For many, engineering is the ideal field. Not only does it offer opportunities to directly apply skills and knowledge ― which are regrettably rare in other professions ― but it is especially stable and remarkably lucrative. In short, engineering offers fulfilling, reliable, and profitable employment.
What’s more, as the tech industry grows ever larger, engineers are expanding their reach. Aside from the tried-and-true mechanical and electrical engineering positions, engineers can test their abilities in new and exciting tech fields. And the upsurge of tech job portal sites are reassuring signs of job opportunities. If you love tech as much as you love engineering, here are a few tech jobs only available to engineers.
1. Hardware Engineer
There’s no tech industry without the physical components of computing, and there are no computing parts without hardware engineers. These days, hardware engineers are tasked with creating faster, smaller, stronger, and better computer components, like processors and memory devices. Hardware engineers typically work for tech designers and manufacturers, like Intel or Apple, and their median salary is about $115,000.
2. Software Engineer
Conversely, software engineers take hardware and make it usable. These engineers develop programs that users will employ to enjoy their devices. Not only software engineers perform this service; other professionals, including software developers and programmers, also create such apps. However, software engineers tend to be the highest paid, since they have the best education. Plus, you can find engineering degrees online that prepare you for tech fields, so you can become qualified quickly and comfortably.
[Read also: What Do Computer Scientist Do?]
3. Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineering is one of the traditional engineering paths, so electrical engineers (or double-Es, as most engineers refer to them) can find employment in almost any field. However, electrical engineering is particularly applicable to the tech industry: EEs understand electrical systems, and they are often employed in designing power generation and distribution in tech devices. EEs earn an average of $96,000 per year.
4. Network Engineer
Also frequently called network architects, network engineers are tasked with designing, implementing, and maintaining complex computer networks. All sorts of organizations require networks to function effectively, from government offices to libraries to small and large businesses. Network engineers often are part of a team of network professionals that keep networks functional; salaries for network engineering depend largely on location and employer, yo-yoing between about $80,000 and above $100,000.
5. Information Security Engineer
Cybersecurity is perhaps the fastest-growing sector within the tech industry, and engineering jobs for security are just beginning to emerge. Information security engineers or analysts often plan and execute security measures that keep devices, data, and networks safe from inside and outside threats. More and more security engineers are finding employment in devoted security firms, but many large businesses employ internal security staff, as well. This tech career can easily earn you upwards of $90,000 per year.
6. Big Data Engineer
These days, data rules. Organizations that fail to collect and analyze big amounts of data tend to fall behind, which is why the demand for data engineers is rising exponentially. Typically, data engineers are responsible for building data infrastructures and processing systems, which requires knowledge of software development and data analysis. They boast a complex set of skills and knowledge and are rewarded handsomely with salaries around $100,000.
7. Wireless Communications Engineer
Ten years ago, the world was just learning what it was to be wireless. Today, hardly any devices need to be plugged in 24/7. Wireless communications engineers develop devices and networks that are free from the tyranny of wires, so users have more flexibility with their tech. Often electrical engineers can find work in this field, but some universities are beginning to over devoted wireless engineering programs. Salaries for this engineering field tend to hover around $80,000, but experienced professionals can earn as much as $130,000.
8. Machine Learning Engineer
When many people think of machine learning, they imagine robots with human-like intelligence ― HAL 9000s, Terminators, Colossuses. However, what they might not realize is that people already utilize artificial intelligence almost every day. Machine learning engineers develop technologies that can learn and adapt to human behaviors. Websites like Netflix as well as devices like the Amazon Echo use machine learning, and with your input, dozens of other technologies might be able to learn, too.
9. Customer Services Engineer
Not all engineering lacks human emotion. Customer services engineering ― sometimes shortened to customer engineering ― aims to improve the customer experience. Unlike typical customer service representatives, customer engineers understand the technical aspects of their employers’ products and services, so they are equipped to aid customers with hands-on support. Additionally, some customer engineers analyze customer data to develop and deliver enhanced support services. These engineers might earn less than more technical engineers, but for many, the opportunity to interface with non-engineers is worth it.
[Images via: Google Images]