Online Engineering Degree Online
Earning an engineering degree can lead to careers in diverse areas. Graduates may work as chemical engineers, aerospace engineers, or biomedical engineers. Degree-holders may also pursue academic or consulting careers. Many schools offer online engineering degrees. An online format means learners can enroll in the best online engineering programs without relocating.
This guide covers the benefits of earning an online degree in engineering. Read on to learn about common classes, specialization options, and how to become an engineer.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Engineering
Q. What kind of engineering degrees are there?
Many industries need qualified engineers. Some engineering areas include civil, agricultural, petroleum, and computer engineering.
Q. What degree do I need to become an engineer?
Engineers need a bachelor’s degree in their specialized field. They must also meet state licensure requirements. A master’s degree can help engineers qualify for leadership roles.
Q. How long does it take to get an engineering degree?
Full-time learners can complete a bachelor’s degree in four years. Accelerated programs help students graduate sooner.
Why Get a Degree in Engineering?
The best online engineering programs prepare students for jobs in many in-demand fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for engineering professionals to increase 6% from 2020-2030. Engineers earn a median annual salary of $83,160. This figure surpasses the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
Online engineering degrees give learners flexibility. Enrollees can often watch lectures and complete coursework around their schedules. Asynchronous programs do not require set meeting times. Synchronous programs include live classes.
How Much Does an Engineering Degree Cost?
Engineering degree costs vary by school. In general, learners attending in-state, public schools pay the most affordable tuition. These students pay an average of $38,496 for an online bachelor’s degree. Out-of-state enrollees pay $54,183 on average. Students attending private schools pay an average of $60,593.
Many online engineering degrees cost less than traditional on-campus programs. Online degrees at public four-year colleges cost $10,776 less than on-campus degrees, according to EducationData.org.
See our list of the most affordable online engineering degrees for program-specific information.
Additional Online Student Fees
Online learners can save on commuting and parking costs. However, they still need to buy class materials and books. Students can save money by buying used or digital books. Online students also need a reliable computer and internet access.
Other costs may include technology and graduation fees. Some programs charge learners to access online classroom platforms. Others require enrollees to pay for subscriptions to sites like Zoom. Engineering degree-seekers should budget for licensing exams. These fees vary by state.
How Much Do Engineering Majors Make?
Engineers’ salaries depend on their field, experience level, and geographic location. Engineers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average annual salary of $91,000, according to Jan. 2022 Payscale data.
Civil engineers earn a median annual salary of $88,570, according to the BLS. Environmental engineers earn a median $92,120 per year, while chemical engineers make a median salary of $108,540 annually. Industrial engineers who practice in California earn a mean annual wage of $108,130. Engineers can help increase their salary potential by earning a graduate degree in engineering.
Courses in Engineering
Online engineering programs provide foundational knowledge in engineering. Most programs cover topics like sustainability and lab processes. Students learn through lectures, peer discussions, and research projects.
Learners also gain hands-on experience through supervised internships. Degree-seekers visit engineering sites and learn how to handle machinery safely. They also learn how to record data accurately.
See below for three common engineering courses. Please note that classes vary by specialization and school.
Architectural DrawingEnrollees work with architects to design safe buildings and street plans. Students learn the hierarchy of design principles and safety standards. They also learn how to communicate with licensed architects. Enrollees study elements of design like balance, rhythm, and contrast.
Engineering Product DevelopmentThis class focuses on designing and marketing engineering products. Students learn how to identify market needs. They also practice using computer-aided design to illustrate plans. The class covers presentation and writing skills. Learners discover how to protect intellectual property.
Energy and SustainabilityThis class explains policies that protect the earth. The class highlights ways to responsibly use coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Students also explore green energy. Other class topics include solar, hydroelectric, wind, and geothermal power.
Specializations for Engineering
The engineering field blends science, math, and technology. Learners choose an engineering specialization. Some schools call these concentrations, tracks, or minors.
See below for three specialization options for engineering students. Not every college offers every type of specialization. However, learners can take extra courses that qualify them for jobs within that branch.
