Get Your Online Engineering Degree

1) What Online Engineering Degrees Exist and What Are They Called?

With advances in every science from biological to technological, engineers are more in demand now than ever before. Along with the boom of online schools, many colleges now offer all sorts of engineering degrees to earn over the internet or in person and we have listed a few below.

  1. Associate of Science in Engineering (A.S. in Eng.) Although many degrees for engineers are bachelor’s or graduate, there are still a few junior level degrees including this one.
  2. Associate of Applied Science in Engineering (A.A.S. in Eng.) Similar to the above, this degree focuses more on applying engineering in the lab and/or with take home assignments.
  3. Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S. in Eng.) This four year degree is a common choice for engineers before they enter into graduate school and is offered in a variety of specialties from aerospace to technology.
  4. Master of Science in Engineering (M.S in Eng.) Get a graduate level degree in engineering, as well as many subspecialties in the area.
  5. Master of Science in Software Engineering (M.S in Soft. Eng.) With software constantly being written and updated, this is an area of engineering that is both in demand and available at many schools online.
  6. Master of Science in Systems Engineering (M.S. in Sys. Eng.) Learn how to develop and maintain an entire network of computers and systems with this degree.
  7. Doctor of Engineering (Ph.D. in Eng.) Learn everything there is to know about engineering in this doctorate level degree.
  8. Doctor of Engineering Management(Ph.D. in Eng. Man.) This degree prepares engineers for a leading role in the workplace.
  9. Certificate in Engineering Although none is required to become an engineer, certifications are offered to engineers and can be awarded from engineering associations or companies such as Cisco and Microsoft.
  10. Professional Engineers License (P.E.) If you are engineer who offers his or her services directly to the public, a license is required in all 50 states and at least a bachelor’s degree is required depending on the state.

While most engineering degrees are granted in electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering, these are by no means the only kinds of engineering degrees available. Other specialties include aerospace, biological, chemical, petroleum, nuclear, and many others.

2) Where Can I Find Engineering Degree Rankings?

Whether looking to become a licensed engineer or work under someone who is, an accredited degree in engineering is a must. The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs is an excellent stop when choosing any college degree. A quick search can tell you if the school is accredited, which agency it is accredited by, and can even list schools by state.

Another must visit site for engineering students is The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. If looking to become a licensed engineer, a degree from an ABET approved program can be a requirement, depending on the state. The site has dozens of programs across the country and you can narrow the search by program area on many areas of engineering from aerospace to telecommunications. They also have four sub-accrediting agencies in applied sciences, computing, engineering, and technology.

There are also many rankings for colleges available online. One of the better known lists is from Forbes magazine. You can even sort the list of college rankings by size, state, or cost. Over at USA Today they have loads of rankings for schools by subject majored, including engineering. Surveying 198 engineering programs, they list them from first to last and even include the tuition costs per year.

Although these degree ranking systems have their uses, it is ultimately up to the student to decide which factors are the most important to him or her. These can include amount of financial aid available, ability to earn an engineering degree online, campus location, and many other qualifications. For the best results, apply to several schools, see which accept you, learn the transfer credit policy, and find out how much out of pocket costs will be before choosing which to enroll in.

3) Can I Transfer Online Engineering Degree Credits?

If you already have college credits, a degree, or even advanced high school classes, transfer credits are an important part of an online engineering degree. If a school accepts transfer credits, it can drastically reduce the cost of study, along with time spent studying. For example, many high schools offer advanced classes in the 101 area of college and usually work with many local colleges and universities to ensure they transfer. There are also specialty high schools that can teach juniors and seniors collegiate level engineering courses that can be transferred for the first year of study.

If looking to switch colleges, it is important to find out as early as possible, ideally before classes are taken, whether or not these classes are recognized by the school you wish to transfer to. This can be important if switching majors, moving, or getting the basic college courses done at a junior school to cut down on tuition costs.

