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Enrolling in a PhD in Engineering program might be a good idea for students who want to advance their education to become authorities in the career field of their choice. Achieving this degree is an ambitious goal that might enable students to apply for almost any position they desire. Students who earn a PhD in engineering studies typically have the chance to pursue a variety of fascinating careers. The projected growth rate for engineering occupations between 2020 and 2030 is 6%, and it is anticipated that 146,000 new jobs will be created. This guide explains the PhD in engineering including online phd in engineering programs; and answers questions like what is a PhD in engineering, how to do PhD in engineering, how long to get a PhD in engineering, why getting a PhD in engineering, is getting a PhD in engineering worth it, and more.


Best Ph.D. in Engineering

It is difficult for most prospective PhD students to find the top universities for PhD in electrical engineering, the top universities for PhD in mechanical engineering, and so on. This is because several factors must be considered when ranking a school, such as the quality and experience of the faculty, availability of suitable PhD guides or mentors, access to excellent research facilities and labs, accreditation, and more. FBD teams have searched the country for the best PhD in engineering programs based on these and other factors. Here is a list of the best universities for PhD in engineering: *

The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly known as Georgia Tech or, in the state of Georgia, as Tech, is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1885, it initially offered only a degree in mechanical engineering, but today has six colleges and contains about 31 departments or units that focus on science and technology.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Georgia Institute of Technology, Main Campus 225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 $14,570 92%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page.

What to expect from PhD in
Engineering Programs

A PhD in engineering typically requires five to seven years of graduate study, and those with this highly regarded degree are eligible for a wide range of rewarding professional opportunities. When enrolling in a PhD engineering online program, one or more engineering professors frequently work closely with doctoral students as PhD advisers to help them with their research and dissertation. Candidates for a PhD in engineering can anticipate finishing a written dissertation based on original research. Schools may stipulate that, as part of the dissertation procedure, PhD candidates must pass written or oral (or both) qualifying exams and defend their findings in front of a PhD advisory committee.

Can a PhD be done online? Yes. Online education has its own set of advantages, including flexible class scheduling, reduced tuition, and reduced travel expenses. Online learning is especially well suited for working adults who want to finish their education without giving up their jobs or family responsibilities. That said, not all fields offer online PhD programs in engineering, although one might find a college willing to let a student take some of the required coursework online. Overall though, the nature of a PhD program in engineering demands a strong commitment to face-to-face time with PhD advisors and to a lab or real-world research.

As for coursework and other requisites, although each college may have varied requirements that students need to meet in their doctoral programs, quantitative research methods and intensely specialized classes in the student’s engineering field typically make up the course work for an engineering doctorate. Here is the basic course structure one can expect in a PhD in engineering program:


The course selection for doctoral students is broad. Most of the time, students can choose their course plans from one branch of engineering to fit their needs and professional objectives.


Although not always a requirement, at some colleges, teaching experience is strongly recommended for students who are not Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) but want to become professors.


In some cases, unless they have an assistantship, students are required to complete a certain number of prescribed credit hours of graduate-level coursework. The student is required to study full-time during this period. Residency is sometimes needed before taking the comprehensive exams.

Comprehensive Exams

Students are eligible to take comprehensive examinations when they have completed all coursework. Most students choose to write a manuscript on a topic of their choice and defend it orally before a committee of departmental, school, and/or university faculty members.


The PhD candidate will collaborate with their advisor to choose a topic that will advance the field after passing the comprehensive exam.

Field Experience

Doctoral students are encouraged to participate in independent study research courses to combine and relate classroom theory with field activities. They can engage with scientific communities through research and collate data from various sources for this purpose.

Read the Guide to PhD Programs to understand more.

What are the Types of PhD in
Engineering Programs?

By conducting extensive research and making numerous inventions and discoveries, engineers use innovation to improve people’s quality of life. All industries, including agriculture, healthcare, technology, education, defense, and transportation, can benefit from the expertise of engineers. Each broad industry has its own engineering specialty or branch as a result. To best suit their individual interests and professional objectives, students can choose from several types of PhD in engineering branches. Here are a few options as examples:

  • PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering
  • PhD in Aeronautical Engineering
  • PhD in Architectural Engineering
  • PhD in Agricultural Engineering
  • PhD in Astronautical Engineering
  • PhD in Automobile Engineering
  • PhD in Automotive Engineering
  • PhD in Biological Engineering
  • PhD in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
  • PhD in Communication Engineering
  • PhD in Control Systems Engineering
  • PhD in Computer Hardware Engineering
  • PhD in Computer Science Engineering
  • PhD in Computational Engineering
  • PhD in Computational Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Construction Engineering and Management
  • PhD in Corrosion Engineering
  • PhD in Cryogenic Engineering
  • PhD in Cyber Security Engineering
  • PhD in Data Engineering
  • PhD in Design Engineering
  • PhD in Earthquake Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical Power Engineering
  • PhD in Energy Engineering
  • PhD in Engineering and Technology
  • PhD in Engineering Project Management
  • PhD in Engineering Technology
  • PhD in Food Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • PhD in Engineering Meaning
  • PhD in Engineering Science
  • PhD in Fire Protection Engineering
  • PhD in Genetic Engineering
  • PhD in Hydraulic Engineering
  • PhD in Industrial Engineering
  • PhD in Instrumentation and Control Engineering
  • PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management
  • PhD in Management Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Material Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
  • PhD in Mathematics After Engineering
  • PhD in Medical Engineering
  • PhD in Microwave Engineering
  • PhD in Motorsport Engineering
  • PhD in Manufacturing Engineering
  • PhD in Marine Engineering
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering Design
  • PhD in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • PhD in Ocean Engineering
  • PhD in Pavement Engineering
  • PhD in Petroleum Engineering
  • PhD in Physics After Engineering
  • PhD in Plastic Engineering
  • PhD in Propulsion Engineering
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Engineering
  • PhD in Polymer Engineering
  • PhD in Power Engineering
  • PhD in Power System Engineering
  • PhD in Production Engineering
  • PhD in Quality Engineering
  • PhD in Railway Engineering
  • PhD in Reservoir Engineering
  • PhD in Robotics Engineering
  • PhD in Safety Engineering
  • PhD in Security Engineering
  • PhD in Social and Engineering Systems
  • PhD in Sound Engineering
  • PhD in Space Engineering
  • PhD in Structural Engineering
  • PhD in Systems Engineering Online
  • Online PhD in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Online PhD in Electrical Engineering
  • Online PhD in Electronics Engineering
  • Online PhD in Reliability Engineering
  • PhD Degree in Civil Engineering

Students must note that engineering doctoral programs typically award graduates with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, though depending on the college or university, some may also award a Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng or D.E.)

Areas of Specializations in PhD in
Engineering Programs

Most students with a master’s degree (or otherwise) know that they can narrow their focus in engineering to a specific area. While most disciplines may not have many options for specialization, students pursuing a PhD degree in engineering have more than 30 to 40 options to choose from, depending on their career goals. Among them are:

Area of Specialization Description Career Options
Engineering ManagementThis specialization provides students with the knowledge and abilities required to supervise engineering projects or a team of engineers by combining engineering and business management training.Principal engineers, technical consultants, software engineering leaders, project managers, application engineering, professional development managers, and operations managers.
Aeronautical EngineeringThis specialization includes the study of aviation and space. Commercial aviation and satellite technology advancements are discussed, as well as the development of military aircraft.Aeronautical engineers, aerodynamic engineers, aerospace engineers, flight systems engineers, and aircraft designers.
Electronics EngineeringElectronics engineering is a branch of electrical engineering concerned with the design and development of electronic products. Students who choose this specialization will learn about power systems, circuit design and construction, switchboard design and construction, and other electronic configurations.Electronics designers, firmware developers, quality engineers, manufacturing process engineers, and digital communications specialists.
Mechanical EngineeringMechanical engineering is concerned with the design of mechanical systems that help industries such as aeronautics, automobiles, manufacturing, nanotechnology, energy, and nuclear power generation, among others. The primary areas of study are structure analysis, materials science, thermodynamics, and kinematics.Design analysts, HVAC designers, quality inspectors, thermodynamics consultants, and production managers.
Chemical EngineeringChemical engineering is the application of chemistry in practice. This engineering specialty is concerned with technology that uses chemical processes to solve problems. Students learn how to make useful products out of natural resources such as gasoline, paper, medicine, and computer microchips.R&D specialists, process engineers, chemical operations managers, test engineers, quality control analysts, patent analysts, and micro lab managers.
Biomedical EngineeringBiomedical engineering studies both biology and medicine. Students apply engineering, medical science, and mathematics fundamentals to comprehend, modify, and/or control biological systems, as well as to solve medical and biological problems.R&D scientists, process development engineers, quality engineers, and pharmaceutical and medical device product developers.
Civil EngineeringThis specialization covers the fundamentals of civil engineering, which includes the construction of residential and commercial buildings, bridges, roads, and railways, among other things.Public and private sector engineers, cost estimators, project managers, engineering consultants, and materials engineers.
Electrical EngineeringEnergy research is the primary focus of an electrical engineering degree. Electrical, hydro, solar, and wind energy are among the various types of energy studied by students. They design, develop, and improve electronics and solid-state devices using electrical circuitry laws.Process and product managers, network engineers, broadcast technology specialists, plant maintenance managers, data engineering managers, and project managers.
Petroleum EngineeringThe primary focus of the petroleum engineering specialty is the extraction of gas and oil from the ground. Students learn about cutting-edge technologies and extraction methods that are more efficient while causing less environmental damage.Reservoir engineers, geo scientists, environmental engineers, chemists, drilling engineers, well production consultants, and fixed equipment specialists.
Industrial EngineeringThe industrial engineering concentration is concerned with increasing output while reducing costs and waste. Students learn about various manufacturing processes and optimization processes, as well as productivity and output and how to create efficiency plans.Industrial Engineers, supply chain professionals, manufacturing engineers, plant managers, safety engineers, and logisticians.

