10 Hardest Types Of Engineering 

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young male machine inspector wearing vest and hardhat with headphones checking machine and sterilizers in water plant while making notes in digital tablet

What are the hardest types of engineering?

What are the hardest types of engineering? The field of engineering is both challenging and interesting. Math and physics are two of the disciplines that are utilized by engineers in their quest to find solutions to the challenges we face daily. There are dozens of distinct areas of concentration within the field of engineering.

There are many subfields of engineering from which to choose, and everything is determined by your goals. There is no option that is inherently superior or inferior.

Please take note that there is no particular order to the items on this list. These different types of engineering are each exceptionally challenging. They demand a lot of effort and unwavering commitment.

The following are the hardest types of engineering.

1. Electrical Engineering

The study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems that use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism are the primary focuses of electrical engineering, which is a subfield of the engineering discipline.

Due to the significant amount of abstract thinking required for this major, it is widely regarded as one of the hardest types of engineering.

a male engineer holding a piece of rolled paper

A significant portion of the work of electrical engineering is done behind the scenes. Currents, wireless signals, electric fields, and magnetic fields are invisible to everyone except electrical engineers.

To be successful in the field of electrical engineering, you should have a solid foundation in both mathematics and physics. A four- to five-year commitment is typically required to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

2. Chemical Engineering

The field of chemical engineering focuses on the process of transforming raw materials into useful products, such as foods, medicines, fertilizers, and sources of energy and fuel.

Because it incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, this branch of engineering is, without a doubt, extremely difficult. Even when taken separately, each of these topics are challenging.

Unidentified person working on the laboratory.

It takes approximately three to five years to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the undergraduate level. A comprehensive understanding of mathematics, chemistry, and physics is necessary for a career in chemical engineering.

3. Computer Engineering

This subfield of engineering draws from both the fields of computer science and electrical engineering to create the hardware and software components of computers.

Because it is so closely related to electrical engineering, computer engineering is often regarded as one of the hardest types of engineering. If you find that electrical engineering is challenging for you, you will most likely struggle with computer engineering as well.

Students who do not have an interest in coding and programming also find it difficult to succeed in computer engineering.

A four- to five-year commitment is typically required to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. A foundation in computer science, mathematics, and physics are necessary for entry into the field. Familiarity with programming or coding is another valuable skill to have.

4. Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is a subfield of mechanical engineering that focuses on the conception, creation, testing, and manufacturing of aircraft, spacecraft, and other apparatuses that are closely related. Aeronautical engineering and astronomical engineering are the two primary subfields of specialization.

two aerospace engineers working on an airplane's turbo engine

Because of the significant amount of mathematics and physics that are required, along with strong analytical abilities and extensive technical knowledge, aerospace engineering is regarded as one of the hardest types of engineering. Students who are not interested in mathematics or who dislike doing calculations will find this challenging.

If you already have experience in mechanical engineering, the transition to aerospace engineering will be easier for you. We recommend that you first earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering, and then continue your education with graduate-level work in aerospace engineering.

Degrees in aerospace engineering can be earned in as little as three to five years. Differential equations, aircraft design, fluid mechanics, calculus, electrical circuits, thermodynamics, and aircraft aerodynamics are some of the topics that may be covered in assigned coursework.

5. Biomedical Engineering

An interdisciplinary field of study, biomedical engineering brings together the study of engineering with medicine and biology to enhance human health and serve the needs of the healthcare industry.

This particular branch of engineering is difficult due to the extensive knowledge required. Students who major in biomedical engineering are required to study a wide variety of subjects, including biology, medicine, and engineering.

Three engineers talking in a room while wearing their protective suit.

The real-world application of biomedical engineering is much more difficult than the academic study of the subject. Engineers in the biomedical field are responsible for the design and development of artificial organs to improve human health.

It typically takes between four and five years to finish a degree in biomedical engineering.

6. Nuclear Engineering

The study of nuclear processes and their application in practical settings are the primary focuses of the subfield of engineering known as nuclear engineering. It requires a great deal of mental arithmetic. In addition, it is among the hardest types of engineering. To succeed in the field of nuclear engineering, you’ll need a solid foundation in both mathematics and physics.

The subjects of reactor engineering, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, thermal hydraulics, plasma physics, reactor physics, radiation detection and measurement, materials science, and many more are covered in the coursework for nuclear engineering.

an engineer working using his tablet

Nuclear engineers can find work in the military, in the healthcare industry to use radiation to diagnose and treat illnesses, or in the energy industry to supervise the construction, maintenance, and operation of power plants.

A bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering can be earned in four years, and a master’s degree can be earned in five years. Both degrees can be earned online.

