There are an
estimated 1.9 million engineers currently working in the United States.
Engineers solve industrial problems, develop innovative new
technologies, and create the infrastructure that makes our standard of living
possible. Their work bridges technological innovation and commercial, practical
applications that cater to the needs of organizations and consumers. Due to the
speed of scientific advancement and the corresponding rapid adoption rates of
new technologies, engineers are in high demand. As a result, the
field enjoys low unemployment rates, with some areas such as geophysical and
geological engineering having close to zero percent unemployment. Graduates who
hold a Bachelor’s degree in engineering are predicted to earn the highest
starting salaries of all majors, with an average of $62,998.
part thanks to the pursuit of advancement in automotive technology,
sustainability, industrial automation, biotechnology, infrastructure, and oil
and gas exploration, engineers will enjoy a robust career outlook for years to
come. The demand for all engineers is predicted to rise by 11 percent in the coming years. This translates to upwards of 240,000
new engineering positions
coming in the next decade. Moreover, tens of thousands of Baby Boomers will
retire from the workforce, fueling the need for more qualified engineers to
The five biggest gainers:
Civil, mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineers, along with architectural and engineering managers are set to see the largest number of new jobs:
- Civil engineers. Due to our country’s aging infrastructure, civil engineers will be increasingly in demand to repair and replace existing structures and transport systems. This discipline has a projected job growth of 18 percent and is expected to add the most new jobs, with more than 45,000 positions to be added by 2024. Civil engineers can expect a median annual salary of $76,294.
- Mechanical engineers. Since mechanical engineers work in a wide range of industries and with a variety of responsibilities, job opportunities will differ per field, but overall, this discipline will add more than 20,000 positions by 2024. Mechanical engineers can expect to earn on average $79,997 per year.
- Architectural and engineering managers. In the coming decade, architectural and engineering managers will enjoy the addition of between 18,000 and 19,000 new jobs, predominantly in expanding industries such as biomedical and environmental engineering. With an average annual income of more than $123,000, they enjoy the second highest engineering salary per discipline. Petroleum engineers take the top earning salary slot amongst all engineering disciplines and are likely to earn an average salary of just under $124,000 annually.
- Industrial engineers. With responsibilities that can include manufacturing engineering, process engineering, quality engineering, supply chain and others, industrial engineers will enjoy increased demand across a wide variety of industries, amounting to more than 17,000 new jobs by 2024. An industrial engineer can expect to receive a yearly income of approximately $78,500.
- Electrical engineers. With a predicted job growth of 10 percent, this discipline will add more than 16,000 jobs across a range of industries in the coming years. The median annual salary for electrical engineers is $86,778.
Of course, there are additional engineering occupations that will enjoy a significant number of new jobs. Electronics, petroleum, and computer hardware engineers will each add nearly 10,000 new positions by 2024. The occupation of biomedical engineering is predicted to grow the fastest and is set to experience at least 27 percent growth. Lastly, the mining and geological engineering disciplines are predicted to grow by 19 percent.
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Talent Market Analyst™
Spotlight on Engineering: Promising Futures for New Engineers
2015 NACE Salary Survey
Infographic: Engineering Employment Outlook