Three Promising Snapshots of Engineering Growth

Mark Koschmeder
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The number of engineering jobs available fluctuates with demand and market conditions, so it is important to keep up with trends in the field. Several areas of engineering growth look promising for those with experience in different types of engineering jobs. Learning more about these trends can enhance your engineering career.

Anticipated job growth is just one of the positive aspects of being an engineer today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the overall number of engineering jobs to grow 11 percent from 2008 to 2018. One of the biggest growth areas will be biomedical engineering, with the BLS predicting a 62 percent increase in the number of jobs available in this field between 2010 and 2020. The increased demand for biomedical engineers is being driven by an aging population and the need to produce better medical equipment. New healthcare legislation will also affect demand and create additional engineering jobs. Biomedical engineering even landed the top spot on the Forbes list of most valuable college majors in 2012.

Civil engineers are also enjoying an increased number of job opportunities. The BLS expects the industry to add more than 50,000 civil engineering jobs to the economy between 2010 and 2020, an increase of approximately 19 percent. The increase in engineering jobs in this field can be attributed to the aging infrastructure of many cities and towns. Communities need civil engineers to work on infrastructure projects such as bridges, dams, roads, and levees. Civil engineers also play a role in making sure communities have adequate water systems that minimize leakage.

A third area of promising growth is the environmental engineering field. The BLS expects the number of engineering jobs in the field to grow 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, an increase of more than 11,000 jobs. Several factors are contributing to the faster-than-average growth in this engineering discipline. Local and state government officials are concerned about water usage, so they need environmental engineers to advise them and develop systems to help conserve water. Environmental engineers are needed to help utility companies and water treatment centers comply with the environmental regulations created by state and federal agencies. As natural gas drilling becomes more widespread, environmental engineers will also work to clean up contaminated drilling sites and advise drilling companies on the best ways to minimize impact on the environment.

Although the engineering field as a whole is expected to experience average employment growth, several engineering disciplines will experience very fast growth during the next few years. The increased demand for infrastructure repair, medical devices and equipment, and environmental consulting services are just some of the things fueling this engineering growth. If you practice one of these engineering disciplines, you should expect the number of engineering jobs available to increase.

(Photo courtesy of digitalart /


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