Engineering graduates can look forward to working in an innovative and lucrative occupation in a variety of fields, ranging from computers to materials to machines. Positions requiring technical skills, such as those in computer science, engineering and information technology, have higher average salaries than those in other fields. In addition, some of the fastest growing careers are in engineering.
This is a creative field within engineering, where engineers design applications as varied as the apps on a phone to the computer systems used by NASA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of software developers will grow 24% from 2016 to 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, the BLS found that median pay for software developers is $88,060 annually.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI engineers work with data scientists, data architects and business analysts to ensure alignment between the business objectives and the analytics back end. The AI software engineer must stay current with the latest in AI and machine learning and determine how to leverage innovations for the data science team. BLS does not track the position, but jobsite Indeed said that the average salary ranges from approximately $135,810 per year for a machine learning engineer to $145,544 per year for a full stack developer.
Biomedical engineers have faster than average salary growth, despite having a starting salary that is typically a bit lower than other engineers, according to Salary.com. This profession is involved in innovative medical and scientific research. CNN Business predicts a 62% increase in job openings from 2010 through 2020. BLS reports that median pay is $88,060 annually.
These individuals are needed across a number of sectors. They design chemical manufacturing processes and equipment for industries such as food, fuel and drugs. Consequently, demand for chemical engineers is dependent on demand for the products from those markets. Chemical engineering is expected to grow 8% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. BLS reports that annual median pay is $102,160.
Civil engineers will have more jobs to choose from due to a focus by municipalities on infrastructure. These engineers are responsible for designing and building infrastructure in the public and private sectors. They plan the quality of life in a community with projects that include the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams and bridges and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. As U.S. infrastructure starts to show signs of aging, civil engineers will find increased job opportunities. BLS notes that employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The group also reports that the average salary for civil engineers is $84,770.
Engineering is an extremely diverse field, well suited for creative individuals who enjoy mathematics and science. It is a field that offers opportunities not only to those who work in it, but also to those who will be impacted by the engineers’ work.