Structural EngineeringThis concentration focuses on designing large buildings with sturdy frameworks. Coursework focuses on elements of safe design. Learners identify the best load-bearing materials. Graduates may work in the private and public sectors. Structural engineering is one form of civil engineering.
Aerospace EngineeringThis concentration teaches learners how to design aircraft and spacecraft vessels. Part of the coursework also covers satellites and missiles. Students discover elements of aerodynamic fluid flow and robotics. Aerospace engineering graduates may oversee project quality standards. They also evaluate designs to ensure goals and safety.
Industrial EngineeringThis specialization integrates efficiency with machinery. Students learn how to prevent waste in the production process. Coursework emphasizes strategic thinking. Enrollees examine case studies and identify new ways to manufacture parts and deliver services. Industrial engineers play vital roles in enhancing company profits.
How to Become an Engineer
Engineers need a bachelor’s degree. Learners should choose a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Degree-seekers can research concentrations while completing their general education requirements. Some concentrations align better with specific career goals. A program’s major courses prepare students for state licensure.
Each state sets its own licensure requirements. However, most states require engineers to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Many states require at least four years of work experience for the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.
Best Online Engineering Degrees 2022
Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia University is one of the best universities in the country, consistently ranking high on the national and international level. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is commonly praised for its online engineering degree programs. Online presence
Columbia offers over 20 engineering degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. This large selection of degrees have varying requirements, all sustaining the high standard of the school. Some of the most interesting degrees offered by Columbia include:
- Earth and Environmental Engineering Doctorate Degree
- Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering
- Construction Engineering and Management
- Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Online Columbia degree that shows no distinction on whether the student earned their degree on-campus or remotely. The school’s lofty expectations for all guarantees that online students are more than capable of fulfilling roles as leaders in their chosen field.
Duke University is well known for offering online engineering educations. The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Working professionals compete for a place in the school’s Distributed Master of Engineering Management Program, an exciting twist on a traditional engineering education. Online presence
The school utilizes a hybrid cohort model, a rare teaching model in the engineering world. Students begin and end their degrees with the same classmates they spend time with during the residencies, strengthening relationships with faculty and peers. Online programs require students to:
- Attend three one-week residencies at Duke’s campus
- Take part in leadership workshops
- Connect with students and faculty
- Learn more about the profession
Students engage in the core curriculum through discussion forums, study groups in Google Hangout, and group projects. The multi-platform approach is a fantastic way for students to feel as though they are part of the Duke family.
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Cornell University knows the strong value of an online education particularly in the field of engineering. The school takes pride in providing students a Master of Engineering degree with over 15 different specialties. Those pursuing the program will learn not only about their chosen specialty but other factors affecting the industry. Online presence
Cornell’s Master of Engineering is a 30-credit hour degree that is professional in nature. Students should expect to be held up to the same ambitious standards, perhaps rising above harder. This is quite a commitment, but the esteem that comes with a Cornell degree is irreplaceable. Specializations in the program include:
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Engineering Management
- Environmental Engineering
Courses are taught both as asynchronous and synchronous courses involving virtual labs, group projects, and frequently a thesis or research project requirement.
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
The Georgia Institute of Technology offers a variety of engineering degree programs through its Department of Professional Education. This online suite of engineering degrees was created specifically for students already working in the professional field in need of a flexible way to continue education. This university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Online presence
Georgia Tech consistently ranks in the top ten of the U.S. News and World Reports of online graduate engineering school. It gives students the choice of when, how, and where they study by providing classroom materials online and in a school-specific smartphone app.
- Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
- Master of Science in Operations Research
- Master of Science in Medical Physics
Internationally unique degrees such as Professional Masters in Applied Systems Engineering and the Professional Masters make this an extraordinary place to start for almost any student.
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Catering remote learners for over 30-years, the University of Virginia is a leader in online engineering education. The school consistently ranks in the top five of graduate engineering programs year-to-year. This university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Online presence
Students can complete 30-credit hour degrees can be finished in 18 months given enough flexibility. All courses are downloadable, making classes available anytime. The professional degree for engineers, A Master of Engineering, available in six areas:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Systems Engineering
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
Students can even take online classes at other UV institutions to complete the requirements. Ongoing tech support and online-only student services desk are standard, leaving no question or concern unanswered.