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 (2022) reported that job opportunities for architecture and engineering occupations are expected to grow four percent nationwide between 2021 and 2031—an addition of 91,300 new positions in that period—which is about as fast as the average job growth anticipated across all U.S. occupations during that time (5 percent).
That said, some specializations are expected to be more in demand nationwide than others. Here are a few of the fastest-growing engineering subfields listed with their expected growth:
- Chemical engineering – 14 percent increase (3,700 new jobs)
- Industrial engineering – 10 percent increase (30,600 new jobs)
- Bioengineering and biomedical engineering – 10 percent increase (1,700 new jobs)
- Petroleum engineering – 8 percent increase (1,900 new jobs)
- Civil engineering – 7 percent increase (22,100 new jobs)
In California specifically, the expected percentages were even higher. According to Projections Central (2023), the top-growing subfields of engineering include:
- Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians – 18.2 percent increase (200 new jobs)
- Civil Engineers – 16.9 percent increase (7,900 new jobs)
- Industrial Engineers – 16.4 percent increase (3,500 new jobs)
- Sales Engineers – 15.2 percent increase (1,600 new jobs)
- Computer Hardware Engineers – 15.1 percent increase (3,000 new jobs)
- Aerospace Engineers – 14.6 percent increase (1,200 new jobs)
- Electrical Engineers – 13.8 percent increase (3,900 new jobs)
- Biomedical Engineers – 13.8 percent increase (400 new jobs)
- Chemical Engineers – 12.5 percent increase (200 new jobs)
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 2023) found that California was the fourth most expensive state, coming in behind only Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii. For engineers, this means relatively high salaries may still need to 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.