The Most In-Demand (And Getting older) Engineering Jobs

Not pre-med. Not enterprise. Not laptop science. The preferred school main selection for highschool seniors surveyed by CareerBuilder—the majority of whom have already got a profession in mind—is engineering.

We will debate what number of of those college students will follow engineering once they get their first homework assignments in school. However let’s assume most of them do not transfer to much less rigorous majors. Which engineering discipline ought to they select? What are essentially the most in-demand engineering jobs within the U.S. primarily based on job progress, hires, and job posting exercise? And which of them have the oldest workforces that can must be changed someday within the subsequent 5 to 10 years?

To reply these questions, we checked out labor market information and job postings analytics from EMSI for all 18 engineering occupations labeled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and all eight engineering technicians occupations (that are primarily middle-skill positions). Each classes, regardless of the distinction in instructional necessities and median pay, are including a bunch of jobs post-recession and are key STEM occupation teams. However they inform a special story when evaluating job postings from employers and hiring that is taken place.


First, just a few big-picture information traits:

The U.S. has roughly 1.6 million engineering jobs that pay $42 per hour in median wages. Civil engineers account for essentially the most jobs of any engineering discipline (274,000 in 2014), adopted intently by mechanical engineers (264,000) and industrial engineers (229,000). These three engineering jobs, plus electrical engineers and electronics engineers, make up two-thirds of the American engineering workforce.

Job progress from 2010 to 2014 has been within the double digits in 4 occupations: petroleum engineers (30%), mining and geological engineers (12%), biomedical engineers (10%), and industrial engineers (10%). However each engineering occupation has added jobs, essentially the most coming amongst mechanical engineers (21,500 new jobs since 2010). As a complete, engineering jobs have grown 7%.

Probably the most-concentrated metropolitan space for engineers (among the many 125 largest MSAs) is Huntsville, Alabama, which is dwelling to a NASA flight heart and different aerospace and army institutions. Huntsville has 5.1 occasions extra engineers per capita than the nationwide common. Subsequent is San Jose (3.5 occasions the nationwide common), Palm-Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida (2.9), and Detroit (2.75). Normally, the South (Huntsville; Augusta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina) and the Rust Belt (Detroit, Dayton, and many others.) are the densest areas for engineers.

The output of engineering graduates was at a standstill within the early 2000s. However since ’07, completions nationwide have shot up 33%, from 108,000 to 144,000.

Simply over 20% of 2013 engineering grads have been non-resident aliens, in response to the Nationwide Heart for Schooling Statistics, with the bulk (113,620, or 79%) U.S. residents. And about 80% have been males.

Oldest Occupations

Occupations with older workforces are potential targets for labor shortages. Not all employees 65 and above will retire on the identical time, so the doom-and-gloom situations that get tossed round seemingly will not grow to be actuality. But if the demand for employees continues and if a good-sized section of that workforce is poised to retire, abilities gaps are prone to grow to be an actual issue—especially at senior or management-level positions which are onerous to recruit for. We have documented this pattern within the expert trades, and it is simply as related in engineering.

Two of the fastest-growing engineering fields additionally workers two of the largest proportions of older employees: industrial engineers and petroleum engineers. In each, 25% of presently employed employees are 55 years or older. Industrial engineers are important to many manufacturing corporations that wrestle to search out the best technically oriented expertise, so the ageing workforce is a menace. Petroleum engineering, in the meantime, has had a noticeable undersupply of graduates coming into {the marketplace} in the previous couple of years, with simply 1,600 completions in 2013 in comparison with EMSI’s yearly job openings estimate of three,500.

The engineering occupation with the oldest workforce can be one of many smallest by way of jobs: marine engineers and naval architects. Solely 8,000 of those jobs are within the U.S., however 29% are 55 years or older. The youngest occupations, on the opposite facet, are laptop {hardware} engineers and agricultural engineers; simply 12% of the present workforce in every is 55 or over.

Job Postings vs. Hires

We have given the lay of the land for engineers with conventional labor market information, an important step for any workforce evaluation. However EMSI’s new job posting analytics provides an extra context and perspective into the demand and hiring exercise for engineers. (Additionally word: Job posting information lacks standardization and doesn’t characterize all hiring exercise by employers, subjects EMSI has lined extensively).

