The various fields of engineering contain many career opportunities. If you have a passion for building, fixing things, or are just really good at math, you are probably considering a career in engineering. The first step to becoming an engineer is to earn a bachelor’s degree .
There are many areas of engineering, so it may be confusing to decide what to specialize in for your degree. In this article, you’ll learn about engineering, the various engineering bachelor’s degrees, top engineering schools, career paths, salaries, and some frequently asked questions to help you find the right educational pathway for you.
What Is Engineering?
Engineering is a scientific field that applies the understanding of science and math to solve problems and achieve practical goals. It involves the invention, design, and construction of things that make life easier and advance the world. Some of the things that engineers invent and design are roads, bridges, high-rise buildings, and much more.
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What Is an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
An engineering bachelor’s degree is a degree that provides students with fundamental training to prepare them for a career in the engineering field. The program focuses on the application of science and mathematics to structures, machines, systems, and processes. Students can expect the coursework to cover science, mathematics, and general engineering.
There are various engineering fields that prospective students can choose from, including aerospace, biomedical, chemical, petroleum, civil, environmental, and computer engineering . Earning a bachelor’s degree in this field takes four to five years. It is a great career path for those with an interest in science, math, and, of course, engineering.
Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Requirements
The admission requirements of an engineering bachelor’s degree vary by school and may depend on the number of applicants the school gets. The more applicants, the more rigorous the requirements.
The requirements typically include a GPA over 3.0, a strong background in math and science, letters of recommendation, an essay, and a good ACT/SAT score. During the program, students are expected to take courses in mathematics, statistics, algebra, calculus, chemistry, and physics.
How Much Does an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Cost?
According to NCES, the average annual cost of attending a four-year institution is around $28,775 , with public institutions costing around $21,035. The average cost of nonprofit private institutions is $48,965 while for-profit private institutions cost an average of $27,696. This cost includes tuition, fees, room, and board.
Costs vary between universities, and most offer a tuition calculator to give students a full understanding of how much they will owe.
Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Engineering Degree
Bachelor’s degrees can be quite costly, which is why there are several financing options to ease the payment for low-income students. Some financing options for a bachelor’s degree include various types of federal student aid, such as grants, work-study opportunities, and federal loans. You could also apply for a scholarship or take out a private loan.
Best Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|California Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)|
|Purdue University||Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA)|
|Stanford University||Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)|
|University of California, Berkeley||Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Bachelor of Science in Agricultural & Biological Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|University of Michigan||Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in Computer Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|University of Minnesota, Twin Cities||Bachelor of Geoengineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
Best Colleges for Engineering: Top Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
There are numerous schools that offer undergraduate degrees in engineering disciplines. Our list of the best undergraduate engineering programs includes 10 different types of engineering . Below are brief descriptions of the top schools and programs.
Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering | California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) was founded in September 1891 under the name of Throop University. It is a science and engineering institute that has the tools to conduct cutting-edge research, study scientific questions, and solve societal problems.
The bioengineering bachelor’s degree focuses on applying the principles of engineering to design, analyze, and manipulate biological systems. Equipped with the knowledge of how these systems work, students aim to discover new ways of maintaining and improving them.
Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering | Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) started in 1900 when Andrew Carnegie donated money to start a technical school in Pittsburgh. CMU has since grown to offer undergraduate and advanced degrees in various fields.
The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering addresses important and challenging issues at the cutting edge of science and technology. To understand the behavior, development, and application of materials, the program employs an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on basic science and engineering principles.
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering | Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was founded in 1885 and prides itself on transforming the agrarian South into an industrial economy. The Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering is the largest engineering program in the United States.
The Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering comprises mathematics, physical science, and business. Courses include Advanced Studies in Operations Research and Statistics, Analytics and Data Science, Economic and Financial Systems, Operations Research, Quality and Statistics, Supply Chain Engineering, and General Industrial Engineering .