7. Robotics Engineering

The field of robotics engineering is concerned with the design, construction, and operation of robots, which are machines that replicate human actions. Robotics engineering is a subfield of mechanical engineering.

This branch of engineering is difficult to study and even more difficult to practice. Designing and building a robot is a labor-intensive endeavor. In-depth familiarity with subjects such as mathematics, electronics, mechanics, programming, and computer science is required for this field.

two engineering student working on a school project

The following topics are typically covered in robotics engineering courses: pneumatics and hydraulics; computer programming; robotics designing; artificial intelligence; mechatronics; electronic systems; and machine kinematics.

8. Quantum Engineering

Quantum engineering seeks to solve modern issues by combining the skills of traditional engineering with those of fundamental physics.

Because it relies on quantum mechanics, this branch of engineering is regarded as one of the hardest types of engineering. One of the most challenging aspects of physics is quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is a difficult subject to study at any level, including the secondary level.

Students who do not have a strong interest in mathematics and physics will find it challenging to study quantum engineering. Additionally, it calls for both analytical and critical thinking.

a female engineers presenting in front of her colleagues

The field of quantum engineering is rarely taught at the undergraduate level. Either a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or physics is required to become a quantum engineer. After that, additional education in quantum engineering must be attained at the graduate and postgraduate levels. It typically takes between four and five years to earn a degree in quantum engineering.

9. Nanotechnology Engineering or Nanoengineering

Nanoengineering is a subfield of mechanical engineering that concentrates on the research, development, and improvement of materials on a nanoscale. The study of engineering at the nanoscale is what’s referred to as nanoengineering, and it’s a relatively new field.

two engineerings working together

Because it draws from a wide variety of disciplines, including materials science, mechanics, electronics, biology, physics, medicine, and so on, the study of nanotechnology engineering is regarded as one of the most challenging academic disciplines.

10. Mechatronics Engineering

This engineering major focuses on a combination of mechanical, computer, and electrical systems, to work with intelligent technologies such as robots, automated guidance systems, and computer-integrated manufacturing equipment.

Electronic materials, electromagnetic fields, computer programming, measurements and analytical software, digital system design, electronic circuit design, applied mechanics, and industrial robotics are some of the topics that may be covered in the coursework for mechatronics engineering.

engineers working on a machine

Because it draws from a variety of disciplines, including robotics, electronics, and mechanics, among others, Mechatronics Engineering is one of the hardest types of engineering. It takes approximately four years to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering. A solid education in mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and computer science is required for this major.

Should you major in Engineering?

Should you study Engineering as your major? Asking yourself the following questions about your interests, skills, and goals can help you decide whether or not you should major in engineering.

Are you good in the fields of Math and Science?

The two subjects that are most central to engineering education are mathematics and science. Calculus, algebra, statistics, physics, chemistry, and biology are just some of the topics that will likely be covered in the majority of undergraduate engineering programs. You should also anticipate having to participate in multiple labs.

Do you take pleasure in resolving issues?

All the hardest types of engineering feature problem-solving. Your primary mission is to discover viable solutions so that you can make the world a better, safer, and more productive place. If you think you have strong critical thinking skills, you should consider majoring in engineering. This field is always in demand.

Are you ready to put in long hours for your schoolwork?

Many people know that engineering is one of the most difficult fields of study to study. Be aware of the rigorous requirements that must be met to earn a degree in engineering. Engineering programs may require you to maintain a certain grade point average in addition to the several hours of weekly homework.

What types of Engineers make the most money?

Which fields of engineering tend to pay the highest salaries? An astounding 89% of professional engineers say they are “satisfied to very satisfied” with their work, and 90% of them say they would recommend engineering as a profession to a young person.

However, these are just two reasons to pursue a career in engineering. When deciding where to put your efforts, there are a lot of things to take into account, but money is undeniably one of the most important things to think about.

Considerations for the 10 highest-paying engineering jobs are provided below, ranked both by median pay and potential for growth in the field.

  1. Environmental Engineer
  2. Biomedical Engineer
  3. Systems Engineer
  4. Electrical Engineer
  5. Chemical Engineer
  6. Big Data Engineer
  7. Nuclear Engineer
  8. Aerospace Engineer
  9. Computer Hardware Engineer
  10. Petroleum Engineer


We did not rank the hardest types of engineering to frighten you; rather, we did so to get you ready for what you will be getting into. Engineering is not for everyone, but if you have the skills and determination, you can succeed.

Learn as much as you can in mathematics and science, as this will serve as the basis for all of your engineering classes. Attend your lectures, and devote the majority of your time to studying. This is how you will excel in the most difficult engineering classes.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is here to assist you if you have any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your dreams.



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