For example, one factor we are able to shortly see is that de-duplicated on-line job postings exceeded common hiring on a month-to-month foundation for all engineers from January 2012 to July 2014. This is a sign, maybe, that the pool of expert expertise nationally is not maintaining with employer demand. The perfect instance of that is industrial engineers, an occupation with 3 times extra distinctive month-to-month postings (24,740) than common month-to-month hires (7,737) for the reason that begin of 2012. These extra postings may characterize actual vacancies.

Conversely, hiring is outpacing posting for civil engineers (13,657 month-to-month hires to six,025 postings), in addition to engineers, all different and nuclear engineers. These and different engineering occupations might be under-represented in on-line job postings, which means that employers discover other ways to recruit for these positions.

The Backside Line

Contemplating all of this information, civil engineers and few smaller specialty fields (petroleum engineers, biomedical engineers, and nuclear engineers) are little question in-demand nationally. Hiring and job progress is powerful for civil engineering, and petroleum engineering combines the very best wages, quickest progress, oldest workforce, and smallest provide of graduates.

For faculties and workforce professionals who need to get essentially the most readability on abilities gaps and employer demand, we suggest exploring regional information and interesting native employers. Learn extra about that in our evaluation for JP Morgan Chase’s New Abilities at Work initiative.

Engineering Technicians

How are issues completely different for engineering technicians? First, far fewer engineering technicians are within the labor market (an estimated 450,000 in 2014) than engineers (1.6 million). In addition they have significantly smaller median wages ($26 per hour vs. $42 per hour).

Nonetheless, engineering technician jobs should not be dismissed. Every of those occupations—including the most important: electrical engineering technicians—have a decrease barrier to entry than customary engineering jobs since they usually require an affiliate’s diploma. This makes these STEM-related coaching areas crucial for neighborhood and technical faculties. And several other of those jobs are rising at a speedy clip, led by mechanical engineering technicians and environmental engineering technicians (each up 9% from 2010 to 2014). Collectively, engineering technician jobs have jumped 4%.

The expansion of engineering technicians has been strongest in Detroit (27% since 2010), however Houston, Seattle, and Portland have additionally seen double-digit employment progress. A lot of the Rust Belt, because the inexperienced on the map under signifies, is experiencing job progress after extreme layoffs through the recession.

Oldest Occupations

General, engineering technicians have a youthful workforce than conventional engineers. Whereas a few third of engineering techs are 45-54, there are fewer 55-and-older employees in these mid-skill fields (21% in comparison with 23% for engineers). For context, 19% of all conventional salaried staff within the U.S. are 55-plus.

Aerospace engineering technicians have the oldest workforce of all technician positions (23% are 55 and older). Electrical engineering technicians, industrial engineering technicians, and mechanical engineering technicians (in addition to technicians, all different) are at 22%.

Job Postings vs. Hires

In distinction to engineers, there have been extra hires than postings for engineering technicians. Nearly twice as many, in actual fact, from January 2012 to July 2014. This is sensible provided that employers are much less prone to scour the web for accessible technicians than they’re for extremely expert engineers.

Like civil engineers, civil engineering technicians are under-represented in job postings in comparison with hires. There have been 5 hires for each distinctive job postings over our timeframe. Engineering technicians, all different, had a fair larger hires-to-postings ratio.

The variety of employed civil engineering techs within the workforce dropped barely from 2010 to 2014 (from 72,500 to 71,700). However employers have been extra energetic in posting for these jobs (distinctive postings have been up 50% from January 2012 to July 2014), whereas posting intensity—a ratio of whole postings to de-duplicated postings—is decrease (3-to-1) than all engineering technician occupations (4-to-1).

We additionally examined job posting analytics for Detroit, because it’s such an enormous progress space for engineering technicians. Hires eclipsed job postings by a 3-to-1 ratio from January 2012 to July 2014. Nearly all of prime corporations posting for technician positions in Detroit are staffing companies—further proof of the hyperlink between manufacturing and temp employment that we wrote about earlier this 12 months.

The Backside Line

Scorching engineering technician jobs are likely to comply with the patterns of their associated engineering fields: Mechanical engineering technicians are rising similar to mechanical engineers, and the identical goes for civil engineering technicians and civil engineers. For each engineers and engineering techs, the demand from employers seems to be sturdy. However the demand for all engineering occupations is not the identical, similar to some areas want all these the employees greater than others.

Joshua Wright is director of selling and PR at EMSI, a labor market information and economics agency that gives information and evaluation to schools and universities, financial improvement businesses, workforce boards, and the personal sector. Contact him right here or comply with him (@ByJoshWright) and EMSI (@DesktopEcon) on Twitter.

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