What Degree Do I Need
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What degree do I need to be an engineer?

Engineering is a career that involves using math and science in order to solve a problem. There are several types of engineers, with chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineers making up the bulk of the professionals in this large field. Each specialty has its own requirements before you can practice engineering, but they all tend to entail the same general degree path.

Bachelor's Degree

Simply put, you need a Bachelor of Science in Engineering to become an engineer. Most people involved in this type of degree program can choose which specialty they would like, and will need to take classes specific to that field. For example, students who choose to focus on aerospace engineering may take slightly different courses than those who elect to study mechanical engineering. However, all engineering students can expect to take lots of math and science classes. They often include chemistry, linear algebra, calculus, and statistics.

Master's Degree

Though most engineering jobs require only a bachelor's degree, some employers encourage engineers to get a master's degree if they wish to earn more. It often depends on the specialty you choose. For example, biomedical engineers and mechanical engineers can often make good money with a bachelor's degree, while electrical engineers usually need a master's degree to enter higher paid positions.

If you are not sure whether you need a master's degree for your field, consider sticking with a bachelor's degree until you are able to find a job, since many employers will pay for their employees to further their education. Of course, if nearly every job description in your chosen specialty mentions a master's degree as a requirement, you may need to get it sooner.

Licensing

Once you get at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, you should look into the licensing requirements. In the US, if you are going to be offering your services to the public, you need to pass a licensing test that consists of two written exams and an internship. This will give you the title of Professional Engineer, or PE, which can give you an edge in the application process as you attempt to get an engineering job.


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