Five Engineering Specializations with the Best Job Outlook

Engineering Specializations

  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Postsecondary Engineering Teacher
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Engineering Technician
  • Petroleum Engineer

Are you considering various engineering specializations and thinking perhaps you might like to become an engineer? When it comes to future employment outlook, there are certain specializations that stand out as being far more attractive options than others.

Before we discuss specific specializations that are growing at a faster rate than the others, it's worthwhile to get an idea of the benchmark growth rates that experts are expecting to see in the future. According to the most current data available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering is expected to be a slow-growth occupation until at least 2024. At a mere 3-4 percent growth, the overall growth projections for engineering seem dismally low. In comparison, the projected growth rate for the whole of the US economy is 7 percent.

Still, the engineering occupation is actually growing, even though growth is slow. Experts at the BLS expect to see employers add more than 67,000 new engineering jobs to the US economy before the year 2024. Considering that the number of jobs in many engineering specialties is contracting, the newly added jobs are likely to be concentrated in a couple of key niches. Let's take a look at five engineering specializations where the most jobs are likely to become available over the course of this decade.

1. Biomedical Engineer

Healthcare employers are in frantic search of innovative bioengineering specialists. The current trends toward high-tech healthcare, smart devices, interconnected technologies and internet-enabled mobile devices has resulted in strong demand for new additions to the biomedical products marketplace. The range of demand for these products is significant, covering everything from software to clinical treatment devices.

Engineers with strong proficiencies in these technologies plus an understanding of the healthcare industry will be able to capitalize on their expertise. The employment outlook for professionals in this specialization is significantly better than average, with a growth projection of 23 percent.

2. Postsecondary Engineering Teacher

Talented teachers will be needed to instruct and inspire the next generation of engineers. Experts at the US Department of Labor Statistics foresee rising demand for engineering educators. They've projected a 13 percent growth rate for this specialization through the year 2024.

3. Environmental Engineer

Some environmental engineers work to decontaminate hazardous waste from polluted job sites. Others work at devising ways to prevent industrial pollution of the environment. Experts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that many more environmental engineers will be needed to ensure efficient systems for water use and clean, unpolluted water supplies in the future. They're predicting a positive employment outlook with strong growth at a rate of 12 percent.

4. Environmental Engineering Technician

Environmental engineering technicians work under the guidance of engineers in this field to perform a wide range of necessary jobs. Implementing their employers' plans typically requires accurate record keeping plus much environmental sampling, testing and analysis.

Competent technicians are in high demand by a wide range of employers. Organizations that hire these workers include engineering firms, consulting companies, state and local governments, waste management companies and mining companies. Between having a broad range of possible employers and the high demand for expertise in this niche, experts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics have projected a favorable employment outlook for this occupation. They expect to see a 10 percent rate of growth through 2024.

5. Petroleum Engineer

With a projected 10 percent growth rate, the job outlook is better than average for petroleum engineers. Experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics do anticipate some volatility in this line of work as a result of the usual unpredictability in the oil and gas markets. Corporations active in the oil and gas extraction industry employ the vast majority of petroleum engineers, and theirs is a cost-sensitive, volatile industry.

If an engineering career appeals to you, these five specializations are all worth considering in light of their strong growth projections. These five engineering specializations all pay respectable salaries, and they would be rewarding and worthwhile occupations to pursue.
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