One of the largest obstacles to getting credits transferred is the issue of nationally accredited versus regionally accredited schools. If the schools you wish to transfer to and from are not accredited by the same agency, there may be a chance that only some or no classes can be transferred and will ultimately have to be retaken. However, since there are so many engineering programs approved by the The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, transfer credits between approved schools are more likely to be allowed in full.

If you already have a degree from an accredited school, the issue of transfer credits becomes easier. Even if it is not an engineering degree, students can still get credit for completing basic courses. If the degree is in science, this can also reduce time spent taking classes such as math, biology, chemistry, and others. If a student already has a bachelor’s degree, he or she can more easily enter a graduate degree program in engineering. Once accepted, time spent studying for a master’s degree can be as little as 18 months, depending on the school.

4) What Sorts of Careers Can I Get With an Engineering Degree?

Engineers are needed in just about every field of technology and science. Below are just a few of the careers available.

  1. Aerospace Engineer These engineers design, construct, and maintain aircrafts, and even spacecrafts in some cases.
  2. Biomedical Engineer This engineer works on health related issues in engineering such as research, developing new health technologies, information systems, and more.
  3. Civil Engineer One of the most hired engineering careers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they work mainly on public engineering projects.
  4. Computer Engineer This title covers engineers who work with computers, networks, security, and other areas of information technology.
  5. Electrical Engineers Sometimes referred to as electronics engineers, they can work on entire systems of electricity or on a smaller scale.
  6. Environmental Engineer Tackle environmental problems from pollution to alternate power sources in this career. Recycling, waste disposal, and related tasks can also be part of the job.
  7. Industrial Engineer They use their engineering knowledge to coordinate people, machines, materials, energy, and other aspects to make an operation as efficient as possible.
  8. Mechanical Engineer Research, design, and build machines and other devices in this career. Every area from powering a city to HVAC can be a part of mechanical engineering.
  9. Nuclear Engineer Work with nuclear power in this career. Fuel cycle, production, and safe disposal of nuclear waste are all part of the career.
  10. Petroleum Engineer These engineers work to extract the maximum allowable crude oil, both offshore and on, with the least damage to the area around it.

With dozens of careers available in engineering, the above are just a few examples. Most engineering careers require at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. A master’s degree in engineering can help candidates stand out and make the transition from engineer to manager more easily. Some of the more technologically minded engineers may be required to have certification.

5) How do I Become an Engineer?

The first step to becoming an engineer is to get an accredited degree in engineering at the bachelor level or higher. If the student has a high school education, it typically takes four years of study and approximately 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree. If you already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to get a master’s degree in engineering, study time can be anywhere from 18 months to three years, depending on the school and whether or not the student studies full time.

If looking to get a certification as part of becoming an engineer, there are loads to choose from in civil, chemical, mechanical, automotive, and even for engineers in the information technology field. For example, the Comp TIA is a popular certification and can be given out in specialties such as network, security, server, and more.

There are also many other certifications specifically for engineers. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies offers certification to engineers in the civil, electrical, and mechanical areas. Topics include safety, fire hazard, security, and more. Another certification sought by engineers is from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Certifications are available in manufacturing technology, Lean, Six Sigma, and manufacturing engineering. If looking to go green, the LEED certification measures building sustainability. LEED certifications for both projects and professionals are given through the U.S. Green Building Council.

Although no certification is required to become an engineer, licensing is another issue. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require licenses for engineers who directly serve the public. Students must have a degree from an accredited ABET program and four years of relevant work experience before taking the exam. It is given by The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Although states vary in their requirements, obtaining the Professional Engineer license is done by passing the exam given by the NCEES and must be taken for each state the engineer plans to work in.

6) What is the Average Annual Salary for Someone With an Engineering Degree?

