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Engineers can be classified into 11 types, according to the kind of work they do—construction, consulting, design, development, teaching, planning (also called applications engineers), production, research, sales, service, and test engineers.


They work in laboratories, industrial plants, or construction sites where they inspect, supervise or solve on-site problems; others work in an office most of the time, and a few travel extensively to plants or construction sites. Engineers in branches such as civil engineering may work outdoors part of the time.


Engineers in each branch have knowledge and training that can be applied to many fields, and because there are numerous separate problems to solve in a large engineering project, engineers in one field often work closely with specialists in scientific, other engineering, and business occupations.


Most of the specialized engineering we know today was developed during the last 200 years or so. Before then, engineering dealt mostly with the construction of roads, bridges, canals, or military structures and devices. As mankind gained more knowledge of science and technology, engineers began to specialize in certain kinds of work.


Specialized engineering fields are numerous and include:

  • aerospace
  • agricultural
  • architectural
  • automotive
  • biomedical
  • ceramic
  • chemical
  • civil
  • computer science
  • electrical
  • engineering physics
  • environmental health and sanitary
  • geological
  • marine
  • mechanical
  • metallurgical and materials
  • mining
  • nuclear
  • ocean
  • petroleum
  • systems
  • textile
  • transportation


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