Engineering certificates are a great alternative to traditional degrees. With these programs, you’ll be able to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue plenty of engineering positions. Companies like Google, Apple, and IBM are now employing people without a college degree. Pursuing a college certificate can help you find a job at these and many other tech companies.
Moreover, an engineering college certificate is very versatile because there are so many fields to focus on. Common fields of study are industrial engineering, project management, aerospace engineering, and electrical engineering. In this article, we’ve gathered all the information you’ll need to choose the best engineering certificate program for you.
What Is an Engineering Certificate College Program?
An engineering certificate college program is a program in which students complete a certain number of hours of engineering courses to strengthen their expertise in engineering. An academic document is awarded to students who have successfully completed a series of courses in one or more engineering fields. There are undergraduate and graduate engineering certificates. Both types of certificates are a great way of gaining more fundamental engineering knowledge and skills to help you pursue your career goals.
What’s the Difference Between a College Engineering Certificate and Professional Certification in Engineering?
The main difference between an engineering certificate and a professional certification is what they indicate. Certificates in engineering are proof of successful completion of an educational program. Meanwhile, a certification results from an assessment process by a third party that proves that a professional has the required competencies and expertise necessary for a specific occupation.
Engineering College Certificate vs Engineering Certification: Key Differences
|Certificates are acquired faster. Typically, a certificate can be earned in about one or two years.
|Certifications take more time to acquire because they require a college education and other training programs.
|Universities award certificates.
|Certifications are issued by third-party organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers.
|Engineering certificates don’t have an expiration date.
|Certifications expire after a certain time.
How Long Does It Take To Get an Engineering Certificate at College?
It takes approximately one year to complete an engineering college certificate. Most certificate programs have a 12- to 18-credit requirement, which can be completed in a year or less. That’s why college certificates are a great and quick way of gaining the knowledge and skills required for pursuing various engineering positions.
Best Engineering Certificate Undergraduate Programs
|Community College of Baltimore County
|Certificate in Engineering
|$175/credit (in county),
$294/credit (in state, out of county),
$425/credit (out of state)
|Certificate in Aerospace Engineering
|Mississippi State University
|Certificate in Automotive Engineering
|Pennsylvania State University
|Certificate in Engineering Design With Digital Tools
|$689/credit (in state), $1,345/credit (out of state)
|University of Colorado at Boulder
|Undergraduate Certificate in Engineering Management
|$14,184/year (in state), $21,025/year (out of state)
|University of Florida
|Certificate in Engineering Leadership
|$213/credit (in state), $955/credit (out of state)
|University of Oklahoma
|Undergraduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership
|$302/credit (in state), $829/credit (out of state)
|University of Texas at Arlington
|Undergraduate Certificate in Automotive Engineering
|$1,048/credit (in state), $2,063/credit (out of state)
|The University of Texas at Austin
|Certificate in Humanitarian Engineering
|$1,949/credit hour (in state), $6,611/credit hour (out of state)
|University of Texas at San Antonio
|Certificate in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
|$824/credit (in state), $1,337/credit (out of state)
Best Undergraduate Engineering Certificate Programs: Explained
There are plenty of certificate options for students seeking an engineering certificate program. You can spend tons of time browsing certificate programs, but we’ve already done the work for you. Some of the best undergraduate certificate programs are Penn State’s Certificate in Engineering Design and UTSA’s Certificate in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering. Below, you’ll find a list of all other great engineering certificate programs.
Engineering College Certificate Program vs Engineering Associate Degree
Engineering associate degrees are two-year undergraduate degree programs that aim to prepare students for further baccalaureate education. In comparison, engineering college certificates are postsecondary education awards given to students that have completed a series of courses. Typically, certificates can be used to pursue employment upon completion.
Common differences between engineering certificates and associate degrees include their cost and time of completion. Other differences are expected student learning outcomes, salary, and networking opportunities. Read below to learn more about these differences.
- Time. Engineering associate degrees are typically earned in two years. In contrast, engineering college certificates can be earned in only one year or less.
- Cost. Because associate degrees take longer to get, they cost more than certificate programs. Moreover, online certificates tend to be even cheaper.
