Engineering is a growing career field. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that from 2016 to 2026, there will be 139,300 new engineering jobs, on top of the existing 1,681,000 existing jobs. Not only is the job outlook promising, but the BLS also reports that the median salary of engineers is $91,010, which is well over twice the $37,690 median salary for all occupations. To take advantage of the rising demand for engineers, you will want to know what industries employ the most engineers.
The manufacturing industry is where engineers can help transform materials, substances, or components into something new. Sometimes this work takes place in factories or plants, but bakeries and candy stores where the products are made on-site fall into this industry as well. The BLS reports that more than 126,000,000 people were employed by this industry, including 578,400 engineers. The BLS predicts that engineering jobs in the manufacturing industry will rise by 10,900 new jobs by 2026.
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Out of that 578,400 engineers, 181,800 were industrial engineers. Industrial engineers help eliminate wastefulness in the production process, which is useful in the manufacturing industry. Wastefulness costs money, so industrial engineers are used to create ways to have workers, machines, and other manufacturing components work together to create goods or perform services in the most effective way possible. This can be done by figuring out how to manufacture products efficiently and creating control systems that help make financial planning and cost analysis run more smoothly.
Mechanical engineers made up 138,100 of those 578,400 engineers. They create tools and machines used in the manufacturing industry. They may also investigate equipment failures to figure out what went wrong and what are the possible solutions, either to fix it or replace it with a better alternative.
About 61,000 of those engineers in the manufacturing industry were electrical engineers. They are the ones that perform calculations to develop manufacturing standards and specifications. Electrical engineers are responsible for manufacturing electrical equipment in a way that meets specifications and codes.
The median salary for engineers in the manufacturing industry is $88,430, according to the BLS.
Engineering Services Industry
Engineering services is any service or creative work that requires an education and training in engineering. According to the BLS, 315,200 engineers were employed in the engineering service industry in 2016, and 146,800 were civil engineers. Almost half of the civil engineers in the U.S. workforce are employed in the engineering services industry. They plan, design and construct infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector.
The other two engineering fields that make up the bulk of those employed by engineering services are mechanical engineers and electrical engineers. The BLS states that 52,700 mechanical engineers and 36,600 electrical engineers work for the engineering services industry. Mechanical and electrical engineers might work under a civil engineer who acts as the project manager. By 2026, the BLS expects to see 54,300 new jobs in the engineering service industry.
The median salary for engineers in this industry is $87,360, which is slightly higher than the median salary of $84,770 for all civil engineers, according to the BLS.
Federal, State and Local Government
Working for the government typically offers advantages such as a high salary and great benefits. Plus, you have the safety of job security and the sense of serving your country. The government relies on a wide variety of engineers, from environmental engineers to aerospace engineers and electrical engineers to mechanical engineers, to get projects done. According to the BLS, 203,200 engineers are currently employed by the government and an estimated 7,700 new jobs will be created by 2026.
Of the 203,200 engineers employed by the government, 76,100 are civil engineers. The BLS reports that 25 percent of all civil engineers are employed by government entities. The government also employs 19,100 electronics engineers, not counting those that work with computers. In fact, 13 percent of all electronics engineers, except those working in computers, find jobs in the federal government, according to the BLS.
Government engineers enjoy a median wage of $95,340, according to the BLS.
Scientific Research and Development Services Industry
The scientific field also needs engineers to help conduct research and develop lab equipment and other tools. In 2016, about 83,100 engineers were employed to help with research and development endeavors, according to the BLS. Approximately 14,700 new engineering jobs are expected to emerge in this industry.
The bulk of engineers employed by the science field are mechanical engineers, 19,800 of which worked in this industry in 2016. This makes up about seven percent of all mechanical engineering occupations. The BLS also states that 14,200 electrical engineers, or about 8 percent of all electrical engineers, worked in this industry in 2016. Industrial engineers also find roles in scientific research, with 7,700 of them working in this field in 2016.
Engineers working in the industry of scientific research enjoy a median salary of $104,350, well above the $92,220 median salary for all engineers, according to the BLS.