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was originally founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution. The school now prides itself on being of service to the scientific community. The aerospace engineering graduate and undergraduate programs have been named the number one programs in the country every year for over a decade.
The Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering includes a core curriculum, professional area elective courses or concentration elective courses, and laboratory and capstone projects. Additionally, all students of MIT must complete the school’s general breadth requirements, which comprise courses in physics, math, chemistry, biology, humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering | Purdue University
Purdue University is a public research university that is committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions. The curriculum requires students to get 125 credits in total, including courses in the nuclear engineering department, technical electives, and breadth requirements.
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | Stanford University
Stanford University was founded in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford and his wife in memory of their child. The university has seven schools and 18 interdisciplinary institutes.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering curriculum includes applied mathematics, materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, energy and mass transfer, separations technology, chemical reaction kinetics, reactor design, biochemical engineering, and process design.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering | University of California, Berkeley
The University of California was established in 1868. The school’s civil and environmental engineering department is designed to provide its students with a strong foundation in engineering science, design, and practice.
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering includes mathematics, calculus, chemistry, civil engineering , data analytics, data science, and computer programming.
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural & Biological Engineering | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public institution founded in 1867 and is popularly known for inventing the world’s first graphical web browser.
Undergraduates choose a concentration in either agricultural engineering or biological engineering. Under these two bachelor’s tracks, there are seven further specializations in engineering areas like bioenvironmental studies, ecology, and renewable energy systems. The curriculum includes core engineering, mathematics, and science courses.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in Computer Engineering | University of Michigan
The University of Michigan has a mission to serve the people by creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values for students who are going to change the present and the future.
The BSE in Computer Engineering program covers calculus, engineering, physics, and chemistry. During the program, students work with modern laboratory equipment and computer systems and are exposed to the most recent analytical techniques and technological developments in their field.
Bachelor of Geoengineering | University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota was established in 1851 before Minnesota became a state. The institution’s faculties are known for inventions like the pacemaker, retractable seat belt, cancer therapies, biodegradable plastics, and technologies that advance agricultural production.
The Bachelor of Geoengineering program seeks to equip students with a strong knowledge of geology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering so that they can become world-class geoengineers.
Best Online Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Arizona State University||Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Eastern New Mexico University||Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Emphasis in Renewable Energy||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University||Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)|
|Ferris State University||Bachelor of Science in HVACR Engineering Technology and Energy Management||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Florida International University||Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)|
|Stony Brook University||Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)|
|University of Arizona||Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology: Electrical|
|University of North Dakota||Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
Best Colleges for Engineering: Top Online Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
For those who would like to earn a degree from the comfort of their homes or while working, there are schools that offer online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering. The best of these online engineering programs are listed above, and below are their descriptions.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering | Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the few schools that offer complete online bachelor’s programs. Offered through the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, this BS in Mechanical Engineering covers the dynamics of physical systems, technical drawing conventions, thermodynamics, probability, and statistics with engineering applications.
Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Emphasis on Renewable Energy | Eastern New Mexico University
ENMU is an institution that focuses on preparing students for careers and advanced study, supports excellent teaching and research, and empowers students to change the world.
The renewable energy bachelor’s program is fully online and includes assignments, readings, labs, tests, and projects. The students can decide to take classes online or a combination of online and in-person courses.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the largest accredited institution in the aviation and aerospace field. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology is fully online and it prepares students to start a career in the field. The program equips students with skills in problem-solving, design, and engineering judgment.
Students will learn through hands-on experience, which will help prepare them for real-life projects. Throughout the program, students learn all about conducting research, including how to define problems, design appropriate methodologies, and evaluate outcomes.
Bachelor of Science in HVACR Engineering Technology and Energy Management | Ferris State University
Ferris State University was established in 1894 by Woodbridge and Helen Ferris and became a state university in 1987. The school is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds.
