In this article we are going to talk about 15 fastest-growing engineering fields. You can skip our discussion about the scope and growth prospects of engineering and go directly to 5 fastest-growing engineering fields.
In his historic essay titled “It’s Time to Build,” American entrepreneur and visionary Marc Andreessen shed some light on the importance of building stuff and how it has helped human civilization progress and move forward:
“Our nation and our civilization were built on production, on building. Our forefathers and foremothers built roads and trains, farms and factories, then the computer, the microchip, the smartphone, and uncounted thousands of other things that we now take for granted, that are all around us, that define our lives and provide for our well-being. There is only one way to honor their legacy and to create the future we want for our own children and grandchildren, and that’s to build.”
Engineering forms the basis of human societies. Among all professions, engineering takes a more prominent and profound role. Nearly every wonder achieved by humankind, every innovation brought forward by mankind has something to do with engineering. From maintaining infrastructures to developing means of transportation, from developing complex computer programs and hardware to designing huge and complex aircraft systems, every aspect of engineering and interdisciplinary fields are used in tandem to achieve the next breakthrough in engineering and technology. In today’s world, with ever-growing complexity and challenges, new fields of engineering have emerged, and some have been either absorbed into new fields or have become scarce. Some of the fastest-growing engineering fields in the world today relate to computer programing and software development. Others such as civil engineering and mechanical engineering which have been around for thousands of years will continue to maintain their importance as well as evolve for generations to come.
Engineering has an innate capacity for breakthroughs. Engineering feats move the wheel of human progress. Engineers at Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), SolarCity, Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and SpaceX are solving some biggest problems faced by humankind. Solutions made by engineering companies like Stantec Inc. (NYSE: STN), Roper Technologies Inc (NYSE: ROP) and Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) are directly affecting millions across the globe.
The aim of this article is to provide our readers a better picture about the fastest-growing engineering fields that are becoming more in demand across multiple industries, which fields involve more innovation and experimental approach, and which fields are the best investment to pursue as a career. We will discuss the top 15 fastest-growing engineering fields but first, as usual, we will discuss our methodology and proceed in each field one by one.
Employability can be termed as the percentage of graduates who get a job or are readily employable after getting a bachelor’s degree in a particular engineering field. So, engineers of a particular field who can land a job immediately after completing university education will gain a higher position in our rankings.
This statistic can be categorized as the measure of the percentage of jobs that are expected to grow in the near future. Based on this criterion, we will be looking at the statistics presented on the internet as well as different statistics department such as the Bureau of Labor, Department of human resources, etc. We will also dive into the statistics presented by LinkedIn and other social networking sites for professionals.
Students & Experts reviews
Student reviews will be based on a variety of available parameters. We will be giving importance to metrics like job satisfaction and experience. Other than that, we will also keep in mind the base salary, average salary, and maximum salary. The salary growth rate is also an important aspect of this criteria and we will also look into the reviews of experts to have a better picture of what is really the best return of investment (ROI) after spending thousands of dollars on tertiary education and studying engineering.
So, without further delay, let’s dive in to discover the fastest-growing engineering fields.
15. Robotics Engineering
Behind automation of industries and efficient operation of complex systems lies the genius of robotic engineers. Robotic engineering is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes computer systems and engineering principles to achieve a specific purpose. Automation of the car manufacturing process can be termed as an application of robotic engineering. You might have seen intelligent robots dancing or doing a particular action on social media. That is also an application of this engineering and is the work of Boston Dynamics.
Robotic engineer’s median salary can be up to $99,000 whereas for an experienced and top percent of robotic engineers, it can lie somewhere between $150,000 to $200,000. Robotics engineering is the field of the future as most of the tasks that humans can perform, robots can perform with greater accuracy and precision. It is expected to grow by more than 9 percent.
14. Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineering is defined as the use of engineering design and principles to make new products, medicines, etc. for healthcare purposes. It also involves designing a wide variety of diagnostic devices as well as synthetic body organs. According to the data available with the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) an expected 24 percent growth is expected by 2024 and beyond. Biomedical engineers have acquired a more prominent role since the pandemic has brought forward new challenges for the medical and healthcare segment demanding a more rapid and organized response from this sector.
Biomedical engineers can help in offsetting the incursion of epidemics and pandemics by designing new equipment for the early detection of viral and bacterial diseases, developing medicines and clinical procedures for the diagnosis and elimination of such diseases. The median salary of biomedical engineers comes at $85,620 whereas the highest 10 percent of this profession can earn up to $145,000.
13. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering is one of the oldest disciplines of engineering. It remains one of the fastest-growing engineering fields. The other is military engineering. Civil engineering is concerned with designing and maintenance of highways, roads, bridges, buildings, airports, dams, etc. All the built environment in our surroundings has something to do with civil engineers.
