Online Associate’s Degree in Engineering

If you’re interested in building things, solving problems and designing quality products, an online associates degree in engineering may be the perfect choice for you. This flexible degree could help you pursue variety of possible career paths in the long run. Many different areas of concentration may be available for people who want to launch their engineering studies online.

Various Concentrations for an Online Associates Degree in Engineering Program

You may have options when it comes to earning an online associates degree in engineering. Degree programs may offer a number of different concentrations, depending on future career plans. Some of the common choices are:[i]

  • Civil Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

By choosing one of these fields for your degree, you can choose which general career path you would like to pursue in the long run.

Skills and Qualities for a Career in Engineering

People who want to pursue a career in engineering may need a number of distinctive qualities and skills. According to O*Net, these are some of the most important ones for mechanical engineering technicians.

  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate or assemble very small objects.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate or assemble objects.[ii]

These skills are a complex combination of intellectual and physical traits. A degree program in engineering can help you cultivate all of them.

What Industries May Employ People in Engineering?

Engineers may work in various industries. Some of the most popular industries for civil engineers, for example, include the petroleum industry, agriculture, rail transport, architecture, construction and mining.[iii] According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates in engineering with an associate’s degree may be able to pursue entry level jobs as drafters, engineering technicians, operations technicians or mapping technicians.[iv]

The median annual wage of an engineering drafter was $51,940 in 2014, above the national median wage of $35,540 during the same year.[v] The federal government currently employs 14,020 engineering technicians, while 4,630 work in scientific research and development and an additional 2,480 work for state government.[vi]

Choosing an Online Associates Degree in Engineering Program

An online associates degree in engineering could be a smart choice for people who might wish to pursue this industry. If you’re great at problem solving and you have a good eye for detail, this possible career path could be good for you. Individual schools can give you information about possible financial aid that may be available to qualified students and other details.