Online Engineering Degree Programs in North Carolina
Engineers in North Carolina (NC) are integral to the economy and are employed in a wide array of industries. Not surprisingly, the number of engineering positions in the state is expected to grow into the future. By illustration, the State of the North Carolina Workforce 2011-2020 report from the North Carolina Commission on Workforce Development projected a 1.6 percent annual increase in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) positions between 2011 and 2020, faster than the rate for all other jobs in the state (1.3 percent). Another report from NC State University (2013) predicted that through 2020, computer hardware engineers occupied one of the fastest growing careers in the state for people with four-year degrees.
Also, engineers are vital to the local workforce and as a result, they enjoy support and professional advocacy through various organizations, including the North Carolina Society of Engineers, the Professional Engineers of North Carolina, and the Structural Engineers Association of North Carolina, among others. Of course, some engineering positions are in greater supply (and greater demand) in the state.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2016) reported that these were the most popular engineering fields in North Carolina:
- Industrial engineering – 8,270 working in NC
- Civil engineering – 7,170
- Mechanical engineering – 7,100
- Electrical engineering – 5,100
Furthermore, compensation in NC tends to vary by engineering subfield. The same BLS (2016) report highlighted some of the engineering fields with the highest average annual wages in the state:
- Electrical engineers – $104,170
- Computer hardware engineers – $103,140
- Aerospace engineers – $99,760
- Electronics engineers – $94,860
That’s not to say that other engineers receive a significantly lower wage; in fact, the average compensation of all engineering and architectural positions is still relatively high at $77,210, well above the statewide average of all occupations, ($45,280).
It’s important to note that employment opportunities and salary expectations are only two of the considerations in charting out a career path. Education is paramount. In order to qualify for any subfield of this relatively lucrative discipline, engineers must have the proper training and credentialing. While some engineers in NC choose traditional, campus-based programs, there’s a growing array of online engineering programs in the state as well.
This guide explores online engineering programs in NC, including the exceptional professors, expected coursework, accreditation information, and more.