16 Top Engineering Job titles
Engineers work in a broad range of fields that include the mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil and environmental fields. Many engineering job titles require at least a four-year college degree, but others may only require an associate degree or special training. Knowing the requirements for engineering titles can ensure you gain the right qualifications for the engineering career you want to pursue. In this article, we discuss 16 engineering job titles and their responsibilities to help you decide which role may be right for you.
What do you need to become an engineer?
Whichever discipline you choose, there are some requirements to becoming an engineer, such as:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Passing a national exam
A license if you offer your services directly to the public
Engineers are good problem solvers and critical thinkers, and they have good math and science skills in subjects such as:
Engineering titles you can pursue as a career
To help you decide which engineering field interests you most, here is a list of 16 engineering titles you can pursue for a career:
National average salary: $65,976 per year
Primary duties: Chemical engineers work with physics, mathematics and biology to solve problems related to a variety of substances. They design and implement systems that control how substances interact with one another. Chemical engineers may provide technical and support services to clients in energy, gas and other industries requiring emissions control and air quality technologies. Duties may also include working as either an individual to assist with permit applications, compliance documentation and regulatory and technical analysis.
National average salary: $75,489 per year
Primary duties: Industrial engineers work to improve processes or systems and eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy or other resources. Industrial engineers also handle the innovation and implementation of manufacturing process solutions. They analyze and design sequences of operation and workflow to improve efficiencies, establish accident prevention measures and conduct studies for cost control or reduction, inventory control and production record systems. They might work for a manufacturing plant or as consultants.
National average salary: $82,283 per year
Primary duties: Manufacturing engineers develop and improve the manufacturing process for a company by studying manufacturing and production methods. They design research programs to evaluate processes, test products and maintain regulatory compliance. Manufacturing engineers may also establish methods, layouts, tools, costs, quality plans and labor standards for operations and identify and implement cost reduction, quality, safety and ergonomic improvements.
National average salary: $83,257 per year
Primary duties: Environmental engineers work in the biological, chemical and environmental sciences to solve problems related to the environment. They may develop and implement systems for waste disposal, pollution control, effective farming or public health. Environmental engineers may provide expertise to manage assigned environmental projects or programs, provide advisory services for specific problems or projects and ensure projects comply with health, safety and environmental rules and procedures. They typically work for the government or as consultants.
National average salary: $86,214 per year
Primary duties: Biomedical engineers work in both the biological and medical sciences to design, create and improve several solutions related to healthcare. These might include medical equipment like MRI machines, healthcare computer systems or medical innovations. Biomedical engineers may research and execute experiments, document their findings and submit reports, evaluate the use of new materials and processes, conduct studies to determine manufacturing defectsprocess specimens and write protocols.
National average salary: $86,774 per year
Primary duties: Design engineers study, research and develop ideas for new products and the systems used to make them. They also modify existing products or processes to increase efficiency or improve performance. Design engineers may lead project planning, design, development, testing and release of new products and product enhancements, conduct studies on new product concepts, address design issues and provide technical support to other departments.
Related: Learn About Being a Design Engineer
National average salary: $87,607 per year
Primary duties: Civil engineers design, plan, build and maintain structures such as roads, buildings, bridges or water and sewage treatment systems. Civil engineers may review and interpret drawings, specifications and technical information, communicate directions, prepare field design changes, obtain permits, estimate project costs and manage a construction site.
Related: Learn About Being a Civil Engineer
National average salary: $93,369 per year
Primary duties: Nuclear engineers research and develop processes related to nuclear energy and radiation. They design safe systems to use electricity and radioactive materials for the medical industry, power companies and industrial production. Nuclear engineers may design and test products in nuclear and space radiation environments, develop and review procedures and methods to ensure appropriate radiological controls are directed and develop radiation exposure estimates and shielding goals.
Related: Learn About Being a Nuclear Engineer
National average salary: $94,988 per year
Primary duties: Electrical engineers and electronics engineers design, develop and manage the manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment like GPS systems, lighting systems, robotics and remote-controlled systems. Electrical engineers may evaluate electrical systems, products, components and applications by designing and conducting research programs. They also develop electrical products or systems and manufacturing processes by designing and modifying equipment for assembling electrical components.
National average salary: $95,752 per year
Primary duties: Mechanical engineers study motion, energy and force to develop various solutions for mechanical systems. They often develop and improve small systems, such as sensors, or large systems, such as machine tools. Mechanical engineers may also advise teams on products or services, evaluate engineering design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of equipment and resolve engineering problems with contractors.
11. Systems engineer
National average salary: $99,515 per year
Primary duties: Systems engineers develop and implement computer network systems for an organization. They are also responsible for testing software and servers, improving systems processes, upgrading hardware and managing server workstations and network computers. Systems engineers may also be responsible for cloud administration and management, technical planning, security management, IT solutions, system integration, technical policies and planning and IT service management.
Related: Learn About Being a Systems Engineer
National average salary: $102,255 per year
Primary duties: Aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missile systems. They also analyze, design and test prototypes to make sure they function according to design. Aerospace engineers may conduct safety evaluations for proposed space transportation, analyze data, design and integrate systems, help develop new products and support hands-on ground and flight test events through planning and execution.
National average salary: $107,843 per year
Primary duties: Software engineers design and create software and hardware systems for computers using math, science, engineering and design techniques. They frequently test and evaluate their own systems as well as software built by others. Software engineers assist with all aspects of software design and coding including writing and maintaining code, working on bug fixes and monitoring the technical performance of internal systems.
National average salary: $108,465 per year
Primary duties: Security engineers build systems and firewalls to protect organizations from cyber threats. They conduct security assessments and tests and create reports for management. They also evaluate new security options and make recommendations. Security engineers may operate or improve security controls, perform and review system scans, perform risk assessments and mitigation and drive security and privacy initiatives, training and features.
15. DevOps engineer
National average salary: $122,835 per year
Primary duties: DevOps engineers work with software developers and IT teams to facilitate code releases. They are typically responsible for improving IT infrastructure, optimizing release cycles and software automation. DevOps engineers may work solo or as part of a team to deploy and operate computer systems, help automate or streamline processes and operations and implement change requests and engineering tasks.
Related: Learn About Being a DevOps Engineer
16. Data engineer
National average salary: $132,571 per year
Primary duties: Data engineers collaborate with the data science team to build solutions for a company. A data engineer develops information processes for data management, data acquisition, data migration and data mining. Using a variety of programming languages, a data engineer creates a company's data infrastructure. Data engineers may help a company integrate its data from internal systems with its business operations, analyze operational data and implement processes such as human tagging and machine learning.
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