The average annual salary of someone with an engineering degree is effected by type of degree, school it is earned in, and type of engineering career sought. As a group, engineers can earn some of the highest average annual salaries among those holding bachelor’s degrees. Having this undergraduate degree in engineering can lead to a number of well-paying careers. Using structural engineer, civil engineer, and project manager as examples, the average annual salaries for these positions were $59,736, $70,587, and $89,437 according to Payscale.com.

A quick search on the same site lists the average annual salaries of those who held a doctorate degree in engineering. The lowest paying jobs were chemical engineer and research scientist who still had impressive salaries of $84,242 and $90,043 per year. The best paying engineer jobs with a doctorate degree were senior research engineer and civil engineer whose median yearly pay was $96,363 and $87,981 respectively.

Type of engineer can also have a huge impact on average annual salary. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics lists 17 different types of engineers, as well as their pay. Topping the list of best paid engineers was the petroleum engineer with an average annual salary of $108,020. In the middle of the pack were chemical, electrical, and material engineers with salaries of $84,680, $82,160, and $81,820, respectively. Even the lowest earning engineers such as agricultural ($68,730) and health ($72,940), still have impressive average salaries.

Payscale also has an interesting list on the best engineering colleges by salary potential. The top three schools were Harvey Mudd College, Caltech, and MIT whose graduates all earned over $119,000 in mid-career median pay. Even the three schools at the bottom of the list: Georgia Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and New Mexico Tech all had mid-career average annual salaries of over $100,000.

7) Where Can I Find Engineering Scholarships and Grants?

Before earning a salary as an engineer, the issue of paying for an education comes first. However, there are loads of help for all students, including engineer majors, with paying for school in the form of scholarships, grants, and more.

  1. FAFSA No matter which schools you apply to, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and send in as early as possible to see if and how much federal funding you qualify for. It is available on this site, along with tools to help you fill it out.
  2. ASME The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has tons of resources in financial aid for engineering students. In addition to several scholarships, there is also information on student loans, teaching fellowships, certification, and much more.
  3. ASCE The American Society of Civil Engineers offers several scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate engineering students. They also provide useful information on internships, a blog, podcasts, and much more.
  4. IEEE The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers provides awards and scholarships, as well as competitions, just for students. There are also other resources to help students study, learn, and more.
  5. ANS The American Nuclear Society offers scholarships to students majoring in nuclear engineering. Visit to download the brochure, get eligibility requirements, and much more.
  6. SPE The Society of Petroleum Engineers scholarship funds are available from many sources for students interested in pursuing careers in the oil and gas industry. Best of all, the scholarships are available both locally and internationally.
  7. SWE The Society of Women Engineers provides financial assistance to women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science.
  8. AES You don’t have to be an engineering major to apply for this scholarship. The AES only requires an essay giving the answer to two simple questions.
  9. SAE The Society of Automobile Engineers offers a wide variety of awards, scholarships, loans, and internships for engineering students. Be sure to visit Student Central with much more.
  10. ASDSO The Association of State Dam Safety Officials award scholarships to civil and related engineering students for the purpose of learning about dam safety. Undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited program are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in scholarships.

If the above aren’t enough for you, try doing a search for your specific specialization in engineering. The ABET has a list of just about every engineering association out there, many of which also offer scholarships. Many engineering employers, such as oil companies and construction, can also offer scholarships to promising local students.

While applying for a scholarship can be a lengthy process that may require an essay, letter of recommendation, or other, grants work on a different basis. Given out by the federal, state, and sometimes even local government, grants are given to low income students who have demonstrated both a need and desire for higher education. Like scholarships, grants are free to apply for and if awarded, do not have to be paid back.

Be cautious of any agency or individual that charges a fee to apply for a scholarship, grant, FAFSA, etc. Any legitimate scholarship or grant is free to apply for. While the FAFSA can be an overwhelming form, the guidance or financial aid office of your high school, college, or university has professionals specifically trained to know how and do not charge to answer any questions you may have on the form.

List of Colleges that have Engineering Programs Available

Engineering Degree Finder