- Outcomes. Getting an engineering college certificate will provide you with the skills required for employment. Meanwhile, an associate degree typically prepares you for a bachelor’s degree program.
- Salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for associate degree holders is $938 per week. On the other hand, someone with some college and no degree (like those who are earning a certificate) have an average weekly salary of $899.
- Networking opportunities. Pursuing an engineering college certificate lets you meet other people who want to work in the same field as you. Meanwhile, classmates you meet while getting your associate degree might not have the same interests or goals as you.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Best Associate Degrees
Is an Undergraduate Engineering Certificate Worth It?
Yes, an undergraduate engineering certificate program is worth it because it’s a great way of becoming qualified for employment. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, plenty of engineering jobs only require a certificate or a postsecondary nondegree award. Some examples are industrial production managers, civil drafters, and industrial engineering technicians.
Best Engineering Certificate Graduate Programs
|Arizona State University
|Certificate in Molecular, Cellular, Tissue, and Biomaterials Engineering
|$858/credit hour (in state), $1,361/credit hour (out of state)
|Columbia University in the City of New York
|Certificate in Electrical Engineering- Telecommunications
|Certificate in Engineering Leadership
|$3,750 or $650/month
|Certificate in Engineering Management
|Oregon State University
|Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management
|Penn State World Campus
|Graduate Certificate in
Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management
|University of Colorado at Boulder
|Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Engineering
|$2,715/credit hour (in state), $3,618/credit hour (out of state)
|University of Maryland Global Campus
|Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering
|$514/credit (in state), $659/credit (out of state)
|University of Missouri
|Graduate Certificate in Aerospace Engineering
|The University of Texas at Austin
|Certificate in Engineering Education
|$1,429/credit hour (in state), $2,034/credit hour (out of state)
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Best Graduate Engineering Certificate Programs Explained
Some of the best online engineering certificates are offered by Cornell University, Drexel University, Penn State, and University of Missouri. Other schools that offer some of the best in-person engineering graduate certificates are the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Texas at Austin. Graduate certificate courses are a great way for students with a bachelor’s degree to get a deeper level of knowledge of engineering.
Below, you can browse certificate programs that we’ve curated for you and learn more information about these programs.
Engineering Graduate Certificate Program vs Engineering Master’s Degree
Graduate engineering certificates are postsecondary education awards given to students upon completion of certain graduate coursework. Master’s degree programs are two-year academic programs that allow students to learn advanced knowledge in a specific field of study, after which, students earn a degree. Both are great for gaining knowledge and skills that can help you progress in your professional life.
The main difference between these two types of programs is their flexibility, time, funding, and research opportunities. The salaries of someone with a master’s degree and a graduate certificate holder are also different. Below you can read more about these differences.
- Flexibility. Graduate certificate programs offer more flexibility. They require less study time than a master’s degree program. Moreover, online engineering certificates can be completed at your own pace.
- Time. While a master’s degree is earned in two or three years, a graduate certificate in engineering can be earned in only one year. The amount of time you’ll have to dedicate to a certificate is also considerably less.
- Funding opportunities. The cost of a Master’s Degree in Engineering is higher than a certificate. However, schools generally offer plenty of funding and financial aid options to master’s degree students. These opportunities are not typically available to certificate students.
- Salary. Professionals with a master’s degree make $1,545 per week, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. While someone with only a bachelor’s degree, such as those who are in a graduate certificate program, make about $1,305 in a week.
- Research opportunities. Research opportunities are not typically available to students getting an engineering college certificate. In contrast, master’s degree students can participate in plenty of research projects and assistantships.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Best Master’s Degrees
Is a Graduate Engineering Certificate Worth It?
Yes, a graduate engineering certificate is worth it because it’ll provide you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a wide range of positions in engineering. A graduate engineering certificate prepares you for career advancement faster because you won’t have to dedicate as much time and money as is required to get a graduate degree.
Engineering Certificate Program Coursework
Common engineering certificate program coursework includes courses in project management, engineering economic analysis, and systems management. There are plenty of courses available depending on the area of engineering you want to focus on. Below you’ll find more information about the common coursework for engineering certificate programs.
Aerodynamics is the study of the properties of moving air and the complex interaction between air and bodies moving through it. This course is fundamental to any aerospace engineering certificate and is important to becoming a competitor for positions in aerospace-oriented industries. It covers topics such as fluid mechanics and aircraft analysis and design.