Some of the other specializations students can consider include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geomatics Engineering
  • Paper Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Microelectronic Engineering
  • Photonics Engineering
  • Electric Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Nanotechnology Engineering
  • Robotics Engineering
  • Biomechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Science Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Ceramics Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering

Why should I get a PhD in
Engineering Degree?

Higher earning potential and even more specialization than master’s degrees are benefits of a PhD in engineering. Although doctoral programs demand a lot of time and effort from students, they add theoretical knowledge and practical skills to a candidate’s resume. Students will be able to produce original research or other advanced scholarship of the necessary caliber to pass peer reviews and merit publications in their field. Additionally, one gets an opportunity to solve complex, real-work problems and make significant contributions to the field through research and practice.

Is it worth getting a PhD in engineering? Graduates of PhD in Engineering programs can pursue careers as professors at academic institutions, contribute their knowledge to commercial or governmental research labs, or start their own companies based on original ideas. From thinking about discovering a life-saving biomedical technique and developing a green energy trend to creating the next global communication platform, the possibilities with a doctorate in engineering are endless.

Through all they learn in their PhD program and the in-depth research they conduct, doctorate students gain advanced engineering knowledge in a specialized field and strengthen their project management, research, and leadership skills. To that end, PhD engineering students gain the knowledge, skills, and ability to:

  • conduct advanced research and contribute to the advancement of scholarly or professional knowledge, abilities, practices, ideas, theories, and/or materials;
  • carry out independent, pure, or applied research, using advanced professional skills, and applying knowledge in research or practice settings;
  • show a solid understanding of the fundamentals of engineering and science relevant to the field of study;
  • demonstrate a solid understanding of a large body of knowledge and expertise in a niche subject that is at the cutting edge of the engineering academic field or line of work;
  • possess the ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing; and
  • demonstrate the skills necessary to critically review the literature in the field of expertise.

Free Courses for PhD in
Engineering Students

Researching is the key to successfully acquiring a PhD. Many students frequently seek out additional resources that can give them more information or a deeper understanding of a particular subject and help them with their research and writing their dissertation. Although free engineering courses can be helpful in this endeavor, it is essential to remember that they usually do not result in a degree or, in some cases, even any certification. Nevertheless, the following are some examples of free courses to explore:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Finite Element Procedures for Solids and StructuresThe fundamental ideas behind efficient finite element analysis are covered in this course, along with the general premises and the application of finite element techniques to linear and nonlinear analyses.MIT OpenCourseWare
Development of Inventions and Creative IdeasThe role of the engineer as a technical witness in court cases involving patent interference and related proceedings is examined in this course. It covers engineers’ rights and responsibilities in relation to educational institutions, the government, and both large and small businesses.MIT OpenCourseWare
Introduction to Numerical SimulationThis course introduces computational methods for simulating a wide range of physical and engineering systems. Applications come from the fields of materials science, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and biological engineering.MIT OpenCourseWare

How to get into the PhD in
Engineering Programs?

So, how to get a PhD in engineering? To be admitted to a PhD in engineering online, applicants must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or a foreign university that meets the requirements for both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Furthermore, they typically require a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. At some colleges, prospective students may also have to identify a suitable professor who will ask as their advisor or mentor throughout their research. Aside from these, the following are some of the most common PhD in engineering admission requirements:

Online Application & Application Fee

Completing an online application and paying the prescribed application fee.