This type of program is offered by only two institutions in the United States, Ferris State being one. The program is designed to help students start a career in manufacturing, construction, building operations, or building systems.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering | Florida International University
Florida International University was established in 1965 but didn’t open until 1972. The school’s online computer engineering program covers topics like hardware architecture, hardware-software integration, signal and image processing, and computer networking.
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering | Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a nonprofit institution, was granted its charter in 1963, and awarded its first associate degree in the same year. The curriculum of the online software engineering degree equips aspiring software engineers with specialized math, science, and engineering skills for designing and developing computer software.
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering | Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University was founded in 1957 and became a member of the American Association of Universities in 2001. The school offers more than 200 undergraduate programs and over 150 advanced programs. The electrical engineering program covers electronic circuits, electromagnetics, semiconductor services, and engineering design.
Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering | University of Arizona
The online college at the University of Arizona is one of the best in the country. The electrical and computer engineering online bachelor’s program offers the same courses as the in-person degree. Most students also receive job offers before they graduate due to the institution’s partnerships with multiple companies.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology: Electrical | University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers online engineering courses for those who are too busy to study on campus. The curriculum of the electrical engineering technology program covers linear circuits, digital logic and systems, microprocessors, microcontrollers and embedded systems, electronic circuits and systems, control systems, and power systems.
Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering | University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883 and it offers over 120 online courses. The petroleum engineering program is the only one of its kind in North Dakota. Its market-led and hands-on curriculum is designed to equip students with the technical skills needed to make a significant contribution to petroleum engineering.
What’s the Average Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Salary?
The average salary for a person with a degree in engineering varies by specialization. The highest-paid professional engineers are petroleum engineers, who make an average salary of $137,330 per annum, whereas the lowest-paid engineers are agricultural engineers, who earn an average salary of $84,410 .
Top Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Computer Hardware Engineer||$119,560|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineer||$103,390|
|Bioengineer and Biomedical Engineer||$92,620|
Best Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Explained
- Average Salary: $137,330
- Job Outlook: 8%
- Number of Jobs: 28,500
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma
A petroleum engineer is responsible for the location, quantity, and quality of hydrocarbon deposits. They also plan, manage, and optimize the extraction of these deposits. Petroleum engineers play an active role in the evaluation, development, and production of oil and gas.
Computer Hardware Engineer
- Average Salary: $119,560
- Job Outlook: 2%
- Number of Jobs: 66,200
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York
A computer hardware engineer creates, develops, and tests computer hardware. This kind of hardware engineering deals with computer systems, circuit boards, and other electrical systems.
- Average Salary: $118,610
- Job Outlook: 8%
- Number of Jobs: 61,400
- Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, Texas
Aerospace engineers work to advance the field of aviation by designing, testing, repairing, and improving various commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft.
- Average Salary: $116,140
- Job Outlook: -8%
- Number of Jobs: 17,200
- Highest-Paying States: California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah
Nuclear engineers are in charge of designing, constructing, and operating nuclear power plants. They design and build systems, equipment, and processes to take advantage of the benefits of radioactive and nuclear materials.
- Average Salary: $108,540
- Job Outlook: 9%
- Number of Jobs: 26,300
- Highest-Paying States: Texas, Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico, Idaho
Chemical engineers apply their scientific and engineering knowledge to the research, development, and manufacture of chemicals, drugs, fuel, and other products. They work to improve the processes and equipment used in chemical processing, as well as to solve industry problems.
Electrical and Electronics Engineer
- Average Salary: $103,390
- Job Outlook: 7%
- Number of Jobs: 313,200
- Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, California, New Jersey, Vermont, Washington
Electrical engineering involves the design, development, and testing of electrical devices and equipment like communications systems and power generators. Electronics engineers work to create, design, and develop devices like mobile phones, computers, and music players.
- Average Salary: $97,180
- Job Outlook: 11%
- Number of Jobs: 448,000
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, New York, Delaware, California, Hawaii
Construction managers are responsible for the planning, control, and evaluation of the activities of a construction project. They ensure that it is completed safely, at the agreed-upon time, and on budget.
