Engineers literally make the theoretical practical. They take the findings of the physical sciences and use that information to build something tangible in the real world.
In this sense, the literally build and maintain many of the things that make civilization possible.
In the following article, we'll take a quick look at some of the most in-demand engineering jobs for 2019 and beyond. This short list is far from exhaustive, and many other fields of engineering are set to enjoy good growth over the next decade or so.
Are engineering jobs in high demand?
Engineering has traditionally been a vital component of human development. Far from becoming redundant in the future, they should continue to grow in importance over time.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the total number of engineers in the USA will increase by 139,300, from 1.68 million to 1.82 million by 2026. If you have ever had ambitions to become an engineer, now might be the time.
Is there a demand for engineers?
Put simply, yes of course. Historically engineers have always been required to design, build and maintain things like basic infrastructure to highly complex systems like aircraft.
Predictions by organizations, like the U.S. Department of Labor. believe that engineering is not only set to remain in-demand in the future, but some disciplines of it should experience some healthy growth.
More traditional fields, like civil and petroleum engineering, are still high in demand, but the fastest growing fields are those in the IT sphere.
1. Data Science & Machine Learning is the future
Software engineering has undergone a period of healthy growth for a while now. This seems to be a trend that is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
One particular branch of software engineering, Data Science, is, particularly in vogue. Data Science requires engineering to make sense of large data sets, commonly called "Big Data".
Data comes from a variety of sources from e-commerce to healthcare to the financial sector. Candidates will need to have a strong background in statistics and software engineering to gather, analyze and present data in a meaningful format.
A subset of Data Science, machine learning, builds on data analysis to help make predictions about the future. Algorithms are devised, tested and then revised to make these predictions more and more accurate over time.
2. Join the revolution as an Automation & Robotics Engineer
The constant push for automation in many industries has, and will, see the need for more and more automation and robotics engineers. Robotic systems have come a long way in the past decade and moved beyond performing simple repetitive tasks.
More modern systems are considerably more dextrous than their predecessors and even include humanoid robots like those being developed by Boston Dynamics. Robotics engineers help design, test, and develop robots for a variety of tasks and applications.
Robotics engineers are typically either mechanical, electronics or mechatronic engineers. If all menial tasks are to be automated in the future pursuing a career in this field might be a case of "can't beat em, join 'em".
3. Petroleum Engineer is set to stay in demand in the future
The design of drilling methods and equipment and the implementation and monitoring of drilling programmes is the responsibility of Petroleum Engineers. Over the past decade or so, this has become an in-demand engineering job.
Whilst there is a worldwide push for the development of EVs, oil is likely to remain a highly in demand resource in the future. Many existing engineers are also starting to reach retirement age which will maintain or boost their demand in the future.
Petroleum engineering is set to enjoy a 15% rise in potential jobs by 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
4. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering has historically been, and looks set to continue to be, one of the most in-demand engineering posts around the world. They literally build the very infrastructure around us, and this is unlikely to change in the future.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, civil engineering jobs are set to increase by 10% by 2026.
Civil engineering is something of an umbrella term and is unlikely to become saturated in the near future. Sub categories of civil engineering include things like structural engineering, environmental engineering, road/highway engineering, and transportation engineering.
Salaries tend to start at around $60,000 and rise to around $96,000 for later career incomes.
5. Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering is another traditional engineering field that has shown healthy growth over time. This, like civil engineering, is another broad church that includes disciplines like power engineering, instrumentation engineering, and electronic engineering to name a few.
As electrical engineering is fairly broad with many possible specializations, it will likely remain in high demand for the foreseeable future.
Electrical engineers also command some of the highest incomes out of all engineering disciplines. They can, for example, exceed a quarter of million dollars for some specialist roles.
Average salaries, however, are more modest with the average electrical engineers' salary being somewhere in the order of $71K per year.
6. Alternative Energy Engineer
Unless you've been living in a cave for the past decade, you can't but help to have noticed the growing demand for renewable/alternative energy around the world. As government policies are artificially boosting this market, the demand for things like solar and wind energy have been rising at a steady rate over time.
The U.S. Department of Labor expects around a 6.5% increase in Electrical Engineering jobs over the next ten years or so.
But the primary driver for the rise in renewables has been their reduction in production price over time too. This is helping to make the industry more sustainable financially.
Candidates will need to have a bachelors degree in mechanical or electrical engineering and a postgraduate masters degree in energy engineering.
Current starting salaries tend to be in the order of $65,000 per year which tends to rise to about $91,000 by career's end. As the drive for sustainability in various industries is unlikely to die off, this might be a great and rewarding career choice for any budding engineer.
7. Mining Engineer
Everything that has ever been built, or ever will be built, needs raw materials. This is where mining engineers are vitally important.
Mining engineers tend to design open pit and underground mines and help supervise the mining operation and construction of them. They are also heavily involved in the design of processing and transportation logistics of the mine.
Whilst some traditional resources, like iron, are set to decline in consumption over the next decade or so, others like lithium, copper, and nickel, are set to grow. As the EV market picks up the pace, raw materials needed for things like batteries will further boost demand for the materials and the engineers who can help extract them from the ground.
Starting salaries tend to be in the order of $68,000 which should rise to around $109,000 by career's end.