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How to Become an Engineer

With a good employment outlook, and starting salaries much higher than the average, a career in engineering merits serious consideration. If you have a combination of scientific, mathematical, and practical gifts, you may be interested in how you plan for an engineering career.


Earning a college degree in engineering

Education is vital in this field. You will find very few opportunities to get an engineering job if you don’t have a college degree. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is key to launching your career. College engineering programs generally focus on civil, electrical, electronic, or mechanical engineering. You will find that there is some scope to cross over between different kinds of engineering jobs, but best to enroll on a program which fits your specific career plans.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has accredited the engineering bachelor degree programs of around 360 universities and colleges.

A four year college program is likely to split into two two-year sections. In the first you will study science, math, elementary engineering, and some humanities courses. In the second you can expect to focus on more advanced topics in engineering.


Earning a license

After graduating, if you want to offer your services direct to the public, you are required to obtain a license. This will let you refer to yourself as a professional engineer and requires

  • A degree from a college accredited by the ABET
  • Four years of relevant experience
  • Passing a state examination

It is often possible to work in states other than the one where you qualified. You may also take further professional exams as your career progresses.


Related Career Resources

Engineering Colleges and Schools

Engineering Career Information

Engineering Career Outlook & Salary Information

Engineering Career Traits



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