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How To Become An Engineering Professor

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by

Engineering majors make for great professors; they know how engineering works! But sometimes they realize after graduation, that especially without a PhD, engineering jobs are scarce. So now what? This guide covers many of the steps you will need to take in order to become an engineering professor, the rewards and challenges you will face, and much more.

What does it take to become an engineering professor? Is it as glam as it sounds, as many think? What skills do I need to become an engineering professor? The pursuit of these questions were the beginnings of this book. You will learn how to become an engineering professor from a person who has been dean of an engineering school, held top jobs in industry and now a full time engineering professor at a leading university.

Read the following article for the latest and most accurate information on how to become an engineering professor in Canada. Not just that, you will find related posts on how to become an engineering professor in Canada, how to become an electrical engineering professor to how hard is it to become an engineering professor, how to be an engineering professor and so much more right here on Collegelearners.

How Do I Become an Engineering Lecturer? (with pictures)

How to Be An Engineering Professor

Civil engineers are highly trained professionals, responsible for major projects such as mines, roadways, bridges, and large-scale construction sites. It’s a diverse specialty, and an individual civil engineer might specialize in anything from earthquake-proof buildings to commuter traffic patterns. Those who wish to move on to a career in education, teaching civil engineering to the next generation of professionals, must have especially strong credentials.

Engineering Professors teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research. They also conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.

How hard is it To Become an Engineering Professor

If you’re interested in becoming an Engineering Professor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 21.4% of Engineering Professors have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 43.4% of Engineering Professors have master’s degrees. Even though most Engineering Professors have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an Engineering Professor. When we researched the most common majors for an Engineering Professor, we found that they most commonly earn Electrical Engineering degrees or Civil Engineering degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Engineering Professor resumes include Mechanical Engineering degrees or Business degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an Engineering Professor. In fact, many Engineering Professor jobs require experience in a role such as Professor. Meanwhile, many Engineering Professors also have previous career experience in roles such as Project Engineer or Chairperson.

engineering professor jobs

How Do I Become an Engineering Lecturer

Becoming an engineering lecturer requires education and experience in engineering. This typically includes expertise in a specific sector of the field and obtaining education beyond a four-year college degree. The meaning of the term “lecturer” differs between the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you would like to become an engineering lecturer in the United States, you should expect to teach college-level engineering courses. The position can be full- or part-time and exact responsibilities and requirements vary depending upon the university at which you teach. Lecturing usually involves only teaching, and research or publishing is typically not required. A lecturer is not tenured, meaning he has no guaranteed teaching position with the university beyond the classes he currently has a contract to teach.

It’s no secret – engineering professors at top universities tend to be rock stars in the academic realm. They command salaries well above $300,000, receive thousands of dollars in grants and awards, and often conduct research that leads to many ground-breaking innovations. Engineering professors also work with individuals that will be recruiting them for other engineering jobs and tenured faculty positions.

Lecturers in the United States are often early-career academics. They teach early undergraduate courses, sometimes in large-group settings. If your long-term goal is to achieve permanent, tenured professor status, you might become an engineering lecturer to start your college-level academic career. It should be noted that some universities in the United States use titles such as “distinguished lecturer” to refer to high-level professors. These positions should not be confused with the typical meaning of a lecturer.

There are more stringent requirements to become an engineering lecturer in the United Kingdom. In addition to collegiate teaching duties, the lecturer must also conduct and publish research and oversee research students. Lecturers in the United Kingdom are usually tenured. They almost always hold a doctoral degree. The lecturer title in the United Kingdom is, in general, more prestigious than the same title in the United States.

engineering professor jobs

Serving as an engineering lecturer requires at least a master’s degree and most lecturers, regardless of country, hold a doctoral degree. Like most professors, engineering lecturers typically have expertise in a specific area of the field, such as mechanical engineering, physics, civil engineering, or electrical engineering. Professional experience is also useful. Part-time lecturers will likely still hold a regular position at an outside company.

If you have the necessary qualifications and experience to become an engineering lecturer and are interested in pursuing the opportunity, begin by researching colleges and universities in your area that offer engineering programs. Most institutions post available faculty positions on their website. In the United States, a lecturer may also be called an instructor or an assistant or adjunct professor. If no engineering lecturer opportunities seem to be available, contacting the head of the school’s engineering department may be worthwhile, in order to make yourself known and available for any future openings.

How to Become a Civil Engineering Professor

Civil engineers are highly trained professionals, responsible for major projects such as mines, roadways, bridges, and large-scale construction sites. It’s a diverse specialty, and an individual civil engineer might specialize in anything from earthquake-proof buildings to commuter traffic patterns. Those who wish to move on to a career in education, teaching civil engineering to the next generation of professionals, must have especially strong credentials.


Earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering, or FE, exam.


