The engineering profession can be broken down into a number of subject areas. For most of these areas, each is its own bachelor’s degree. Civil engineering is the design of civil architecture. This includes the design of buildings, roads, drainage, landscaping, and other architecture. It is also concerned with the design of waterways and bridges. Civil engineers frequently receive basic training in surveying; surveying certifications can be earned as an associate’s degree or certificate program under civil engineering and design technology.
Mechanical engineering is often called general engineering. This degree includes an overview of statics and dynamics, material science, load analysis, and machinery design. When civil engineers design bridges, they may rely on mechanical engineers to design the trusses and supports, they also design heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, a specialty called HVAC.
Architectural engineers are a subset of civil engineers, designing buildings in accordance to building codes and safety standards. Environmental engineers, who design environmental systems or organic interfaces like living marshes, are a subset of civil engineering. Electrical engineers design circuits that carry electricity. This extends to power networks, electronic circuits, and microchips. Those engineers who design software for electronics and computers are called computer engineers. However they can also include programmers and those who write machine languages.
Industrial engineers are efficiency experts. Their training also covers probability, system modeling, system analysis, manufacturing plant design, and ergonomics. Industrial engineers are typified as the person with the stop watch measuring the cycle time of machinery operators working. However, industrial engineers are also trained in eliminating wasted time, effort and energy from any type of process. Before six sigma was a process improvement methodology, it was a quality standard for industrial engineers.
Drafting and Computer Aided Design has traditionally been a specialization within the profession. This is taught to most students, but those seeking to work as drafters can receive an associate’s degree in drafting and CAD from most engineering schools.
Biomedical engineering is the design of life saving devices and technologies. From the design of artificial joints to artificial organs, tissue graft methodologies to new laboratory equipment, this is the merging of medicine and mechanical design. Biomedical engineering degrees are typically earned with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a master’s degree in biomedical design or an additional one to two years of medical courses.
Chemical engineers design manufacturing processes and equipment to support those processes. This includes the design of chemical manufacturing plants and recycling methods. Petroleum engineers are a specialization of chemical engineers with training in oil and gas equipment design and support.