Fields of Engineering Overview

Engineering is a profession in which people apply scientific theory to develop, design, and analyze solutions. Generally, engineering consists of major basic branches which all have numerous subdisciplines. The major branches of engineering are civil, chemical, software, mechanical, electrical, and industrial.

Major Engineering Fields and Subfields

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biomolecular engineering
  • Materials engineering
  • Molecular engineering
  • Process Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Transport Engineering
  • Water resources engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Optical Engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Thermal engineering
  • Acoustical engineering
  • Vehicle engineering
  • Energy engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Web engineering
  • Cryptographic engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Applied Engineering
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Industrial engineering

Types of Engineering

Aerospace engineers analyze, design, simulate, model, and test spacecraft, aircraft, missiles, satellites, and rockets. People who work in aerospace engineering may be involved in such things as developing space instruments such as telescopes, or developing military jets or commercial airliners.

Audio engineers create sounds in movies, video games, television shows, or at concerts. There are thousands of different career options in the field of audio engineering.

Biomedical engineers study both biology and medicine and work to develop technology in the medical field. Biomedical engineers may develop items such as prosthetic devices, diagnostic machines, or joint replacement parts.

Agricultural engineers apply engineering science and technology to agriculture. Agricultural engineers may help in developing advances in agriculture and farming, work to apply engineering technology to protect natural resources, and develop power systems that help support agriculture.

Chemical engineers use the science of chemical changes to develop better medicines, plastics, fuels, paper, and countless other materials. Chemical engineers may also work to protect the environment by creating clean technologies, and studying the effect of different chemicals on the environment.

Civil engineers generally oversee the construction of infrastructure such as bridges, highways, railways, skyscrapers, and water reservoirs. While architects are the ones that design structures, it is civil engineers who work to ensure that things are properly built.

Electrical engineers often develop components for items such as cameras, music players, communications systems, and even roller coasters. Electrical engineering includes both macro and micro work. Electrical engineers may work in computer networks, robotics, or many other areas.

Environmental engineers study how to protect the environment. Many environmental engineers work on developing ways to prevent air pollution, clean up oceans, and rivers, create more effective recycling solutions, and more.

Mechanical engineers can perform a number of different jobs from developing aircraft carriers to car engines, or basically anything that involves some type of mechanical process. Often, mechanical engineers are referred to as general practitioners of engineering as they work in many different areas.

Nuclear engineers work to harness the power of atoms by finding different ways to capture the natural bursts of energy that results from sub-atomic particles breaking apart molecules. Nuclear engineers may work with fusion reactors and materials, the interaction of radiation with matter, or the production and use of radioisotopes.

There are many more exciting fields of engineering that can be explored. Many fields have overlap and may involve several different types of engineers. For more information on the different fields of engineering, visit the following pages.