Database systems are the software used to collect, maintain, and access vast quantities of data. This course is one of the foundational courses in a tech-related engineering certificate. With this course, students will learn the basics of database management, such as storage models, query languages like SQL, and how to process queries.
Engineering Economic Analysis
Engineering economic analysis is the process of breaking down the overall costs of an engineering project. With this course, students will learn from math subjects such as calculus, mathematics of optimization, and principles of accounting. They’ll also learn about demand estimation and microeconomics.
With this course, students will learn how to effectively manage engineering projects, and how to complete all the required documentation for the project. Topics covered in this course include team management, effective planning, and foundations of Agile project management.
Systems management refers to the administration of distributed systems, such as computer and IT systems. Some topics covered in this course include how to develop and maintain systems, data-driven decision making, cyber security, and network administration.
Best Online College Courses for Credit
What Can You Do With an Engineering Certificate from College?
With an engineering college certificate from college you can pursue plenty of jobs, such as civil drafter, manufacturing technician, database administrator, and aerospace technician. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of professionals with a college certificate is $37,670.
Best Engineering Jobs and Careers With a Certificate
|Industrial Production Manager
|Aerospace Engineering Technician
Best Engineering Certificate Jobs and Careers: Explained
The best engineering jobs you can get with a certificate include engineering manager, industrial production manager, electrical engineer, database administrator, and aerospace technician. A certificate in engineering will provide you with the skills to pursue these and other high-paying careers in engineering. In this section, we give an overview of each of the best engineering jobs.
Should I Also Get an Engineering Certification?
Yes, you should also get an engineering certification because it can help add to the trustworthiness of your skills. Certifications are assessment processes that prove that a professional has attained a high level of competency in their occupation. Getting a certification can also improve your salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly pay of certified engineers is $1,724.
Best Engineering Certifications
- Certified Control System Technician (CCST). The International Society of Automation (ISA) issues this certification to automation and control technicians with proven expertise. There are three levels of this certification. Requirements include at least three years of combined education and work experience and passing an exam.
- Certified Manufacturing Engineer. This certification is issued by SME. A minimum of eight years of combined education and work experience is required to earn this certification. Prospects must also pass the certification exam, which costs between $520 and $550.
- Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP). The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) awards this certification to experienced systems engineers. To gain this certification, professionals need to submit their applications and pass an exam. This certification has to be renewed after three years.
- Professional Engineering Licensure. This certification is issued by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. To get this certification, you’ll need at least undergraduate education, relevant professional experience, and to complete several exams.
- Reliability Engineer Certification (CRE). This certification is issued by Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ). The requirements for this certification are having a college degree, having 11 years of relevant work experience, and passing a 165-question exam. The exam fee is $498.
Best Professional Certifications
Is a College Certificate for Engineering Worth It?
Yes, an college certificate for engineering is worth it because it can help you with skills mastery and career advancement. Some jobs that only require an engineering college certificate are data scientist and aerospace engineering technician. Both undergraduate and graduate certifications provide the competencies needed to pursue employment in a range of job opportunities.
Engineering Certificates FAQ
No, you don’t need an engineering certificate, as it’s not a typical requirement for most jobs. However, getting a college certificate can add to the credibility of your technical skills, which boosts your chances of getting hired. These programs often focus on teaching in-demand technical skills that prepare students to take on jobs in various industries.
Yes, you can get an engineering certificate online. Some schools that offer fully online courses are Arizona State University, Missouri University, Penn State, and Cornell University. Getting a certificate in engineering online will allow you to incorporate your studies into your daily life in a way that suits you best.
You can get an engineering certificate from different colleges. Schools that offer undergraduate certificates are Duke University, Penn State, University of Florida, and University of Texas at Arlington. If you want a graduate certificate, some of the best schools to get it are Drexel University, University of Missouri, and the University of Texas at Austin.
You should get an engineering college certificate because it’s a great alternative to a traditional degree. Certificates are great for professional development and for switching careers because they provide you with knowledge and technical skills. Moreover, there are plenty of job opportunities for certificate holders in companies like Google, Apple, and IBM.
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