The challenge of making it through six years of schooling for a master’s degree will definitely put your tenacity to the test. You must remain determined and focused to complete each required course with high marks. The time and effort you put into earning a master’s in engineering degree will definitely pay off, especially if you choose a highly competitive field. The engineering specializations allow you to focus on solving technical problems in a specific subject. The work environment, job duties, potential for advancement and pay range all vary considerably for each specialization. Before you sign up for a particular engineering field, you should learn a bit more about what to expect from that career path.
Electrical engineers use their skills and knowledge to create electronic gadgets, tools and testing equipment. In this field, you will work on creating circuits that perform a wide range of functions from timekeeping to power supply. Classes you take to earn this degree may focus on properties of electricity, circuit creation, control systems, large-scale power grids, drafting and telecommunications.
As an electrical engineer, you have the option to work for a wide range of business types, such as utility companies, product designers and computer manufacturers. For most jobs, you will design electrical grids and components using manual sketches and computer aided drafting software. You will likely perform your job duties in a lab or office environment for the bulk of your workday.
Electrical engineers can expect a starting salary of $59,000 with steady growth up to $129,332 at the senior level.
Aerospace engineering students learn how to design and test aircraft ranging from small rockets to full size jets. Professionals in this field use a combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering knowledge to complete the builds. Coursework you will complete for this degree may include chemistry, applied mathematics, material science, aerodynamics and flight mechanics.
With this degree, you can pursue a career designing personal or commercial planes, military aircraft or spacecraft of all kinds. Depending on your career field, your workday may be split up between drawing up plans on your own, working in teams on new builds or testing the creations out in the field.
The salary range for aerospace engineers begins at $61,190 and tops off around $164,716 for senior workers.
The chemical engineering profession mainly focuses on coming up with solutions for the healthcare, food and fuel fields. The unique solutions require an extensive understanding of the way different substances interact at the chemical level. In addition to general education requirements, you will study chemistry, mathematics, biology, material handling procedures and industrial production practices in great detail while earning this degree.
Employers in this field range from private for-profit companies to government entities. You may work directly in an industrial production environment or spend time analyzing research in a scientific lab. You will likely perform most of your job duties solo, but report back to colleagues on your findings.
At entry level, you can expect an annual salary of $59,287 with growth up to senior pay at $127,743.
As a computer engineer, you will design software and hardware that solves specific personal and commercial obstacles. The devices created in this specialization range in size from microscopic nanocomputers to room sized supercomputers. After pushing your math level past calculus, you may extensively study software programming, hardware design, electrical circuits, physics, logic, data analysis, embedded systems and algorithms.
Computer engineers can start a career designing systems for public transportation vehicles, automated industrial equipment and consumer products. You may spend the majority of your workday creating the programs or circuit layouts using computer software programs. You may work independently or contribute to the efforts of a large team.
Your salary may start at an annual rate of $64,736 with regular promotions up to the $134,471 maximum.
Environmental engineers come up with innovative systems that support the health of the natural ecosystem in each region. In this field, you may need to continually attempt to improve upon current waste management, sustainability, wildlife habitat, water processing and pollution control systems.
For this degree, you will study soil science, biology, geology, pollution, chemistry, physics, logic and practical math subjects in depth. Upon entering the workforce, you may perform research out in the field and product development in an office environment or laboratory. The majority of your fieldwork will be done independently, with group projects more common in lab and office spaces.
Environmental engineers begin their career at $47,098 a year to eventually reach the senior pay level of $103,771.
Automotive engineers develop the control systems used on modern commercial and personal automobiles. You may design or upgrade components used to power, steer, brake and support these vehicles. Engineers also develop safety components and help create automated piloting systems for self-driving cars. For this career path, you will study automation, mechanics, applied statistics, automotive theory, fuel systems, electronics and ergonomics.
You will work in a lab environment throughout most of your career. You may also head out onto the test track to see your creations perform in a real world environment. Most vehicles are designed as a team from start to finish.
As an automotive engineer, you can expect to start at a yearly salary of $40,760 and continually work toward the $102,637 maximum.
Biomedical engineers work on improving equipment used to diagnose, treat and care for people and animals in need of health interventions. In this field, you will use a strong knowledge of biological processes and mechanical or electrical systems to develop new approaches to providing care. While studying the biomedical field, you will take many courses exploring organic chemistry, physics, molecules, cell anatomy, programming and social sciences.
You may work for private hospitals, public research labs or government entities after training for this engineering specialization. You will likely spend the bulk of your time developing and testing theories that lead to patient care improvements.
Starting pay for the biomedical engineering field sits around $60,021 while senior professionals enjoy an annual salary of $99,373.
The robotic engineering field currently focuses on developing systems that automate production and service environments. The goal is to develop robotic systems that improve workplace safety and productivity levels without excessively increasing overhead costs. To learn in depth knowledge about the field of robotics, you will take courses concerning electronics, mechanical systems, applied mathematics, logic, programming and motion planning.
As a robotics engineer, you can work on consumer products, industrial applications or private projects, depending on your career focus. You may work on a specific robotic function or oversee the development of the entire device. Either way, most robotic development work is performed in large team environments.
Robotic engineers can make a starting salary of $50,624, which goes all the way up to an annual wage of $100,777.