What Are the Most Common Types of Engineers?

What Are the Most Common Types of Engineers?

The US Department of Labor reports that engineering jobs will grow by 6 percent from now until 2030. Over 140,000 occupations will be added to the workforce. The median annual wage for engineering occupations was over $83,000 in 2020.

Want to know more about the different types of engineers there are? Whether you’re interested in becoming an engineer or hiring an engineer, check out this guide. We’ll describe some of the different specialties within this career field and what these professionals can do.

Types of Engineers

Although there are different kinds of engineers, all of them have a common purpose. Engineering means using different fields of science to solve problems with products that don’t naturally exist. Some examples of different engineering careers include the following:

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers use sciences – such as biology and chemistry to develop products in a laboratory for commercial or industrial markets. These products include pharmaceuticals, food, and fuels.

Chemical engineers develop these products in a lab and then translate these lab practices into practical applications to commercially produce these products. A chemical engineer will also evaluate these applications and identify any improvements.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers design, construct and maintain infrastructure projects. These infrastructure projects include roads, bridges, as well as water and sewer systems. You’ll find civil engineers working in many industries such as urban planning, transportation, or space.

Similar occupations to civil engineering include construction site management as well as landscape architecture. You can also hire a civil engineer that specializes in eco-friendly building practices that help fight off climate change.

Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer analyzes projects to identify whether a mechanical device can be used to build a product. The mechanical engineer will also design and test these machines and investigate failures to find out how the machinery can be improved.

Mechanical engineers are hired to build a wide range of products. These products range from refrigeration systems to electric generators. Mechanical engineers are also hired in the automotive and medical device industries as well. refrigeration systems.


Regardless of their field of specialty, an engineer working in the US must have their professional license.. There are currently two exams that an engineer needs to pass to receive their license in the US:

The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE)

This exam is for recent engineering graduates or those close to graduating from a university. This exam tests a student in seven different engineering concept areas. These areas can range from industrial to mechanical systems.

The Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE)

After four years of practical, on-the-job experience, engineering students can now sign up to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE).

This exam assesses the candidate’s competency level in their chosen engineering specialty. When the candidate passes this exam, they’re considered a licensed professional engineer.

To learn more about these licensing exams, head over to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying website. This organization administers the PE and FE exams. They also have a selection of resources to help you prepare yourself to take these exams.

Next Steps

Feel like you know more about the different types of engineers there are? If not, head over to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying website. You can find out more there on what kind of on-the-job experience their PE candidates must have.

Don’t forget to check out our website. Explore our trending topics to gain more insight into the different engineering careers there are out there. We’ll help you find the right specialty to fit your needs