7 Unexpected Career Paths for Those Interested in Engineering

Engineers tend to have high job satisfaction as well as higher salaries because of the constant demand for their unique skill set.
Donovan Alexander

Did you know that 2 million new engineering jobs will be created by 2020?

In fact, in a world where demographic changes and technological advancement are leading to job losses, engineering is one of the few careers that are stable. Engineering is everywhere.

And, if the diverse world of engineering excites you, perhaps it is time to make a career of it.


Whether you are looking for a career switch after 10 years in a separate industry or are trying to decide your area of study when you step onto a University campus for the first time this year, the realm of engineering is wide and diverse and has a place for just about any interest or skillset.

The Benefits of Being Engineer

Though there are plenty of hilarious memes out there and equally funny quotes, most would agree that a career in engineering is very rewarding.

Simply put, engineers have better job satisfaction, however, the benefits do not stop there. As mentioned before in a previous article, because of their unique skillsets, engineers are always employable.

Even more so engineering jobs tend to have the highest starting salary of any discipline, paying 20% more than the average salary. 

Think of a world without engineers. The products that you are using now were probably engineered by someone who started in a very similar situation, hungry to get into a career that allows them to apply their creativity and shape the world around them. Not to mention, some of the highest demanded jobs in the exciting emerging fields of artificial intelligence need engineers. 

Perhaps you are not completely sold yet. Today we are going to walk you through the various range of career options, both expected and unexpected, that utilizes the engineer's skill set to shape the world around us.    

Fashion Engineer

Let's start with one of the least obvious engineering career choices, the fashion engineer. Believe it or not, there are many job postings out there looking for engineers interested in the realm of fashion.

Those skills in math in science that you may have refined with your engineering degree make you very valuable in an evolving modern fashion landscape.

Most Popular

Major brands like Nike to Louis Vuitton are looking for ways to incorporate technology into their clothing ushering in the next generation of smart wear. 

Imagine being on the team who are developing the next generation of self-lacing sneakers or a company eager to build viable 3D printed clothing solutions.

Even more so, your options are not limited to just design as many fashion engineers also help develop the machines used to produce clothing. So, if you have a passion for fashion and love engineering then this might be the perfect fit for you. 

Food Engineer 

7 Unexpected Career Paths for Those Interested in Engineering
Source: Food Ink.

If you are a foodie, this one may be for you. There is much more that goes into creating some of your favorite dishes than you think.

The behind-the-scenes aspect of food like perfecting the taste of certain goods, the preservation of food, or simply the safe packaging of food requires the touch of a food engineer.

Even the rise of 3D printing food has called for food engineering experts. 

7 Unexpected Career Paths for Those Interested in Engineering
Source: Food Ink.

There is a chemical component to being a food engineer on top of managing the equipment used in food production factories. If you want to jump into the profession, food engineers tend to need backgrounds in industrial engineering, chemical engineering, and food science.

Pyrotechnic Engineer

If you have an underlying interest in the science of fire and rocketry, the realms of pyrotechnic engineering just might be what the doctor ordered. How do you think those massive firework displays come to life?

It is definitely not wizardry or alchemy. This rapidly growing field centers around designing fireworks, utilizing math, physics, and chemistry to very literally brighten up people's nights.

Your creations will be seen as musical performances, memorials, sports events, and on holidays just to name a few. A background in chemical engineering will set you on the right path if you want to be a pyrotechnic engineer.  

Oh, and the starting salary for a pyrotechnic engineer is around $76,000, and a healthy paycheck is always a good plus. 

Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers utilize their knowledge of natural sciences such as biology and chemistry to study and develop solutions for environmental problems.

In the world increasingly threatened by climate change, environmental engineers are the heroes that the world needs. Areas of interest for the environmental engineer include waste management, recycling, and the reduction of air and water pollution. 

Due to both companies and governments latest green initiatives, environmental engineers are in very high demand.

Furthermore, environmental engineers tend to get to travel just about anywhere in the world and are usually sent off to exotic locations.  

Software Engineer

7 Unexpected Career Paths for Those Interested in Engineering
Source: Pixabay

At the moment software engineers are all the rage and are in very high demand. In short, software engineers fuse their creativity and mastery of programming to develop the computational tools that you use every day.

In a world that is becoming increasingly dependent on computing, the software engineer has a huge competitive advantage in the workplace.

Software engineers can have their hands in everything ranging from cloud computing, productivity suites, operating systems, mobile applications, and social networks.

In fact, the social media platforms that you used today were created and maintained by software engineers. 

Even more so, global issues like cybersecurity have also dramatically increased the demand for the software engineer. Aside from the six-figure salary, software engineers have the added benefit of almost having unrivaled freelance and remote freedom. 

Machine Learning Engineer 

The world is on the cusp of an artificial intelligence revolution; do you want to be a part of it?

Machine learning is the core component of an AI system,  helping the system learn to make intelligent decisions. 


As more companies adopt artificial intelligence technologies, machine learning jobs are in high demand, with demand outpacing supply by a lot. So much so that machine learning engineer makes a comfortable $125,000 to $175,000.

Companies like Netflix and Apple use Machine Learning algorithms to help better improve customer experiences. 

As a machine learning engineer, you might go on to usher the new age of autonomous vehicles, create the ultimate smart speaker system, and even help develop the next generation of robots.

Sports Engineer

Who said you couldn't merge your love of sports with your passion for math and science. Sports engineers help research and develop the equipment and environment of the sports industry, from shoes to stadiums.

The tools that an athlete has at their disposal while they compete are shaped by a sports engineer ensuring that equipment never comprises the athlete's natural talents.      

What areas of engineering excite you that are not on this list? Let us know down below in the comments. 

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron