In a struggling economy with stagnant job growth and low job security, high-demand engineering jobs can be difficult to find. Some professions such as aerospace engineers and chemical engineers have minimal expected job growth over the next decade. However, some engineering careers are showing signs of economic promise.
Biomedical engineers have high expected job growth. Julia Galeazzi, associate director of the Johns Hopkins' career center, states that private companies need biomedical engineers to construct new medical equipment. The government needs biomedical engineers to research ways to combat bio-terrorism and the U.S. Patent Office needs biomedical engineers to create innovative medical devices, as reported in "USA Today." According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010, jobs in biomedical engineering are expected to grow 62 percent from 2010 to 2020. Biomedical engineering has the highest expected job growth in the entire field of engineering, notes the BLS.
Environmental engineers address environmental concerns and create better ways to recycle refuse and dispose of waste. They often design projects to prevent and control water and air pollution, and strategize ways to preserve natural resources. The BLS reports that job growth in environmental engineering is expected to grow 22 percent through 2020. Since companies, industries and government agencies must meet environmental standards, environmental engineering jobs are in high demand.
Civil engineers design and oversee construction projects and transportation developments. Due to the continual need to update and upgrade old structures and systems as well as design new ones, civil engineers remain in demand. According to the BLS, jobs in civil engineering are expected to grow 19 percent through 2020, higher than the 14 percent average for all occupations. It's also higher than the average 11 percent growth rate for all jobs in engineering.
The BLS reports that job growth in petroleum engineering is expected to grow 17 percent through 2020. Since petroleum engineers discover ways to get oil and gas from stored deposits beneath the earth's surface, they often work with geologists to find cost-effective methods for extraction. According to a news story from Reuters, jobs in banking and finance started diminishing after the fiscal crisis in 2008, but energy firms can't hire enough petroleum engineering graduates to address all the oil and natural gas drilling needs.
2016 Salary Information for Architecture and Engineering Occupations
Architecture and engineering occupations earned a median annual salary of $77,900 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, architecture and engineering occupations earned a 25th percentile salary of $57,540, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $104,130, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,601,000 people were employed in the U.S. as architecture and engineering occupations.