Fulfil your state’s additional requirements for licensing, which usually require a combination of additional exams and work experience under the supervision of a licensed engineer.


Take and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exams, or PE, for your state. The PE credential isn’t mandatory for professors, but many schools expect or prefer candidates who have passed the exam and are certified as Professional Engineers.


Practice civil engineering, gaining practical hands-on experience in one of the profession’s specialties.


Earn a doctoral degree in civil engineering. This requires two to four years, depending on the program’s content and whether you study full-time or part-time. Most academic positions require a Ph.D. degree.


Take any available opportunity to train engineering interns, write professional or research papers, contribute to industry magazines, speak to the public on engineering matters, or otherwise raise your profile and demonstrate leadership in the field.


Cultivate relationships with current faculty and department heads within your area’s schools, or other schools that are of interest to you. Attend seminars and panel discussions at the school when possible, or offer to participate in them. Make internships available for a school’s students, or offer regular group tours of interesting worksites for civil engineering students. Contribute to the engineering program’s fundraising efforts. Building this kind of track record with an institution can significantly improve your standing with its selection committee.

8.Apply for suitable openings as they become available. These might not be at the full professor level initially, unless you have an unusually strong resume or high visibility within the industry. Professional bodies such as the American Society for Engineering Education and American Geophysical Union have job listings, as do independent career sites and major newspapers’ sites. If you have a short list of schools you’re interested in, their own websites will list any cur
Civil engineers plan and oversee the construction of bridges and other major projects.

Electrical Engineering Preparation

Electrical engineers design and develop various types of electrical systems and gadgets, including radar, communications systems, auto and aircraft systems and computer control systems. Often called electrical and electronics engineers, they also do research, conduct testing and oversee manufacturing. The minimum job requirement is a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related major, such as electronics engineering. However, an engineering license or a graduate degree will prepare you for more job opportunities.

Prepare for College

Preparation for electrical engineering begins in high school. Engineering school entrance requirements vary, but they typically include chemistry, physics, trigonometry, algebra, geometry and calculus. English, computer science, applied technology and statistics will also help provide a foundation for college. In addition, the Iowa State University website recommends related activities, such as electronics clubs, camps and workshops. For example, IT-Adventures sponsors workshops for high school students interested in electrical engineering.

Get Ready for Your Major

Electrical engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology meet national standards and qualify you for engineering licensing exams. Typical programs combine class instruction with lab classes and consist of more than 120 semester hours over four or more years. Students prepare for major classes by first taking general education subjects, such as English and humanities, and science and engineering core classes, including calculus, differential equations and engineering mechanics.

Get Set for Your Degree

Once you’ve finished foundational subjects, you’ll complete your bachelor’s degree with classes in the electrical engineering major, such as circuit analysis, electronics and digital logic design, plus related labs. You’ll also choose electives in a specific area of interest. The specialties available depend on the particular school, but typical choices include power systems, communications systems and instrumentation.


Because job skills are essential for electrical engineers, many schools include cooperative work or internships in the degree program. For example, electrical engineering students at the University of California, Los Angeles work in paid internships in companies such as Qualcomm and Raytheon. Both full-time summer jobs and part-time positions during the school year are available. If your department doesn’t have a formal program, ask professors and counselors at the career center for job leads. Online resources are also available, such as the “After College” website from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Go Professional

Once you have an accredited degree, you can qualify to take exams for professional licensing. Not all electrical engineers need a license, but licensing gives you the legal authority to sign and approve documents and is attractive to employers with government contracts. Each state engineering board makes its own licensing requirements. In general, however, you must pass a preparatory exam, accrue work experience and pass the Professional Engineering exam.

Move Up

A graduate degree in electrical engineering prepares you for advancement or for jobs in research or academia. Some schools combine the bachelor’s and master’s in a five-year plan, but a separate master’s program typically takes up to two years after the bachelor’s. You’ll take advanced courses in a specialty, such as integrated circuits or communications systems, and typically write a thesis or take comprehensive exams. Ph.D. programs are also available and usually take up to five additional years, including advanced coursework, original research and a dissertation.

2016 Salary Information for Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical and electronics engineers earned a median annual salary of $96,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, electrical and electronics engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $75,650, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $121,510, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 324,600 people were employed in the U.S. as electrical and electronics engineers.

What Do You Need for College to Become a Geological Engineer?

Geological engineers are often grouped together with mining engineers. Geological engineers concentrate on how to use Earth’s resources wisely. These engineers focus on areas including oil and gas exploration, mining of minerals and other materials, satisfying water needs and the environmental impact of exploration. A bachelor’s degree in geological engineering or mining engineering is required to enter the field.


Degree programs in geological engineering must be accredited by ABET — the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology — a non-profit, non-government affiliated agency. A degree earned from an ABET accredited college is also the first step for engineering school graduates who seek professional licensure.

