Online Engineering Schools in California
Engineers are vital to U.S. innovation and economic growth. In recent years, the number of subfields and specializations in this discipline has exploded; each technological innovation snowballs into new opportunities for those trained in mechanics, thermodynamics, computing, and other areas.
Today, California engineers work in more industries than their predecessors, sparking demand for more properly-trained professionals. By illustration, Predictions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) reported that job opportunities for architecture and engineering occupations are expected to grow 6 percent nationwide between 2020 and 2030—an addition of 146,000 new positions in that period—which is just a bit lower than the average job growth anticipated across all U.S. occupations during that time (8 percent).
That said, some specializations are expected to be more in-demand around the country than others. Here are a few of the fastest-growing engineering subfields listed with their expected growth:
- Industrial engineering – 14 percent increase (40,000 new jobs)
- Chemical engineering – 9 percent increase (2,400 new jobs)
- Civil engineering – 8 percent increase (25,300 new jobs)
- Aerospace engineering – 8 percent increase (5,100 new jobs)
- Petroleum engineering – 8 percent increase (2,200 new jobs)
In California specifically, the expected percentages were even higher. According to Projections Central (2021), the top-growing subfields of engineering included:
- Chemical Engineers – 13.6 percent increase (300 new jobs)
- Environmental Engineering Technicians – 13.2 percent increase (500 new jobs)
- Industrial Engineers – 12.9 percent increase (3,700 new jobs)
- Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians – 12.5% increase (300 new jobs)
- Aerospace Engineers – 11.4 percent increase (1,400 new jobs)
- Sales Engineers – 10.9 percent increase (1,400 new jobs)
Furthermore, engineers earn relatively competitive salaries; the average salary for the 331,090 engineers and architectural workers in California was $105,310, according to the BLS (May 2020); some earned substantially more such as computer hardware engineers, a field that has an annual average (mean) wage of $153,730. By comparison, the average annual salary for all positions in the state was $65,740.
Annual mean wages for some of the most popular fields of engineering in the state include:
- Computer Hardware Engineers – $153,730
- Nuclear Engineers – $149,830
- Petroleum Engineers – $140,680
- Electronics Engineers – $128,030
- Mining and Geological Engineers – $127,450
Notably, many of the average salaries for California engineers are higher than national averages. As with any salary projections, taking into account the cost of living is also important. As such, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021) found that California was the third most expensive state, coming in behind only the District of Columbia, and Hawaii. For engineers, this means relatively high salaries may still not go as far as lower salaries in other states, so that is something to keep in mind.
For aspiring engineers across all specializations, there’s an abundance of university programs—including distance-based training—to prepare for this high-growth, high-paying career field.
This guide examines accredited online engineering schools in CA with discussions of admissions requirements, programs at all levels, professors, and other relevant information.