Online Engineering Degree Programs in Washington
Aspiring engineers in the Pacific Northwest enjoy an especially bright career outlook in the coming years. For one, those residing near Seattle not only enjoy the benefits of American juggernauts Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, and others, but they also have the University of Washington, which boasts one of the strongest engineering programs in the nation. Of course, some choose to pursue a degree at the institution and many others benefit tangentially from UW’s continuing education, networking opportunities, and proximity to other talented individuals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021) reported that job opportunities for architecture and engineering occupations are expected to grow three percent nationwide between 2019 and 2029—an addition of 74,800 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 (4 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 – 10 percent increase (30,000 new jobs)
- Electrical engineering – 5 percent increase (9,000 new jobs)
- Bioengineering and biomedical engineering – 5 percent increase (1,000 new jobs)
- Mechanical engineering – 4 percent increase (12,400 new jobs)
- Chemical engineering – 4percent increase (1,400 new jobs)
In Washington State (WA) specifically, the expected percentages were even higher. According to Projections Central (2021), the top-growing subfields of engineering included:
- Health and Safety Engineers – 22.4 percent increase (130 new jobs)
- Industrial Engineers – 18.9 percent increase (1,430 new jobs)
- Sales Engineers – 18 percent increase (110 new jobs)
- Computer Hardware Engineers – 17.1 percent increase (360 new jobs)
- Sound Engineering Technicians – 16.7 percent increase (30 new jobs)
- Flight Engineers – 16.1 percent increase (410 new jobs)
Furthermore, engineers earn relatively competitive salaries; the average salary for the 74,670 engineers and architectural workers in Washington State (WA) was $100,480, 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 $168,320. By comparison, the average annual salary for all positions in the state was $66,870.
Annual mean wages for some of the most popular fields of engineering in the state include:
- Computer Hardware Engineers – $168,320
- Petroleum Engineers – $134,870
- Aerospace Engineers – $131,110
- Electronics Engineers – $119,390
- Electrical Engineers -$117,790
- Industrial Engineers – $111,310
Finally, engineering professionals in Washington are also able to enjoy the support of various societies and organizations that operate throughout the state, which provide networking, training, yearly events, and other resources. Some of the exceptional associations in WA include:
- Washington Society of Professional Engineers
- Structural Engineers Association of Washington
- Washington State Association of County Engineers
- Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering
So how does a person become an engineer in Washington? While traditional, on-campus degrees may be the right choice for some, a growing number of students are choosing to enroll in online engineering programs. These distance-based degrees offer a high-quality education while allowing students a much greater amount of flexibility and scheduling convenience with their studies.
This guide provides information about accredited online engineering schools in WA, as well as three talented professors and expected coursework within various degree paths.