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How to Get an Engineering Degree

An engineering degree program gives a student the ability to use math and science to solve problems. Engineers are hired by a wide variety of businesses and biotech companies. They work with scientists, researchers and many other professionals.

Research And Choose A Focus

The first step in earning a degree is to choose a focus. There are many different types of engineering degrees to consider. People who want to work with space applications may choose aeronautical engineering. A person wanting to work in environmental sciences would choose environmental engineering, and a person who is interested in building and construction may choose civil engineering. Since there is such a wide range of options, it is important to spend plenty of time researching options. It is best to narrow down one or two fields of interest, and choose a degree program that is based on one of those.

Complete Engineering Degree Program Requirements

Many students choose a four-year degree program to start, and there are several graduate degree programs to consider for students who want to pursue more specific career options. Choose several desired schools based on their engineering degree programs. Make a list of the requirements for entry into their engineering programs. Complete any prerequisite courses, and work on completing the checklist of other admission items. For example, professional references, personal statements and test scores may be required for certain programs.

Choose A School And Engineering Program

After completing the requirements and applying to several programs, choose one program. Some students choose a school based on tuition rates or program length. For example, some schools may offer a longer or shorter degree option to match a student's amount of spare time. With tuition, some schools offer lower rates to in-state students, so going to school close to home may benefit those who have limited funds or student loans. Many classes can be completed online for most engineering degree programs.

Engineering Salary And Job Growth

Pay ranges vary based on the field chosen. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that civil engineers earn an average of less than $80,000 annually, but petroleum engineers earn about $130,000 annually. Chemical engineers earn more than $90,000, but biomedical, mechanical and electrical engineers earn less than that. The expected future job growth rate is about average for most types of engineers.

Top Online Engineering Programs

Rank School FT to PT
Faculty Ratio
Fin. Aid Rate
Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Accred.
Job Place. Rate
1 The University of Alabama

739 University Blvd,
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0166

(205) 348-6010

2.61 to 1 47% 53% 85% 67% 117 0% N/A
  The University of Alabama offers a bachelor's in mechanical engineering through a blended program of video streaming and online course work, preparing students for the field of product manufacturing. Note that the distance courses follow The University of Alabama semester calendar, and that three of these courses have on-campus lab requirements, which can be fulfilled at the UA lab facility on the Troy campus or at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
2 Arizona State University

University Drive and Mill Avenue,
Tempe, Arizona 85287

(480) 965-2100

11.79 to 1 75% 89% 80% 57% 83 0% 65%
  ASU's online program provides two Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) major options: BSE in Electrical Engineering and BSE in Engineering Management. Throughout these online degree programs, students are taught by internationally recognized faculty, have access to ASU's eight award-winning libraries, and can connect to thousands of alumni and community members.
3 University of North Dakota

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193,
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-8193

(800) 225-5863

9.82 to 1 48% 71% 77% 54% 101 2% N/A
  Five different engineering degrees are available through University of North Dakota's online program: chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum. Taught by doctoral faculty, these ABET-accredited degrees take 6+ years to complete and include brief on-campus labs that are offered in the summer.
4 University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive # 0001,
Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406-0001

(601) 266-1000

3.18 to 1 70% 65% 75% 50% 85 7% 70%
  University of Southern Mississippi offers a bachelor's degree in construction engineering technology for students interested in entering the field of architecture, engineering, and construction. This Bachelor of Science degree equips students with the skills to coordinate and oversee a construction project from the conceptual development stage through final construction.
5 The University of West Florida

11000 University Parkway,
Pensacola, Florida 32514-5750

(850) 474-2000

1.09 to 1 30% 61% 70% 45% 45 0% 41%
  The Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Engineering Technology offered at University of West Florida prepares students with the design, implementation, and maintenance of networks, telecommunications, and distance systems that support various organizations. The capstone opportunity gives students hands-on experience in integrating technology into organizations while working with industry professionals and managers.
6 Trine University

1 University Ave,
Angola, Indiana 46703-1764

(260) 665-4100

1.36 to 1 97% 72% 69% 52% 48 9% 92%
  The School of Professional Studies at Trine Virtual Campus offers students a Bachelor of Science degree in Design Engineering Technology. This degree covers design, manufacturing, testing, technical sales, and maintenance industries.
7 ECPI University

5555 Greenwich Rd Ste 300,
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

(757) 490-9090

0.70 to 1 69% 76% 73% 40% 16 0% 80%
  In 2.5 years, students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from ECPI University's School of Technology. With a hands-on learning approach, students learn to design and build electronic systems and understand the workings of analog and digital electronics.
8 Southern Polytechnic State University

1100 S. Marietta Parkway,
Marietta, Georgia 30060-2896

(678) 915-4188

2.43 to 1 2% 79% 76% 35% 50 8% N/A
  The Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University is available to those who have an interest in business, government, or industrial related career fields, dealing with the processes of money, materials, and labor management. Students can also connect with SPSU's chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) student organization via the SPSU OrgSync system.
9 DeVry University Online

3300 N Campbell Ave.,
Chicago, Illinois 60618-5994

(773) 929-8500

0.01 to 1 28% 73% 0% 31% 32 0% N/A
  Devry University Online offers two major concentrations within the Bachelor of Science Engineering Technology program: Computers (ET-C), which deals with the design and implementation of software and hardware, and Electronics (ET-E), which focuses on electronic circuits. Students in the ET-E program may specialize in Renewable Energy, gaining a strong background in renewable technologies and alternative power sources along with an understanding of engineering technology and electronics.
10 National University

11255 North Torrey Pines Road,
La Jolla, California 92037-1011

(800) 628-8648

0.10 to 1 0% 0% 58% 24% 37 4% N/A
  For students looking into the construction industry, National University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering Technology. Students in this program can expect to complete a two-part engineering senior project, working with team members to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge of construction engineering technology from preliminary development to the final project product.