The face of engineering is rapidly changing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the first decade of the 21st century, the BLS identified the following fastest growing engineering job specialties:
- Computer software engineering (projected as the fastest growing occupation)
- Biomedical engineering
- Computer hardware engineering
- Environmental engineering
In the coming decade, however, the BLS predicts that increasing employment of engineers in research and development and consulting services industries should generate the most growth. As companies lean toward more sustainable practices and products, engineers will be needed to improve and update product designs, help increase productivity and employ new technologies.
Engineering Jobs for the New Decade
In their 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the BLS cites the following engineering job specialties as some of the most exciting:
- Biomedical engineering: With the baby boomer population aging, and a demand for better medical devices and equipment, the BLS predicts a 7 percent employment growth rate for biomedical engineers through 2026.
- Civil engineers: Sustainability has become a key issue globally, and civil engineers will be needed to design and construct efficient transportation systems, improve water supply and pollution control systems, and build greener building complexes.
- Environmental engineers: The BLS estimates a 8 percent employment growth rate for environmental engineers, who will be required to deal with public health issues, help companies comply with environmental regulations and shift from controlling existing environmental problems to out-and-out prevention of environmental hazards.
- Petroleum engineers: Petroleum engineers work around the world, and the BLS predicts many job opportunities will originate in other countries. With a constant need for new resources as well as finding ways to extract more oil and gas from existing sources, petroleum engineers will be in high demand to meet the world's oil needs.