What is Engineering?

Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

Educational Resources

Who is an Engineer

Engineers are problem-solvers who want to make things work more efficiently and quickly and less expensively. From computer chips and satellites to medical devices and renewable energy technologies – and of course extracting hydrocarbons – engineering makes our modern life possible. In particular, electrical engineers and computer engineers have a wide range of study options and career paths that let them design, build, and manage those ideas into reality.

Engineering Careers

The field of engineering has become so diverse in recent years that a definition is not easy to come by. Yes, engineers still build skyscrapers, design machinery, and oversee public works. But that’s only the beginning. They also address society’s needs and problems on a number of other scales with a unique blend of technology and science.

Why should you choose an Engineering Education?

Science and art, mathematics and creativity, models and approximations. Engineering encompasses all of these. The field of engineering has grown so much in recent years that a definition is not easy to come by. Engineers do build bridges and skyscrapers, design machinery, and oversee public works. But that’s only the beginning.

Tasked with solving real-world problems, engineers integrate their knowledge of the physical sciences with more abstract realms to take us beyond the boundaries of current technology–in all areas of life. Chemical and bioengineers are working on drug delivery systems that work inside cells at the molecular level.

On the other end of the spectrum materials scientists are developing data storage techniques using the spin of electrons in atoms. And environmental engineers are quantifying the particle flow of pollutants through soil to better understand how to clean up abandoned industrial sites, oil spills, and other biohazards.

This website offers an introduction to basic engineering concepts, allows you to conduct experiments in a virtual laboratory, and describes hands-on projects helping you to discover just what engineering is all about.

petroleum engineering

Petroleum Engineers

Normally the highest-paid job in the country, Petroleum Engineering is a high-intensity field full of challenge and adventure. If you have the stomach to ride out the bad times and enjoy the good, you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Work hard, get paid – here’s what you can earn, live like a king (or queen).


Mechanical Engineering


Thanks to the efforts of people that have obtained a machanical engineer degree, modern life has become much easier. Individuals that are interested in science and the way things operate will find much pleasure from studying this field and obtaining a college degree to improve their job prospects. Most of the business requirements for these positions require that people understand how using power to create, manufacture and operate various tools can allow the usage of these items. The science behind mechanical items is one of the oldest known to mankind and has shaped the world in ways immeasurable.


People around the world can obtain a mechanical engineer degree. Many of the top colleges and universities in the world have a sophisticated engineering department that will assist the students in becoming knowledgeable in the field. Students can choose to obtain an undergraduate or grad degree and have the option of choosing those courses that will best suit their personal interests.

For those seeking degrees beyond the four year level, the types of jobs that are available tend to be more involved in research and discovering new information. For someone that strives to be a professor or teach others about mechanics, this is a viable option to obtain a satisfying career.

Classes Required

The types of classes that a student studying mechanical engineering will vary according to the college they attend. Engineering classes usually require a strong foundation in science and mathematics. Students need to understand how a mechanical system can operate and which features of the process enable it to operate efficiently.

Design aspects are covered as well as how the transfer of energy from one source to another works. Exposure to these various subjects will help the engineering student gain the critical skills that will allow them to add value to the industry. Many colleges offer opportunities for the students to intern at various companies and gain experience while they are still in school.

Types of Jobs

The good news for people interested in mechanical engineering is that there is a robust job market for these positions. Salaries are very good and an experience professional can expect to earn enough to afford a comfortable lifestyle. The benefits that come with the job help to motivate these individuals to work even harder and create new and innovative products. In addition to the financial rewards, the work itself challenges people on a daily basis. Finding ways to improve upon current processes is what leads to change within the world.

These changes can have a major impact on society and improve life. The modern mechanical engineer uses a variety of computerized applications to assist in their daily tasks. CAE and CAD are complex programs that aid in creating effective plans for new and existing designs. Understanding how these programs work will assist anyone seeking a degree within in this field. Embarking on the study of engineering is a lifelong process that has many rewards. Obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering takes a lot of work and commitment. It also will provide a satisfying job experience.

Career Branches

After obtaining a mechanical engineer degree, many people enter the workforce. Staring out in this field usually means recent college grads will work as an apprentice under a more experience professional. This helps the new job entrant to learn the needed skills to advance within the field. It also offers an opportunity to create a professional network that will prove useful in later years. Building crucial communication and management skills cannot usually be learned in school.

The first job is a perfect place to hone these abilities and learn what makes a person a successful engineer. This is also the time when a younger worker can work on obtaining a license. Licensed individuals have proven their technical knowledge by undergoing a series of tests. This provides a level of guarantee that the individual possesses the needed skills to add value to the industry.