Core Undergraduate Courses

Colleges and universities offering degrees in geological engineering typically require a broad, liberal arts foundation as well as technical courses. Classes in English, geometry, natural sciences, humanities, and often, a foreign language, fulfill this requirement. Coursework in chemistry, physics, calculus, statistics and differential equations help to prepare students for more demanding work in subjects directly related to geological engineering.

Advanced Undergraduate Studies

Upper-level technical courses required for a geological engineering degree typically include soil mechanics, mineralogy, sedimentology, geology, fluid mechanics and petrology. Much of this work includes time in a lab or in the field as well as in the classroom. Design project classes may also be included. These capstone classes require the student to solve a detailed engineering problem and test the solution. Some colleges, such as the Colorado School of Mines, offer different tracks for undergraduates depending on the expected career direction. For example, a student pursuing exploration and development has a different set of course requirements than one preparing for work in engineering applications, which includes fields such as environmental impacts or hydrology.

Graduate Education

Some students choose to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees after achieving a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering. Master’s degrees typically take an additional two years of study. Students focus on one type of material, such as petroleum or gypsum, or on a particular field, such as hydrogeology. A PhD also focuses on one core component of geological engineering, and is often the minimum requirement for careers in teaching at the university level, as well as for conducting independent research.


Students may elect to take licensure exams following completion of their bachelor degree, and many employers require licenses as a condition of employment. Individual states set the parameters for granting licenses, but many feature exams given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. The fundamentals of engineering exam is the first, and it may be taken upon graduation. Once passed, the engineer is designated as an engineer in training, EIT, or an engineer intern, EI. After four years of experience, the geological engineer may sit for the principles and practices of engineering exam and earn recognition as a professional engineer, or PE.

2016 Salary Information for Mining and Geological Engineers

Mining and geological engineers earned a median annual salary of $93,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, mining and geological engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $70,630, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $127,420, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 7,300 people were employed in the U.S. as mining and geological engineers.

Geological engineers determine the best way to extract materials from the earth.

How to Land a Competitive Internship

Securing an internship – even an unpaid one – can be highly competitive. Many employers seek interns to gain helping hands, fresh perspectives and even future employees. Landing a competitive internship could result in full-time employment right out of college. Stand out from the sea of other intern applicants through diligent preparation and by showcasing your academic excellence, leadership skills, initiative and potential.


Learn as much as you can about your craft. Go above and beyond what is required at school by conducting independent research, reading additional material, and staying abreast of industry news.


Do well in school. Participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer, keep hobbies and find ways to gain and demonstrate leadership skills. Also, maintain excellent grades, and build a portfolio of your work to take on a future interview.


Join a professional organization related to your intended career field. Student memberships are generally much cheaper than regular individual memberships, and they offer access to helpful resources, including internship postings, interview guides and invitations to events.


Attend networking events in your area to meet professionals in the industry. Build strong references from noted industry professionals, professors and members of the community that will stand out.


Find a mentor in your community. Ask to job shadow for a day or two. Not only can you get an close look at what the job entails, but you can also gain a new reference and have something valuable to share at a future interview.


Ask your school’s student adviser for assistance finding an internship, and then find someone at your school who has completed an internship at a company you are interested in. Get advice and the inside scoop about the types of projects he or she worked on while there and what made it a successful.


Research the company and department for which you want to be an intern, and apply to the internship as early as possible. Write an impressive resume and cover letter, highlighting relevant experience, both academic and professional, as well as leadership roles, projects and pertinent skills.


Prepare for your interview. Find a list of commonly asked questions and practice answering them. Find out who will conduct the interview, if possible, and review any online career profiles, if available.


Dress in professional attire for your interview. Be prepared, early, attentive and confident.


Follow up with the interviewer by sending a thank-you note. This serves as a reminder of your continued interest and appreciation for the interviewer’s time.

Landing a competitive internship takes preparation.

How to Become a Mining Engineer

Mining engineers enjoy high average wages, whether working in coal mining, metal mining, engineering services or gas and oil extraction. The average mining, mining safety or geological engineer earned $90,070 annually as of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top-earning 10 percent received $136,800 per year or more. A beginning mining engineer needs a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and a full professional engineer needs a license.


Complete a high school diploma including the pre-requisites you’ll need for engineering school. In addition to four years of English, take physics, biology, chemistry and mathematics. Include geometry, two years of algebra and an advanced math class, such as calculus or probability and statistics.


Enroll in an accredited engineering program with a major in mining engineering or a related field. Engineering programs are accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Although not many colleges offer a specific mining engineering major, others offer related degrees such as geological engineering.


