protocol or design aircraft for the military.
· Agricultural: These engineers study science and biology to develop efficient measures to grow and maintain plant life. Many agricultural engineers now focus on protecting resources and the environment.
· Biomedical: These engineers combine knowledge of biology and medicine to develop technologies related to healthcare. Diagnostic machines, artificial organs, joint replacement components, and medical instruments are just the tip of the iceberg.
· Chemical: Chemical engineers discover and manufacture medicines, fertilizers, plastics, paints, and the various chemicals used at home and for commercial purposes.
· Civil: Civil engineers study and design infrastructure. Projects span the design of bridges, roads, dams, water systems, earthquake-proof buildings, and much more.
· Computer hardware: Thanks to the digital age, computer hardware engineers are in high demand. These professionals research and develop components like memory devices, networks, routers, circuit boards, and other device-related hardware.
· Electrical: The design, testing, and manufacturing of electrical components is key to this field. Electrical engineers work on motors, navigation systems, communication technology, and much more.
· Mechanical: This field involves the design of mechanical systems in industries like manufacturing, nuclear power production, HVAC, and nanotechnology. There are many other applications as well, making mechanical engineering one of the broadest fields in engineering.
Engineering can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. With so many disciplines, there's likely something for everyone with an interest in and aptitude for engineering.