Attending the best engineering schools in California can bring many profitable and exciting careers. You can explore various disciplines with this specialty, including chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, and environmental engineering. With that said, it’s also one of the most competitive fields to get into, especially as someone proficient in science and math.
Let’s explore five of the top-ranked engineering schools in the state. Each of these schools made it to our list because they meet the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of no more than $9,000
- An expected median starting salary of no lower than $35,000 upon graduation
- Accredited programs by recognized accrediting bodies
They’re ranked from the lowest annual average cost to the highest.
5 Best Engineering Schools in California
1. Moorpark College
2 to 4 Year; Moorpark, CA
Average Annual Cost: $1,636
At Moorpark College, students can enroll in the engineering department to experience electrical, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering.
With these broad categories, you can also delve into various sub-disciplines. For example, students may decide to study energy engineering, nanoengineering, biological engineering, and more.
This program is highly remarkable because it opens the door to many learning opportunities. Students will find themselves doing hands-on activities in state-of-the-art facilities with top-tier materials. Through internship opportunities, you’ll also have access to electronic testing labs and real-world experience.
Currently, Moorpark College offers many degree options and certificates for students to consider. These include:
- Associate in Science in Engineering
- Certificate of Achievement in Engineering
- Certificate of Achievement in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Certificate of Achievement in Engineering Computer-Aided Design and Drafting
- Certificate of Achievement in Engineering Technology
2. Orange Coast College
2 to 4 Year; Costa Mesa, CA
Average Annual Cost: $4,503
Orange Coast College is a great opportunity for engineering students to dive further into the discipline. All of your courses will revolve around several fundamental concepts of the field of study, including:
- Social Sciences
If you’re a transfer student, you’ll find this is one of the top colleges to consider, as they have numerous transferable courses. This is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in furthering their degree in a four-year bachelor’s program.
As a current student, you also have plenty of flexibility when choosing your courses, as there are several electives to consider.
When you graduate from the engineering department at Orange Coast College, you’ll have an Associate of Science Degree in Engineering. You can then continue to acquire a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from a four-year program.
This pathway will give you access to some of the most remarkable careers worldwide.
3. San Diego Miramar College
2 to 4 Year; San Diego, CA
Average Annual Cost: $4,886
San Diego Miramar College is slightly different than the other schools on this list.
They don’t have a specific engineering program, but you can opt to take other programs to further your degree options. For example, you can enroll in a chemistry or biochemistry program to move on to a four-year engineering program.
One of this school’s largest opportunities is they help give you the fundamentals to pursue your specialty. For example, if you take biology, you can either continue with the biology pathway or switch to engineering.
The vast majority of degree options from San Diego Miramar College are Associates of Science or Certificates of Achievement.
Another interesting area of study to consider for engineering students is mathematics. You’ll explore structures, numbers, and numerical operations with this learning pathway. It’s a fantastic contribution to a potential engineering degree, which revolves primarily around this area of study.
4. Diablo Valley College
2 to 4 Year; Pleasant Hill, CA
Average Annual Cost: $6,678
The central premise of the engineering program at Diablo Valley College is to prepare students for further education.
After obtaining your degree or certificate, you can apply to a four-year program. Once you’ve received a bachelor’s degree, you can proceed to your chosen specialty, such as chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering.
The learning opportunities at Diablo Valley College are phenomenal, giving students exposure to several fundamental tenets. The school currently offers three individual degree pathways that you can consider, including:
- Associate in Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering
- Associate in Science Degree in Civil Engineering
- Associate in Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering
As an engineering student, you can expect to take many courses while obtaining your two-year degree.
Some of the most common courses include calculus, engineering drawing, physics for engineers, plane surveying, and more. You’ll find these fantastic core courses will give you the knowledge needed to pursue a four-year degree elsewhere.
There is also a complete list of electives to help balance your education. These courses are essential if you focus on a specific specialty, such as chemical engineering. It’s best to talk to a counselor to plan your schedule to ensure you’re getting all of the right courses behind you.
5. Ohlone College
2 to 4 Year; Fremont, CA
Average Annual Cost: $8,483
Like many of the other programs on this best engineering schools California list, Ohlone College has an assortment of engineering degree options.
Students can explore the concepts of industrial, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. There are also other options to consider, helping to prepare you to transfer to a four-year program.
At Ohlone College, you’ll be able to obtain an Associate in Science or a Certificate of Achievement. You can then transfer to a four-year institution to get a Bachelor of Science degree using these degrees.
One of the most interesting features of this program is that it’s designed to benefit students. For example, Ohlone College ensures its courses are structured around creating the most employable graduates.
You’ll learn various engineering fundamentals, including engineering management and sales, design, development, analysis, and more. Another massive concept of your courses will be advanced research, which is ideal for students that want to move on to teaching and experimentation careers.
After obtaining their Bachelor of Science, most graduates work in an assortment of fields. You could find employment in testing industries, government facilities, teaching positions, and technical sales fields.
It’s also important to note that Ohlone College has fantastic labs and resources to help aid you in your studies.