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Fields of Engineering
Engineering is a growing field

Fields of Engineering

Engineering is both a discipline and a profession that creatively applies scientific theories and mathematical concepts to design, innovate, construct, and organize solutions for a variety of problems that people face. Therefore, engineering is a cornerstone of the STEM movement. As society grows and changes, the need for engineers increases. There are currently over forty types of engineers and those fields keep expanding.

Engineers work in many different types of environments such as:

  • Research laboratories

  • Manufacturing sites

  • Construction sites

  • Electrical power plants

  • Drilling sites

  • Hospitals

  • Car factories

  • Delivery warehouses

Teacher Tips icon Teacher Tips

  • Highlight how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts work together when creating engineered solutions.

  • Emphasize that engineers must be strong in all areas of STEM.

  • Remind students that the different domains within STEM work together to create solutions. Connect that to the idea that engineers working on a project must also work with many other people such as technicians, marketers, financiers, and communities.

Motivate Discussion icon Motivate Discussion

Professions in engineering encompass many different areas and contribute much to our society. It is important for students to be exposed to a variety of these areas to recognize the diversity of professionals under the large umbrella of engineering.

Q: Does anyone have a family member that works in an engineering field?
A: Answers may vary. If students are apprehensive about answering, use a personal example in your life.

Q: In what other environments could engineers work?
A: Possible answers to listen for could be schools, steel mills, warehouses, highways, and bridges.

Extend Your Learning icon Extend Your Learning

To connect this activity to career awareness, instruct students to access the Bureau of Labor Statistics webpage and conduct a brief review of engineering occupations. Ask students to investigate various types of engineers and choose one of interest. They should record the description, job outlook, required education, and salary. Students can then share their findings with the class.

Mechanical Engineer

  • Description: Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

  • Job Outlook: Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026, as fast as the average for all occupations.

  • Required Education: Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology.

  • Salary: In May 2017, the median annual wage for mechanical engineers was $85,880.