10 Fastest Growing Engineer Jobs in the USA (Until 2026)
Engineers apply theoretical knowledge of math and the physical sciences to create practical solutions for everyday problems. For example, they can plan roads and bridges, create new technology, design aircraft or develop more efficient methods for extracting oil.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor data released January 1, the total number of engineers in the USA will increase by 139,300 to from 1.68 million to 1.82 million from 2016 to 2026. This represents a change of 8.3%. The growth rate for all jobs will be 7.4% for the same period, which is an increase of 11.5 million jobs from 156.06 million to 167.58 million,
The following list shows the top 10 engineering disciplines that will add the most jobs, arranged in descending order. The figure in parentheses after the job title is the projected number of new jobs. Employment figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
1. Civil Engineers (32,200)
Civil engineers plan and oversee the development of infrastructure projects such as airports, freeways, bridges, sewer systems, government centers and dams.
- They will add the most number of engineering jobs at 32,200, for an increase of 10.6% from 303,500 to 335,700.
- Architectural, engineering and related services will provide most of the opportunities with about 32,200 positions, an increase of 10.6%.
- Nonresidential building construction will offer 19,100 new jobs for an increase of 13%.
2. Industrial/Health and Safety Engineers (27,400)
Industrial engineers develop systems to make industrial processes more efficient and profitable. These include management control systems, distribution services and job evaluation programs. Health and safety engineers ensure the safety of workers and machinery by developing injury prevention procedures and loss prevention controls.
- They will provide 27,400 new jobs for an increase from 283,800 to 311,200 or 9.6%.
- For industrial engineers, engineering services will add 5,100 new jobs for an increase of 41.3%. This is followed by agriculture, construction, and mining machinery manufacturing at 1,500 jobs or 36.8 percent.
- For health and safety engineers, engineering services will add 7,700 new jobs for an increase of 0.3 percent. Nonresidential building construction follows with 7,200 jobs or 0.2 percent.
3. Mechanical Engineers (25,300)
Mechanical engineers design mechanical devices such as car engines, power plants, machine tools and ventilation equipment.
- Jobs will grow by 25,300, or from 288,800 to 314,100, which is an increase of 8.8%.
- Engineering services will provide about 12,800 new jobs for an increase of 24.3%,
- This is followed by research in development in the physical, engineering and life sciences with 3,500 jobs or 17.8%, and motor vehicle parts manufacturing with 2,700 jobs or 17.8%.
4. Electronics and Electrical Engineers (23,100)
Electronics engineers manage electronic devices such as media players, communications systems and TV sets. Electrical engineers develop electrical equipment such as power systems, aircraft control systems and building wiring.This category does not include computer hardware engineers.
- They will grow from 324,600 to 345,800, which is equal to 21,300 new positions or 6.5%.
- For electronics engineers, engineering services will deliver 1,600 new jobs or a growth of 13 percent. Computer systems design and related services is next with 1,400 new jobs or 19.8 percent.
- For electrical engineers, engineering services brings 8,900 jobs or 24.3 percent. Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences is next with 2,500 jobs or 17.8 percent.
5. Petroleum Engineers (5,100)
Petroleum engineers create systems and equipment for extracting oil and gas from under the earth. They also develop methods for increasing recovery and reducing the costs of production.
- Their positions will increase by 15.2 percent or 5,100 jobs, which is from 33,700 to 38,800.
- Oil and gas extraction will provide the greatest increase at 2,500 jobs or 20.5%.
- Support activities for mining comes next with 1,300 jobs or 27.2%.
6. Environmental Engineers (4,500)
Environmental engineers use chemistry and biology to manage environmental issues such as water and air pollution, land resources, recycling, public health and sustainability.
- Positions will grow from 53,800 to 68,300, an increase of 4,500 or 8.3%.
- Management, scientific and technical consulting service will see an increase of 1,900 jobs or 57.7%. This is followed by engineering services with 1,000 jobs or 7.2%.
- State and local government, not including education and hospitals, will add 300 positions or 3.8%.
7. Aerospace Engineers (4,200)
Aerospace engineers design vehicles and devices that travel through air and space such as airplanes, helicopters, rockets and missiles.
- Jobs will grow by 4,200 or 6.1% from 69,600 to 73,800.
- Engineering services will add 4,100 jobs, which represents 13.1%.
- Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences will grow by 1,100 or 17.5%.
8. Computer Hardware Engineers (4,000)
Computer hardware engineers research and develop the physical components of computer systems including circuit boards, computer chips, keyboards and controllers.
- They will add 4,000 jobs to grow by 5.5% from 73,600 to 77,600.
- Computer systems design and related services will add3,800 jobs or 19.8%.
- Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences will grow by 1,200 jobs or 17.8%.
9. Chemical Engineers (2,500)
Chemical engineers rely on the scientific principles in chemistry, physics, math, and biology to work with the chemicals in fuel, food, drugs, and other products.
- The profession will grow by 2,500 jobs or 7.5 percent from 32,700 to 35,100.
- Engineering services will who the most job increases at 1,000 or 24.3 percent.
- Next will be basic chemical manufacturing at 900 jobs or 18.6 percent.
10. Biomedical Engineers (1,500)
Biomedical engineers develop medical products such as artificial organs, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic instruments and implants.
- Jobs will increase by 1,500 or 7.2 percent from 15,700 to 25,400.
- Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences will show increases of 700 jobs or 17.8 percent.
- Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing will grow by 300 jobs or 6.4%.
What type of engineer are you? (Revised with more choices.)
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2012 Aurelio Locsin