- Average Salary: $95,640
- Job Outlook: 8%
- Number of Jobs: 25,100
- Highest-Paying States: New Mexico, Maryland, Louisiana, California, Texas
Materials engineers use their knowledge of materials, plastics, and ceramics to create specifications for mechanical, electrical, and chemical products.
- Average Salary: $95,440
- Job Outlook: 4%
- Number of Jobs: 9,800
- Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, Texas, Maryland, Alaska, California
Marine engineers construct, design, test, repair, and maintain marine equipment like ships, boats, submarines, and other watercraft.
Bioengineer and Biomedical Engineer
- Average Salary: $92,620
- Job Outlook: 6%
- Number of Jobs: 99,100
- Highest-Paying States: Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, California, Maryland
Biomedical engineers focus on designing, developing, and evaluating advanced healthcare technology. They typically work in medical and research facilities.
Engineering Bootcamp vs Engineering Bachelor’s Degree: Which Is Better?
There are benefits to earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, just as there are benefits to taking an engineering program at a bootcamp. You can decide whether a degree or bootcamp is best for you by looking at the benefits of each educational pathway.
Benefits of an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree
- Higher earning potential. College degrees are highly valued by employers in the industry, which makes the salaries of college graduates higher than those of people without degrees.
- More career opportunities. Earning a bachelor’s degree means getting a broad knowledge of the field. After graduation, you have a range of career opportunities available to you within your chosen engineering field.
- Increased employability. A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering can increase your employability. The degree makes you stand out as an expert in the field and gives you a competitive advantage.
- More networking opportunities. College is a good place to start building your professional network. Through engineering student organizations, professional societies, extracurricular activities, and faculty connections, you can meet people from different areas of specialization and expertise.
- Better personal development. Bachelor’s degree programs include general education requirements. This can help you find out what else you love and what else you are good at, making it easy to choose an exciting career path.
Benefits of an Engineering Bootcamp
- More affordable. Coding bootcamps are more affordable than four-year college degrees, which makes them more accessible for more types of students.
- Shorter. Bootcamps range in length from three months to nine months, depending on the school, program, and learning format of your choice.
- More hands-on training. Coding bootcamps focus on training students with hands-on experiences and projects. Students get to solve real-world problems and work on projects for their portfolios.
- Better career services. The majority of engineering bootcamps offer career services to prepare students for real jobs. The services include things like mock interviews, resume coaching, and online profile building.
- More up-to-date curricula. The curriculum of most bootcamps is focused on current in-demand skills in the labor market, increasing the students’ employability and giving them a competitive advantage.
Should You Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering?
You should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering if you have an interest in math and science and you enjoy designing new things. The field of engineering is broad, with many career opportunities for experts in the field. The majority of the jobs are also high-paying jobs with stable job growth rates.
Choosing between a bachelor’s degree and other alternatives to learn might be the confusing part. A bachelor’s degree is the best option for those who are freshly out of high school, young, and interested in learning new things. A bootcamp is best for those who are transitioning from a different career or for mid-level workers looking to enhance their software engineering skills.
Engineering Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
Which Bachelor’s Degree Is Best for Engineering?
The bachelor’s degree that is best for engineering is based on what branch of engineering you want to go into. There are different areas of engineering and you have to choose the degree that aligns with your interests and your dream career path.
What Jobs Can I Get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering?
Some of the jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering are petroleum engineer, chemical engineer, civil engineer, construction manager, and aerospace engineer, among many more. The job you get depends on what degree program you specialize in.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Worth It?
Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering is worth it because it increases your employability and gives you several career opportunities.
What Is the Difference Between BE and BTech Degrees?
BE stands for Bachelor of Engineering while BTech is short for Bachelor of Technology. The difference between BE and BTech programs is that a BE has a more theoretical curriculum whereas a BTech is more practical.