Engineering Professions and Employment Opportunities

Despite what you probably think, only 12 percent of engineers are employed by the government. More than 50% of those working for the government are employed by the DOD, DoT, Agricultural Department, Interior Department and Energy Department. Many are also employed by NASA. The State and Local Government engineers tend to work for highway and public works departments.

Almost half of them are focused in the civil, industrial and mechanical engineering specialties.

Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and Industrial engineers take the top three spots, in that order. The least employed are agricultural engineers, mining and geological engineers and marine engineers.

Biomedical, Environmental and Civil engineers are expecting the most growth due to the expected growth in the Health/Medical, Environmental and Infrastructure industries. You must be local to provide these sorts of services, too, so competition from outsourced work should be very low.

There will be job openings created by the engineers who are beginning to retire, transfer to management or sales or have given up on engineering for other reasons.

Chemical, Electrical and Computer Hardware Engineers will see the least growth in their field over the coming years. These positions are still popular amongst students and outsourced workers, so the competition is fierce. You can also find employment in many of these fields without maintaining an active engineering license, meaning the barrier to entry is set low. A company can find these employees for pennies on the dollar if they are willing to hire overseas, inexperienced workers.

The professions with the leading growth rate are biomedical engineers, environmental engineers and civil engineers. The losers are Chemical Engineers, Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Computer Hardware Engineers.

You can make the most money by getting into any of the following: petroleum, chemical or mining. These fields will have a growth rate of between 2% to 18% over the coming years. Civil, Biomedical and Agricultural Engineers are going to see declines in growth.

Engineering professions requiring local engineers with license will remain the most in demand. You just can’t outsource it and need qualified workers. Civil engineers will enjoy this benefit the most. Fields that can be outsourced will be hit the hardest. Consider this when choosing your specialty. But like they say – you should do what you love.

If you want to be a software engineer – go for it. The future is not guaranteed and software engineers may eventually require licensure. You could also have two or more specialties. You could be hired as a software engineer for a petroleum engineering company. Your expertise in these two fields of engineering could be important. But no matter what – make sure you try to keep employment potential in mind. Your skills are ultimately what determine whether or not you can find and keep employment as an engineer.