Official Academic Transcripts

An official copy of academic transcripts from each college/university attended.

Undergraduate/Graduate Degree + Grade Point Average

An undergraduate and/or graduate degree and Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or more.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores

An official copy of GRE scores no older than 5 years.

Graduate Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

The latest résumé or CV that provides personal information and work experience.

Personal Statement or Statement of purpose

A statement outlining how the program relates to the applicant’s career goals.

Letters of Recommendation

At least 3 letters of recommendation from those who can provide a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s abilities at the graduate level.

Proof of English proficiency

A document proving proficiency in English (for non-native English speakers).

Phd in Engineering No
GRE Programs

A typical component of the admissions process is the GRE. It might be possible to do away with the requirement for these test results, though. Usually, the school will decide whether or not a GRE score is required. Some universities do not demand that students take the GRE, provided they have a high GPA, adequate experience, and a strong academic background. Fortunately, the quality and content of these graduate programs that do not demand a GRE score are frequently identical to those of those that do. Ultimately, this admissions requirement is simply waived at the school’s discretion. Here are some examples of online PhD in engineering no GRE programs:

Brown University – PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Brown University offers a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, for which the GRE scores are optional to enter the program.

Texas A&M University – Online Doctor of Engineering

Texas A&M University offers an Online Doctor of Engineering Program (D.Eng.), for which the GRE requirement has been waived for fall 2021 and spring 2024 applicants. However, applicants may self-report their GRE test scores if they wish to.

University of Notre Dame – PhD in Electrical Engineering

The University of Notre Dame offers a PhD in Electrical Engineering that does not require the GRE for entry. However, the GRE is strongly recommended for those with a GPA of less than 3.75 on a scale of 4.0.

How Long does it take to complete the
Phd in Engineering Programs

How long does it take to get a PhD in engineering, and how many years for a PhD in engineering? While the typical time range to complete an engineering PhD program is 5 to 7 years, some can be finished in 3 years, while others can take up to 6. Whatever the timeline, the work students put into these PhD programs is usually very detailed and narrowly focused on their chosen specialization. When selecting an engineering program, it can be crucial for students to think about how much time they want to devote to earning an online PhD, ultimately determining the time it takes to finish the program.

Here is a quick overview of the online PhD in Engineering Duration:

  • Minimum time required for a full-time PhD in engineering: about 3 years.
  • Maximum time required for a PhD in engineering: up to 7 years.
  • Typical time frame to complete a PhD in engineering: about 5 to 7 years.

Accelerated PhD in
Engineering Programs

An accelerated curriculum allows students to progress more quickly through their programs, increasing their chances of graduating sooner. Fast-track and accelerated doctoral degrees enable students to complete their PhD in engineering in as little as 3 years, although some students may require an additional year to complete their doctoral dissertation in addition to the years required for coursework. Some colleges allow students to enter their PhD program while doing their master’s studies. In such cases, the master’s thesis becomes very important and can be “upgraded” or built upon to use as a PhD dissertation.

Most colleges that offer PhD programs in engineering do not specify a minimum timeline for their programs. This is due to the difficulty in estimating the exact completion time, which depends on several factors such as coursework, research area, amount of research required, time to prepare for a doctoral dissertation, etc. Therefore, checking with the college’s admission office for specific program requirements and timelines is best.

Accreditation for PhD in
Engineering Programs

Accreditation is an essential factor to consider in advanced education. It is a seal of approval given to a college or program that shows the general public and potential employers that the institution adheres to the highest levels of educational quality and standards. Colleges are accredited nationally or nationally by independent organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional accreditation is the most common type in the United States, and it is granted by six organizations:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Engineering PhD programs may also be programmatically accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), in addition to the college offering the program having national or regional accreditation. ABET is an ISO 9001-certified nonprofit that accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

Read the Guide to College Accreditation to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for a PhD in
Engineering Programs?

PhD in engineering programs are typically very expensive to pursue. According to the Education Data, the average cost of a PhD doctorate degree in the U.S. is $98,800. Even if prospective online students do not have to pay additional fees for transportation, meals, or campus-related expenses, they must still pay the high tuition fee and associated research costs, which can be a financial burden for many. Some of the outside funding options available to students to pay for their online engineering PhD degree are listed below:


Scholarships are popular among students because they are easy to come by and are non-repayable. They are awarded to deserving and meritorious students, with academic performance serving as the primary selection criterion.


Grants, like scholarships, do not require repayment. As opposed to scholarships, which are frequently awarded based on academic performance, grants, on the other hand, are typically awarded based on the applicant’s financial need.


