10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them

The world's engineers will be needed to support these services that are deemed essential.
Marcia Wendorf
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Various U.S. states have ordered complete shutdowns, with the exception of "essential services". These states include Michigan, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Indiana, Delaware, Louisiana, Ohio, California, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oregon, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

What exactly are "essential services" and who will provide them? The answer to that question includes engineers all around the world. Below is a list of essential services that have been culled from a number of sources, and the types of engineers who will be required to support them.

1. Defense

  • Defense and national security-related firms, including contractors; this means that aerospace, aeronautical, and nuclear engineers will be in high demand
  • Logistics services; this will require automotive, civil, and structural engineers
  • Technology support services; this calls for mechanical, electrical, structural, computer, automotive, and civil engineers
  • Federal, state, and municipal government services.
10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them
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2. Food

  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks and convenience stores; agricultural, sustainability, and environmental engineers will be in demand
  • Restaurants (only for delivery, takeout, and drive-thru)
  • Liquor stores.

3. Healthcare

  • Healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals, clinics, research and laboratory services, medical wholesale and distribution firms; this means there will be a demand for biomedical, biomechanical, and environmental engineers
  • Pharmacies
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers, and senior facilities
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children.
10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them
Source: Vladimir Borovic/iStock


4. Finance

  • Banks and other financial institutions; to keep these running, computer, electrical, and electronics engineers will be in demand
  • Insurance providers
  • Payroll and accounting services.

5. Enforcement

  • Police and fire
  • Building code enforcement; civil, structural, and architectural engineers will be needed
  • Security firms
  • Emergency response.
10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them
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6. Media

  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media outlets.

7. Manufacturing

  • Food and beverage processing; manufacturing, industrial and agricultural engineers will be in high demand
  • Farms and agricultural processing
  • Paper products; this calls for paper engineers
  • Chemicals; the need for chemical engineers will be high
  • Pharmaceuticals; biomedical and biomechanical engineers will be needed
  • Safety and cleaning products; industrial engineers will be needed
  • Microelectronics and semi-conductors; electronics, mechatronics, robotics and microelectronic engineers will be in high demand
  • Medical equipment and instruments; mechanical, metallurgical and ceramics engineers will be needed.
10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them
Source: RainStar/iStock

8. Retail

  • Gas stations, auto supply stores, and auto repair shops; automotive engineers will be needed
  • Hardware stores and plumbing supply stores
  • Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair services
  • Exterminators
  • Landscape and pool maintenance services, cleaners, and doormen
  • Phone and computer sellers.

9. Services

  • Garbage, recycling, processing, and disposal
  • Post offices, mail and shipping services
  • Laundromats, dry cleaning, and laundry services
  • Child and elder care services
  • Warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centers; to support these mechanical, electrical, computer, electronics and mechatronics engineers will be needed
  • Funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoriums
  • Veterinarians and animal shelter or care facilities
  • Construction and skilled trades such as electricians and plumbers, engineering and architecture companies; this is the arena for civil, structural, and architectural engineers.

10. Infrastructure

  • Utilities such as water, power, telephone, and gas; here is where industrial, petroleum, mechanical, electrical, computer, electronics, microelectronic, and robotics engineers will be needed
  • Public, private jails or prisons
  • Wastewater; sanitation engineers will be needed
  • Telecommunications, internet and data centers; these will require the support of electrical, computer, electronics, mechatronics and microelectronic engineers
  • Airports, airlines, public transportation, taxis, and other private transportation services; aerospace, automotive engineers will be needed
  • Air traffic control
  • Elevator services
10 "Essential Services" and the Engineering Fields Needed to Support Them
Source: RuudMorijn/iStock
  • Ports and railway services; civil, structural, and architectural engineers will be needed
  • Veterinary offices
  • Pet supply stores
  • Police stations, fire stations
  • Courts
  • City, county, state, and federal offices
  • Garbage, sanitation, and recycling services.
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