A Look at the Different Fields of Engineering

The fields of engineering have expanded tremendously over the years. Until only a few years ago, students could choose from five main disciplines – mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, and industrial. Today, students can explore a much wider range of engineering fields including robotics, biomedical, geomatics, marine, and microelectronic engineering among others. 

Interestingly, all fields of engineering have tremendous potential. This includes both the traditional as well as the new and emerging engineering fields. It’s impossible to list all the different engineering fields but we’ve showcased some of the more popular ones below. 

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is among the broadest of all engineering fields. It focuses on designing, building, and developing mechanical systems and devices such as machines, engines, and other tools. 

These professionals are experts in analyzing projects to understand how a mechanical device may be used to help the project. Mechanical engineers also design and test machines to determine suitability for a specific project. They combine superior math and physics knowledge with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in this field of engineering. And, they use their knowledge and skills to transform concepts into functional products such as household appliances, vehicles, ships, and turbines. 

Fluid Mechanics, Computational Engineering, Manufacturing, Acoustics, and Computer Aided Design (CAD) are just some of the many branches within mechanical engineering.  

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is an engineering field that primarily deals with the use of chemicals. 

Chemical engineers do extensive laboratory research using scientific concepts from chemistry, physics, math, and biology. They use their knowledge of sciences to design and create innovative materials and products and develop pioneering techniques to harness and transform energy. 

Chemical engineers may work with microorganisms, pharmaceuticals, food, and fuels. They focus on solving problems that impact the use or production of drugs, chemicals, food, and more. Experienced chemical engineers are often employed by manufacturing plants to boost product quality and maximize productivity while lowering operating costs. 

Biomedical engineering, biochemical engineering, nuclear engineering, and chemical nanotechnology are some of the branches of chemical engineering. 

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of structures in the public and private sectors. These include structures such as roads, bridges, airports, tunnels, water supply systems, subways, sewer systems, and dams. 

Civil engineers specialize in solving problems related to infrastructure. They are employed in a wide range of industries including urban planning, transportation, and space. Civil engineers spend just as much time on project sites as they do in an office. Today, civil engineers who have experience designing and constructing eco-friendly structures are in very high demand. 

Branches of civil engineering include environmental engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, and infrastructure engineering. 

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering deals with designing, manufacturing, and testing electrical equipment and electronics. 

These professionals are experts in designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintaining all types of electrical components. This includes those used in communication systems, navigation, power generation, and motors. They may work with small objects such as microchips and circuits to large-scale projects such as satellites, fiber-optic networks, and power station generators. 

Electrical engineers may be employed in a range of industries, including telecommunications, research, manufacturing, and more. Their exact job function depends on the industry they are employed in. These professionals may work in an office, lab, or on-site depending on the project they are working on. 

Branches of electrical engineering include computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, electronic engineering, microelectronics, and instrument engineering, among others. 

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering integrates engineering with general business practices to improve quality and boost efficiency while lowering operating costs. 

Engineers in this field perform a diverse range of tasks within a wide range of industries. They develop information systems, design safe workplaces, manage inventories, and oversee personnel assignments. industrial engineers must work well with others and collaborate with them to develop systems that maximize safety and productivity. 

Operations research, industrial safety, and security management, industrial safety engineering, production engineering, and occupational risk prevention are some of the branches of industrial engineering. 

Architectural Engineering 

Architectural engineering is a field of engineering that focuses on the application of technological aspects of conceptualizing, designing, and construction of buildings. 

Architectural engineers create blueprints for constructing, renovating, and maintaining buildings while taking into account their impact on the surrounding environment. Their goal is to engineer resilient buildings, sustaining, and economically viable. With that goal in mind end, they pay special attention to parameters such as ventilation, heating, electrical and fire protection, air conditioning, and earthquake protection, among others. 

Architectural engineers can specialize in areas such as urban planning, landscape architecture, restoration architecture, lighting architecture, or extreme architecture. 

Biomedical Engineering 

Biomedical engineering is an engineering field that integrates the study of biology and medicine. 

Engineers in this field apply their expert knowledge in science, engineering, and design to create and maintain all sorts of equipment related to biological and medical sciences. A biomedical engineer may specialize in designing and creating diagnostic equipment such as imaging machines and other healthcare equipment. They play a significant role in helping to improve healthcare treatment technologies. 

There are several areas of specializing within biomedical engineering including bionanotechnology, bioinstrumentation, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, neuroengineering, and biomechanics. 

Do any of these fields of engineering sound interesting to you? Explore more with College Raptor’s FREE Career Finder Tool. Learn about the skills you’ll need in the field, the knowledge required for your career path, career trajectory, and more!