Predoctoral Fellowships, also known as PhD Fellowships are grants given to doctoral candidates pursuing their degrees. In exchange for the money, PhD fellowship recipients must typically complete a future assignment or spend the funds on a specific purpose. Several awards and fellowships are available to retain or attract the best students.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs help students cover school tuition and fees by providing part-time employment. Many of these jobs are associated with the student’s academic program or volunteer work. Work-study programs can also help students gain practical experience.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available for students who want to help teaching staff in the classroom as graduate teaching assistants or with research as graduate research assistants. Assistants are paid a fee or receive tuition discounts or waivers in exchange for their efforts.

Student Loans

A student loan is another option for students to fund their PhD programs. Educational loans are made available by several banks, financial institutions, and the federal government. Borrowing money will raise the overall cost of education because loans have interest attached to them. Understand how one can apply for loan forgiveness to avoid repaying student loans by reading about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans.


The Free Application For Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid that all prospective and current college students must complete to check if they are eligible for aid and receive the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about What is Financial Aid? and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Fully Funded PhD in
Engineering Programs

With the average cost of a PhD doctorate degree in the U.S. being $98,800, many PhD aspirants would have to look to external financial support. Fortunately, it is possible to get a fully-funded online PhD in engineering at some colleges. For the three to five years a student spends working on their doctorate, a fully funded program will generally cover all their students’ expenses (tuition, a living stipend, etc.). A few fully-funded engineering PhD programs are listed below:

University/College Description
Boston University Fully Funded PhD in Mechanical EngineeringThe Boston University College of Engineering has committed to providing financial assistance for five years to graduate students in the mechanical engineering PhD program; they must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Northwestern University Fully Funded PhD in Electrical EngineeringNorthwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering offers PhD program in electrical engineering in which students are fully funded by a combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships.
University of Pennsylvania Fully Funded PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringStudents accepted as PhD students in chemical and biomolecular engineering are typically “fully funded,” which means that tuition, health insurance, and a stipend will be provided as long as the student is making satisfactory progress.

FAQs Related to the Phd in
Engineering Programs

How do you get a PhD in engineering?

To get a PhD in engineering, one is required to go through the following steps:

Complete all required coursework

Select a specialization and research area

Conduct research in the chosen area

Approach a faculty advisor/mentor for direction & help

Complete and pass all comprehensive qualifying exams

Prepare the dissertation

Submit the dissertation and defend it

Is there a PhD in engineering online?

Is a PhD in engineering worth it?

How long is a PhD in engineering?

What does a PhD in engineering get you?

What are the research areas in engineering PhD?

Can I do a PhD in engineering without a masters?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
PhD in Engineering Programs

What career after PhD in engineering is possible? Engineering PhD programs prepare students for careers in academia and research, government, and industry. While some people prefer to work as inventors or land jobs as teachers, many decide to use their newfound knowledge to start their own businesses. Additionally, many students opt to work as product managers, market research analysts, or quantitative analysts. Other well-liked options include jobs as competitive intelligence analysts and management consultants. Graduates of online PhD engineering degrees are also qualified to work as engineers in the field in which they specialized. The specialization will reflect in the primary job title; examples include but are not limited to:

  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Computer Engineer
  • Automobile Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Precision Engineer
  • Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Postsecondary Teacher or Professor (in Engineering)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that engineering occupations will grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030, adding an estimated 146,000 new jobs. Listed below are some examples of engineering jobs, median annual salaries, and job growth, as reported by the BLS. It should be noted that the salaries mentioned are typically for those who have a bachelors or masters in engineering. PhD holders are likely to earn higher salaries:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Industrial EngineersIndustrial engineers look for ways to eliminate waste in the manufacturing process. They create effective systems that combine supplies, labor, machinery, information, and energy to produce goods or render services.Critical-thinking skills, math skills, writing skills, problem-solving skills, listening skills, speaking skills, creativity$95,30014% (faster than average)
Materials EngineersMaterials engineers design, process, and test materials used in a wide range of products. They study the properties and structures of metals, plastics, ceramics, composites, nanomaterials (microscopic substances), and other materials to create new materials that meet electrical, mechanical, and chemical requirements.Math skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, speaking skills, writing skills$98,3008% (as fast as average)
Nuclear EngineersNuclear engineers research and create new nuclear energy and radiation exploitation methods, apparatus, and techniques. Some also concentrate on developing nuclear power plants that can be used in spacecraft or ships. Many of these engineers use radioactive materials for commercial and medical purposes, such as in tools for medical diagnosis and treatment.Analytical skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, logical thinking skills, math skills, detail-oriented$120,380-8% (decline)
Health & Safety EngineersTo prevent illness, injury, and damage to property, health & safety engineers create policies and design systems. They combine engineering, health, and safety knowledge to ensure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products won’t harm people or damage property.Communication skills, critical-thinking skills, observational skills, problem-solving skills, creativity$99,0406% (as fast as average)
Mining and Geological EngineersMines are designed by mining and geological engineers to remove minerals, such as coal and metals, safely and effectively for use in manufacturing and utilities. Additionally, they create technical reports for engineers, miners, and managers.Decision-making skills, logical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, math skills, analytical skills, writing skills$97,0904% (slower than average)
Mechanical EngineersMechanical engineers conduct research, design, development, construction, and testing on tools, engines, and other mechanical and thermal sensors and devices. They look into equipment issues or problems to determine improper operation and recommend solutions.Problem-solving skills, listening skills, math skills, mechanical skills, creativity$95,3007% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for
Ph.D. in Engineering Students

