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What are different types of engineering and what do they do?

I am a sophomore in high school and am very interested in some type of hands on engineering. Also I love using computers. #engineering

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Troy’s Answer

Hi Sean:
The primary types of engineering are:
- Civil - roads, bridges, buildings, dams, etc
- Electrical - power, communications, instrumentation systems, etc
- Mechanical - manufacturing/industrial plants, conveyors, vehicles, etc
- Chemical - food/medical, polymers, etc.

IF you like math, civil, electrical and mechanical may be right for you. If you are more into chemistry, then think about chemical engineering.

You might ask an adviser at your school to arrange a visit with local engineers to get a feel for what they do.

Feel free to ask me any further questions.


I am also interested in this Sean. Maybe we could talk about our interests sometime. Sean O.

Sean maybe we can have a discussion about this topic. I am also interested in this field Jon C.

Thank you! Sean M.

Sean I would also like to become an engineer, if you end up gaining anymore knowledge on this topic could you please let me know. Patryk K.

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Lucy’s Answer

Hi Sean I am not an Engineer, but have recruited them for many years. If you are interested in computers and software Computer Science or Information Technology degrees can be pretty broad. You could develop software for hardware or just software products for companies. Companies also like these degrees for people that work in Product space which can be Project Managers, Product Specialist and Business Analyst. If you do go with any type of engineering degree I highly recommend doing internships to see what you like and it gives you insight into all the different areas of the business. I think everyone thinks if they get a Computer Science degree they just code and they are so many other areas it can translate into.

Best of Luck


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Nicholas’s Answer

Here are some other types of engineering that are lesser known, but still very sought after and respected:

Agricultural engineering: You can either focus on the crop development side which has more biology or the farm equipment side which is more mechanical.

Nuclear engineering: There are careers working for energy companies and the military as well.

Biological engineering: This engineering applies to the career areas of food production, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, and the environment.

Biomedical engineering: In a nutshell this is combining the medical field and engineering. You can design medical equipment, prosthetics, or pharmaceuticals as well. This is a good pre-med field.

Packaging engineering: So many things, big and small, come in packages. This field focuses on designing them to be strong, cheap, attractive, and so on.

Environmental engineering: This area can work with waste water, erosion prevention, and all other environmental problems that need solving.

Industrial engineering: This area primarily focuses on logistics and efficiencies within systems and supply chains. Think Amazon.com or UPS. Someone designed the system of how packages can get to your door the day after you ordered it, in the cheapest, safest way possible.

Materials engineering: This type of engineering deals with different materials and their properties. They discover new materials that are lighter, stronger, or whatever else they need for their application. This applies to many fields.

Petroleum engineering: Oil and gas systems engineering.

There are probably a few I missed also. I hope this helps you make an informed decision!

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Steve’s Answer

Sean, if you like using computers and like programming, then I recommend a Computer related degree. The field is broad and always looking for good people. It will allow you the satisfaction of fixing things without getting your hands dirty. But, if you like getting a bit dirty, then you could get involved with datacenter operations, networking, and server installations.

If you can find something you like to also do in your free time, then that is the best job for you. Nothing is better than the feeling that your work is fun. If you enjoy what you do, they you will rise to the top if your field very quickly!