Chemical Engineering

Introduction & Salary

Getting a Chemical Engineer degree is the first step on the road to a highly valued and rewarding career. Chemical Engineers can typically make salaries of over $100,000 a year and are sort after by many vital industries. Material Manufacturing, Food Processing and Energy companies all depend on the technical research and creative scientific advances only a skilled and well educated Chemical Engineer can provide them.


To earn this school degree you must be willing to take a heavy course load. An aptitude for logistical mathematics, science and the study of chemistry is of utmost importance. Exploration and problem solving skills play a large part in this field of engineering study. Individual work endeavor plus the ability to work comfortably within a team project or in a group effort is always necessary.

If you are interested in the field of engineering it helps to start preparing during your high school years. Superior grades and impressive test scores in math and science are key. Plan your high school course selections in these subjects wisely. Consult your school guidance counselor or academic advisor for strategies as early as your freshman year of high school.

Classes Required

Essential science studies for the future Chemical Engineer include advanced classes in Chemistry and Physics. Geology and Biology should also be taken if possible in high school. Courses in logistical mathematics particularly Calculus, Geometry, Trigonometry and Algebra are usually a requirement for any engineering program admittance. And contrary to what most future engineering students believe, it will also benefit you to make sure all areas of your high school coursework are admirable.

It is important to maintain above average grades and test scores in English, Language, History and the Humanities. A sharp well-rounded high school student will have a much greater choice of Engineering schools and scholarship opportunities.

Finding the Right University

When deciding to obtain this demanding degree you will also want to pick the right college, university, technical school or certification program. Always make sure the school Engineering department is accepted by the Accreditation Board for Engineering. When contacting or visiting an educational institution, always ask pointed questions about their Chemical Engineering degree program and their degree programs as a whole.
Inquire about the staff and faculty members that will be instructing you.

Academic and professional backgrounds are both pertinent to their teaching style. Tour classrooms, labs and computer facilities with a knowledgeable guide while on campus. Be sure to ask about class size, lectures and field experiences offered to students. Extracurricular activities, student internships and a career counseling center will complement any college degree. If a college or university has a fraternal system, look for a chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon, a chemical engineering honor society fraternity.

Major Branches

Once you have chosen to pursue this degree, you will want to zero in on a specialty within this major. These can include Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Process Engineering and Materials Engineering amongst others. Many students will complete this degree program to satisfy their Pre-Medical or Pre-Dental undergraduate requirement before graduate school.

There are a host of employment possibilities for the new graduate. A well taught student will have learned how to put chemical composition and analysis to work to tackle scientific and global issues that affect all of us. Private, Commercial, Government and Military based employers have a need to hire Chemical Engineers. The demanding combination of scholastic, experience and devotion to science assures them of an often superlative future employee. It is of this demanding background that future leaders are made.

Career Branches

Career possibilities in this field are constantly expanding. Engineering firms concentrating in Civil Engineering, Hazwoper Training, Nuclear Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Petrochemical Engineering are always on the lookout for Chemical Engineers. Pharmaceutical, Computer, Paper, Telecommunication and Environmental Protection Industries also appreciate and hire the well educated Chemical Engineer. Seek out a Chemical Engineer degree if you want to weather any economic storm with an education that will lead to results.

Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering is a branch of engineering that involves working with design, construction, and maintenance. Getting a civil engineering degree will allow you to work with buildings, roads, bridges, canals, and more. Getting a degree in this field can be a lot of work, but the rewards and job opportunities available in the field make the effort well worth it. In order to determine is a civil engineering degree is right for you, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Most people that excel in this field find that there strong classes in school were math and science, and that they are good problem solvers.

Communication skills are also essential in the field, as engineering often involves being part of a team and working together in order to solve problems. To work as a professional engineer you need to get a license, which is available after completing a program, getting work experience, and passing a state exam.


Levels of Degrees

There are a many levels of degrees that you could get when you pursue civil engineering. The first one is an associate’s degree that would give the student certification as a civil engineer technician. This degree is enough to work at entry-level jobs in engineering. This is a good option if one needs to start working as soon as possible, and if they feel more comfortable being part of a team and taking orders rather than managing or overseeing an engineering team.

The next level would be to obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering. These degrees are usually more science and math based, rather than focusing solely on the technical aspects that the associate’s degree covers. A Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering would most likely lead to a job managing a team of civil engineer technicians.