Certification in a given profession formally recognizes a person’s competency—their education, demonstrated knowledge, and experience. It is a formal process carried out and completed by a group of knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled representatives from the organization that enhances one’s résumé and career prospects. In the discipline of engineering, each certification or organization that provides certification is unique to the engineering discipline to which it pertains, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, aerospace, and so on. After getting a PhD in engineering, doctorate holders can consider the following certifications:

ASQ Certified Quality Engineer

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers the ASQ Certified Quality Engineer credential to professionals with 3 to 8 years of experience. The credential demonstrates the professional’s understanding of product and service quality evaluation and control principles.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Board Certifications

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Board Certifications are accredited by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) and overseen by the Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC). Civil engineers with ASCE board certifications have demonstrated advanced knowledge and skills in their specialty area.

International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Certifications

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) provides a multi-level Certification Program to formalize and recognize systems engineers’ knowledge, experience, and professional contributions at all career stages. The ASEP, CSEP, and ESP credentials cover the entire scope of systems engineering at progressively higher levels of leadership accomplishments and experience.

A few other examples of certification include but are not limited to:


Although many engineering jobs do not require licensure, advanced roles and highly specialized ones do. Engineers, consulting engineers, and private practitioners who are licensed have the authority to prepare, sign, seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to clients of all types. The PE, or Professional Engineering license, is the most common.

Professional Engineering (PE) License

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPA) issues the Professional Engineering or PE license. The PE license shows the public that the candidate understands the fundamentals of their line of work. It demonstrates their commitment to the highest engineering practice standards while also demonstrating their ability to provide high-quality engineering services.

Apart from the PE, most states require licensure for responsible or advanced roles across industries. Students should look into the relevant organizations that are active in their state of work and specialize in their field. Residents of New York, for example, would need to obtain a license from the New York Board of Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) maintains links to state-specific licensing.

Additional Resources for
Phd in Engineering Students

As can be seen, engineering encompasses a wide range of topics and specializations. Nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers, among others, must keep abreast of the most recent advancements in their fields to stay relevant and up to date. Therefore, connecting with others and using valuable resources is critical for anyone’s career or academic endeavors. To that end, the following resources may be helpful:

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to technological advancement for the benefit of all. In addition to conferences, publications, technology standards, and professional and educational initiatives, IEEE members receive various other benefits.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is the only national organization dedicated to addressing professional issues confronting licensed professional engineers in all engineering specialties. It offers a wealth of resources such as a job board, advice, leadership tips, free on-demand courses, and more.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an advocacy and support organization for women in engineering and technology. SEW membership entitles professionals to awards and challenges, youth and professional programs, scholarships, a magazine, events, and conferences, among other benefits.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) was founded in 1893 as a non-profit organization to advance engineering and engineering technology education. ASEE has a vibrant engineering community, a fellows academy, engineering courses, publications and media, and much more. is a non-profit organization that educates, inspires, and engages engineering minds to be and do better. This website offers a variety of resources, such as eBooks and papers, project resources, tools and software, games, webinar access, and more.

Depending on the chosen sub-field of engineering, PhD students and engineers can join or make use of the following professional organizations:

  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)
  • American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)
  • Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)
  • Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
  • Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)
  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)
  • National Association of Power Engineers (NAPE)
  • National Association of Rocketry (NAR)
  • Society of American Value Engineers (SAVE)
  • Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)


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