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Professional Development Groups for the Engineering Profession

  • National Academy of Engineering
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Order of the Engineer
  • Society of Women Engineers

Engineering organizations exist to support professional engineers across the disciplines. These groups help those within the engineering industry to move their careers forward. They do this by providing further education, articles on the latest advancements, publishing opportunities, networking groups and other types of professional development. It benefits those working within the field to belong to such a society. Employers and colleagues respect those who take their professional development seriously. Such organizations exist for nearly all disciplines within engineering, such as civil, mechanical, chemical and electrical. Read below for some of the top organizations that benefit engineers of various backgrounds and interests.

See our ranking of the 30 Best Values for Aerospace Engineering.

1. National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) prides itself on helping to ensure the technical welfare of the nation is promoted through its nurturing of engineering professionals who excel in the field. This organization serves as an offshoot of the National Academies that oversees all engineering activities that occur in the name of the broader group.

2. National Society of Black Engineers

This group is owned and run by its membership. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) strives to promote, encourage and develop the success of African American students and professionals within the field of engineering. Members can receive a host of benefits, including mentorship, training, leadership education and career placement, among others. There are collegiate, professional and even pre-college chapters globally.

3. National Society of Professional Engineers

The National Society of Professional Engineers is one of the most popular engineering organizations around. It serves all licensed professional engineers, no matter what their area of concentration. This association's focus is on matters of a non-technical bent, such as licensure advocacy, networking, leadership training, education, and outreach. The NSPE also serves engineer interns who are working to enter the industry.

4. Order of the Engineer

The scope of this organization is a bit different, as it serves to instill a sense of pride and responsibility within members of the broader engineering community. Members are sworn to uphold the group's long-held code of ethics. They signify their membership and loyalty by wearing a specific ring on the pinky finger of their dominant, or working, hand. This group strives to demonstrate and uphold professionalism among engineers.

5. Society of Women Engineers

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a nonprofit association for the advancement and education of women within the field of engineering. They work to recognize the achievements and contributions women make within what is still a male-dominated industry. Benefits abound in order to encourage women to excel. These include professional development, scholarships, networking events, advocacy, outreach and more.

Students and professionals alike who are interested in and dedicated to the field of engineering should consider membership to at least one of these organizations, along with ones that apply to their specific discipline. The benefits of membership in such associations are numerous. Belonging to professional engineering organizations can support and propel careers.

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