According to ESMI, a labor market analytics firm, civil engineers have the highest number of hires and in its rating of 2014, it estimated that more than 13,000 civil engineers were hired, higher than any other engineering discipline.
Many governments around the world mostly rely on huge infrastructure projects whenever they want to give boost/charge the economy. Hoover dam was built after the recession of 1929. COVID-19 has created similar circumstances and with a declining infrastructure across the United States as per ASCE assessment, it is expected that there would be an immediate spike in the number of jobs that is particular to civil engineers and as per BLS statistics, more than 32,000 jobs in the U.S alone would be created by 2026.
Civil engineers are also one of the most respected and highly paid professions all over the world. An entry-level civil engineer can earn up to $56,000 in the U.S whereas it can go up to $200,000 for an experienced and top civil engineer.
12. Industrial Engineering
Industrial engineering involves optimizing the performance of complex systems, organizing, and developing integrating different systems to achieve a relevant objective or a product. Industrial engineers usually work across a broad spectrum of industries such as manufacturing, production, and designing of complex systems. They are present in steel, automobile, food products manufacturing, electronic equipment, etc. to name a few.
With an increasing demand for making the manufacturing process more efficient and cleaner, industry leaders are looking towards industrial engineers to make the production process much smoother and eco-friendlier. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there is a huge surge in demand for industrial engineers and it is expected to grow by more than 10 percent in this decade. Industrial engineers also earn a very handsome salary. The national annual wage of industrial engineers in the U.S is more than $92,000 while it can go to a maximum of$133,000.
11. Petroleum engineering
Petroleum engineers hold immense importance in the overall economy of the country. Petroleum engineers are concerned with the exploration of oil and gas reserves, devising methods of explorations, extraction, and refinement as well as maintaining oil production and refining facilities. As long as another more economical and viable source of energy is not devised or discovered, the petroleum sector would continue to hold immense importance in the economy of the world.
To become a petroleum engineer, you would need to have at least 4 years of bachelor’s degree. After that, you will need to have sufficient experience to become eligible for a higher figure salary. Petroleum engineers earn an average salary of more than $77,000 and it can go up to $160,000 with experience. The Bureau of labor statistics predicts that petroleum engineers demand will grow to more than 10 percent beyond 2024.
10. Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineering involves a combination of several sciences and their application using engineering principles. It includes the study of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, hydraulics, and using the engineering knowledge to devise means and ways to solve environmental issues and challenges on global, regional, and national levels. Environmental engineering finds its application in tandem with civil engineering to address the impact of human activities and infrastructures on the environment. Thanks to potential growth in the civil engineering field, there is a 12 percent surge in demand for environmental engineers. Environmental engineers usually find themselves working in laboratories and to a lesser extent in the field.
Environmental engineers earn an entry-level salary of $56,000. The annual median salary can range up to $88,000 whereas the top 25 percent earn approximately $114,000 a year.
9. Computer hardware Engineering
Computer hardware engineers are different from computer software engineers in the sense that hardware engineers design physical components such as circuit boards, processors, chips, network devices, and routers. Whereas the software engineers design the software or coded instructions to run these components in an organized manner. A growth rate of 6 percent is expected for hardware engineers from 2020 to 2029. The sector offers a promising salary as it can vary from $68k to $120k annually.
8. Mechanical Engineering
Like civil and military engineering, mechanical engineering is a very old field. Mechanical engineering applies the engineering principles, mathematical and physical laws as well as materials engineering to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. Mechanical systems vary from a simple rotating machine to automobiles, jet engines, turbines, etc.
The median salary of a mechanical engineer is $88,000 whereas the top 25 percent roughly make $136,000 a year.
7. Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace engineering ranks 7th on our list of top 15 fastest-growing engineering fields. It involves the design and maintenance of aircraft and spaceships. Space is the final frontier for mankind’s curiosities will make this profession even more important. The salary of an aerospace engineer varies from $60,000 up to $200,000.
6. Electrical Engineering
Often cited by students as one of the most difficult engineering fields due to its abstract concepts, electrical engineers design electrical equipment and find applications in a broad range of fields ranging from construction, communication systems to aircraft, spaceships. They design and maintain our electrical grids. Electrical engineers will also grow by more than 3 percent according to BLS. Electrical engineers also earn a handsome salary which ranges from $60,000 at entry-level to as high as $250,000 at the senior career level.
Based on the above data, it suffices to say that each type of engineering holds a fair amount of importance and is expected to grow in the near future. However, the fastest growing engineering fields are related mostly to digital, technological, computer, and software products. If you think that you have the right mind and financial sources to pursue an engineering career, then robotics and computer-related engineering fields are the best paths to follow.
Continue reading this list by clicking 5 Fastest-Growing Engineering Fields.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Fastest-Growing Engineering Fields is originally published at Insider Monkey.