It is also possible to get a master’s degree in civil engineering, though it is not something that most engineers pursue. If, however, you would prefer to work in an academic environment and you prefer the theory and ideas behind engineering more than the application of it, you might wish to get your master’s and train other students that are working on their degrees in civil engineering. In a master’s program students would take many of the courses offered in the bachelor’s program, but at a more advanced level. They would also experience classes more specific engineering.

If, however, you would prefer to work in an academic environment and you prefer the theory and ideas behind engineering more than the application of it, you might wish to get your master’s and train other students that are working on their degrees in civil engineering. In a master’s program students would take many of the courses offered in the bachelor’s program, but at a more advanced level. They would also experience classes more specific engineering. If you are looking to get a degree in civil engineering as a second career or you don’t have time to spare to go to school full time, the good news it that it is also possible to obtain your degree online. There are a number of schools and programs that offer the online degree, so you can work on your degree from home in your own free time.

Classes Required

While working on a bachelor’s you can expect to take courses such as calculus, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, and physics.

Career Branches

One of the advantages of getting a civil engineer degree is that there are many various job opportunities. If one pursues a degree in civil engineering he or she may wish to choose an area to specialize in. Some of the options include environmental engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and many more. Once an area of specialization has been selected, the civil engineer can look for jobs in both the public and private sector. Both areas have advantages and disadvantages. Though the pay is usually better with private companies, working in the public sector often provides better benefits.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineers

Electrical Engineering helped invent the computer, DSL, cellular phones, microchips, and solar panels, to name just a few examples. DVD players, cellular phones, radio, television, computers, airplanes, air conditioning, cars, motorcycles, home appliances, life-saving medical equipment, computer games, and Martian battles fought with joysticks represent a mere sampling of the now familiar facets of life made possible with the input of electrical engineers.

Introduction & Salary

Outlook studies and reports show the electrical engineering job field and related career areas will remain exceptionally stable through at least 2018. With the need for specialized electronics in various fields, including telecommunication, robotics and emerging alternative energy, it’s highly likely the industry will see an increased need for educated people with an electrical engineer degree to begin work on new projects and technologies.

Electrical engineering covers such a broad expanse of specialties that engineers may work in any number of fields, facilities and work environments. The median pay for an electrical engineer in 2008 was $80,000 annually, with some branches and experienced engineers making much more than that. For those interested in earning an electrical engineer degree, there are several important aspects of the field and training to plan for ahead of time.

Educational Requirements

A strong background in mathematics (basic and advanced) and the sciences – especially physics- is a must for anyone who is seeking an electrical engineer degree. Reading, writing and communication skills are just as important, however, as an electrical engineer will often be responsible for meeting with clients to discuss projects, proposals and budgets. Computer skills are also absolutely necessary as most professional engineers often use computer based design software to help build their projects and blueprints.

For an entry level job in the engineering field, a BA in an applied science, engineering or technology field is usually required, with advanced mathematics and science classes incorporated with the degree. Project management is also very useful for many engineers, as are communication classes such as public speaking or technical writing. Many engineers go on to earn a Master’s or Doctorate degree, or train for specialized sub-fields such as power engineering, control engineering or telecommunications.

Finding the Right University

Many students choose to take their prerequisite classes at a vocational school or community college and transfer to a four-year university to finish their studies. This is often one of the most affordable ways to earn a degree; many community colleges and vocational schools offer basic electronic, drafting and computer classes at a lower price than large universities. There are also reputable online schools that offer high level degrees in engineering. With online schooling becoming a more popular option for many people who cannot relocate to attend a university, accredited Internet based schools are becoming a very viable choice.

Researching training options and funding sources (Pell Grants, scholarships and student loans) is highly recommended before settling on any one school. It’s also recommended for a student who is considering an engineering degree brush up on basic math and science skills, which are usually available through a community college and adult remedial programs. Most universities, vocational schools and community colleges have student advisers that can give more detailed information about specific programs.

Career Branches

Electrical engineers work on the cutting edge of technology in almost every field; they may design robotics for large manufacturing plants all over the world, work on new wiring and electrical systems for commercial airplanes and jets, bring electricity to homes, buildings and arenas, and even prepare remote electrical controlling systems for space shuttles. There are also a variety of work environments that electrical engineers find themselves in.

For example, it’s not uncommon for an engineer to work in a large corporate office designing computer-aided diagrams and blueprints for clients halfway around the world. Conversely, they may work in industrial plants, mines, and rural areas with developing energy needs. Wherever there is a need for electrical technology, an engineer is there at the forefront leading the way.