Complete your accredited engineering degree, taking essential classes such as geology and mine safety. Mining engineering programs normally include both lab and field experience in addition to class sections. For example, a bachelor’s degree in mine operations from the University of Arizona includes general studies and general engineering for the first two years. During the final two years, the curriculum includes classes in surface and underground mine design, mine ventilation, mineral processing and underground construction.


Get practical experience and find contacts for future employment through an internship or part-time job during your college years. Obtain an internship through your engineering department or through government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of the Interior.


Obtain an entry-level engineering job at a mining company. Entry-level mining engineers usually work in field locations at first, gaining experience under the supervision of a senior engineer. However, some companies train new hires in a class setting.


Advance to professional engineer by completing the licensing requirements in your state. Engineers who work directly for the public must be licensed in all states, though the requirements vary. In general, you must have an accredited engineering degree and passing scores on two exams from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. A new graduate qualifies to take the fundamentals of engineering exam. After passing this exam and getting four years of experience, an engineer who passes the principles and practices of engineering exam becomes a licensed PE, or professional engineer. Continuing education is necessary to maintain the license in some states.

Math and physics are significant courses for engineering students.

Salaries for Engineering Professors at State Schools

Engineers apply physical laws and principals of engineering to disciplines including mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil, industrial and mineral engineering. While teaching is a big part of an engineering professor’s job, he also typically engages in research related to his area of specialization.

State School Salaries

The type of institution where an engineering professor works plays a significant role in determining his pay. The average salary of engineering professors at a state-owned U.S. colleges and universities was $95,740 in 2011, while those who taught at state-owned junior colleges earned $63,110 on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who worked for state government-owned educational services averaged $93,500.

National Wages

The average salary of engineering professors at public and private colleges was $97,260, according to the bureau. The top 10 percent earned at least $153,030 a year, while the bottom 10 percent earned $47,410 or less. The middle 50 percent earned between $67,200 and $119,780.


Texas offered the highest number of employment opportunities for engineering professors, with 3,080 positions, the bureau says. Texas engineering professors made $93,470 on average. Engineering professors who taught in Pennsylvania earned the highest average salary, $115,740. Those in Wisconsin averaged $78,600, and Rhode Island professors made $103,140.


The bureau projects a 17 percent increase in the number of jobs for post-secondary teachers between 2010 and 2020. Job opportunities in for-profit institutions should grow faster than average, while those at state schools will depend on budget constraints. Professors in specialty fields such as engineering should have better employment opportunities than those in the humanities, the bureau says.

Mechanical Engineering CV Example

A CV, or curriculum vitae, differs from an ordinary resume by focusing on your career and academic background rather than on your employment specifically. As with a resume, be sure to include your full contact information, and edit the document thoroughly to weed out any errors. CVs work best for professionals who have established their careers, so if you are just getting started in yours then consider including a list of references or simply going with a traditional resume. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests slow but steady job growth for mechanical engineers through 2020, and excellent salary prospects.

Educational Background

This section of the CV explains to potential employers both your academic credentials and your practical experience during your time in academia. For each college you attended, list the years of your attendance, the degrees you earned and any relevant minors or honors you were awarded. Also briefly summarize any engineering or other career-relevant research in which you participated, and include the name of the laboratory or department where you did the research. If you spent any time teaching as an assistant, list the subjects you taught and give a brief overview of the work description.

Professional Background

It isn’t necessary or even desirable to list your entire history of employment. Use this section of your CV to highlight only those jobs that relate to mechanical engineering. This includes any employment you have held as an engineer of any kind, and jobs related to engineering where you have searched as an assistant, teacher, researcher or scientist. Don’t try to exaggerate your professional background. For instance, if you’re entering the private sector for the first time after completing a graduate degree, you can exclude this section entirely and mention any relevant job experience in other sections instead.

Funding Grants

If you have done any work sponsored by a grant, fellowship or other award, give the name of the award, summarize the purpose of the project and explain your role in it. If you have relevant experience here that you already mentioned in your professional background section, simply refer to that job without repeating yourself about what the job entailed.

Achievements and Scholarship

Because mechanical engineering is a highly skilled profession, most engineers actively contribute to their field in the course of their education and career. In this section list your scholarly publications, industry presentations, books, patents and any industry or academic awards of recognition you have earned. If you have any presence on the Internet in your capacity as an engineer, such as a YouTube channel or a professional blog, mention them here.

Service and Projects

If you have served your profession as a paid or unpaid reviewer, board member or other official, name the organization and describe what you did for it. This is also the section to list your professional memberships with organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Finally, you can mention a select summary of your community service background or personal projects not otherwise related to your profession. This offers a way for you to show potential employers how you are well-rounded and draw attention to any special accomplishments you have outside the engineering world.

Mechanical engineers design some of the world's most elaborate machines.

Other tasks include:

  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, laboratory work, assignments, and papers.
  • Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as mechanics, hydraulics, and robotics.

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