What is an Engineer

Engineers design and develop new products in a variety of different industries. They might be mechanical or software engineers or create electric machinery, design chemical or geotechnical processes, or help to structure civil or management disciplines. Whatever the case may be, engineers are involved in creating the diverse technologies that facilitate the processes of our lives in different areas. Combining creative thinking with the principles of mathematics and science using a wide range of technical skills, engineers work on the design, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of various products from machines, vehicles, buildings, and roads to software or social processes serving consumers, businesses, and societies.

Engineers are creative thinkers and brilliant problem solvers. They excel at mathematical, scientific, and mechanical analysis. They follow plans and blueprints with a strong focus, yet remain flexible and work well under pressure.

Engineers develop systems for solving various problems as members of a team. They know that a single component is worthless without their counterparts, so they have to be great communicators, as well, to be successful at their job.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.74 an hour? That's $78,492 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 12,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, listening skills and math skills.

Learn more about what an Engineer does

How To Become an Engineer

If you're interested in becoming an engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.2% of engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.7% of engineers have master's degrees. Even though most engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an engineer. When we researched the most common majors for an engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an engineer. In fact, many engineer jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as project engineer or engineering internship.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$78,492
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
469,965
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Engineer Career Paths

Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Engineer resume.

resume icon

Average Salary for an Engineer

Engineers in America make an average salary of $78,492 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $103,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $59,000 per year.
Average Salary
$78,492
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Engineer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Engineer Resume Examples And Templates

Engineer Demographics

Engineer Gender Statistics

male

78.7 %

female

14.9 %

unknown

6.4 %

Engineer Ethnicity Statistics

White

73.6 %

Asian

13.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.8 %

Engineer Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

38.3 %

French

9.1 %

Chinese

7.0 %
Job Openings

Find the best Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections
Show More Engineer Demographics

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Engineer resume.

resume icon

Engineer Education

Engineer Majors

Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

65.2 %

Masters

12.7 %

Associate

11.4 %

Top Colleges for Engineers

1. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582
Show More Engineer Education Requirements
Job Openings

Find the best Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Online Courses For Engineer That You May Like

Get Expertise in Database Testing(SQL) + Linux for Testers
udemy
4.5
(489)

E2E Setup Installation E2E Database Testing coverage Joins GroupingDDLDMLDRLUnix /Linux commands +Shell Script...

Cloud Data Engineering
coursera

Welcome to the third course in the Building Cloud Computing Solutions at Scale Specialization! In this course, you will learn how to apply Data Engineering to real-world projects using the Cloud computing concepts introduced in the first two courses of this series. By the end of this course, you will be able to develop Data Engineering applications and use software development best practices to create data engineering applications. These will include continuous deployment, code quality tools, lo...

TCP/IP Training Video A Definitive & Easy To Follow Course
udemy
4.6
(807)

Essential TCP/IP Training Course For Professionals Who Manages Servers, Networks Or Any Other Network Connected Device...

Show More Engineer Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.3% of engineers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and listening skills are important as well.

12 Engineer RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For an Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Maine, and Arizona. Engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $93,823. Whereas in Washington and Maine, they would average $82,767 and $82,501, respectively. While engineers would only make an average of $82,151 in Arizona, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Engineer Jobs:
41,765
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
1.77
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Engineer Jobs:
10,859
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.85
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Arizona

Total Engineer Jobs:
5,235
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Engineers

How Do Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

3.0

Electrical engineeringDecember 2019

3.0

Zippia Official LogoElectrical engineeringDecember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Engineer?

Troubleshooting and commissioning Show More

What do you NOT like?

Undone job, when we're unable to discover certain fault on time. Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Mid Continent Oroduction MgrJuly 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoMid Continent Oroduction MgrJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Engineer?

Challenge, satisfaction of problem resolution and working with team Show More

What do you NOT like?

HR compliance and accounting auditing , quarterly budgeting rather than Annual as previously accepted. Wallstreet insistence on more frequent projections Show More

Working as an Engineer? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as an Engineer?
Rate how you like work as Engineer. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ engineers and discovered their number of engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Tata Consultancy Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $70,904. Wipro follows up with an average salary of $69,441, and then comes Caterpillar with an average of $81,852. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an engineer. The employers include Twitter, VMware, and TEKsystems

Engineer FAQs

Can everyone become an engineer?

No, not everyone can become an engineer. It takes time, dedication and a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program at a college or university. After graduating, you can get licensed to work as a Professional Engineer.

Engineering programs are very demanding and can take five years to complete. Longer for a master's or Ph.D. Admission requirements to get into an engineering program are competitive. A high GPA, strong ACT or SAT scores and letters of recommendation with a proven background in math and science are necessary to be considered.

The core curriculum includes calculus, physics, chemistry, linear algebra, and general engineering.

Learn more about this question

How can I start engineering?

You can start engineering by deciding on which field of engineering is of most interest to you. There are over 30 specialized engineering majors. Not all schools have the same offerings.

Then you must apply and enroll in a college or university accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The process of applying and finishing a bachelor's degree is rigorous and competitive.

Near the end of your engineering studies, you must take additional exams to begin working in your field. The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is one of the first exams. It takes approximately 6 hours to complete.

It might be helpful to meet with engineers in your area to interview them or find answers about what it is like to work as an engineer. This way, you can learn directly about what is required to get your dream job.

Learn more about this question

How many years does it take to become an engineer?

It takes four to five years to become an engineer. Engineering degrees are followed by post-education examinations, specialization, supervised training, and continued education. It can take 8-12 years for advanced engineering degrees.

You can study for two years and earn an associate's degree in engineering technology. This would only qualify you to be an engineering technician or technologist rather than a licensed engineer, which requires at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited program.

Learn more about this question