Top 5 Engineering Jobs of The Future

Nader Mowlaee

Engineering jobs in Robotics, 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, and Algorithm Engineering are changing the future. These technologies are reshaping how things around us work.

The improvements are so outstanding that a lot of folks refer to it as a brand new Industrial Revolution.

But does it mean “the machines” will take over our jobs?


We create new technology to improve our capabilities. This allows us to reach new levels, and machines are only likely to enhance what we do. They free employees from recurring activities and tasks that could be damaging to our health. They can also perform jobs in dangerous environments. 

Machines and Automated Systems will free up our time so we can focus on more exciting and valuable activities, allowing us to be more creative by giving us with more choices that otherwise would not have been available.

However it is true that some jobs are likely to disappear, but other new jobs will be created as well. New jobs and entire new careers are going to arise within this technological realm, giving men and women the chance to work in careers that can’t even be imagined yet.

In a recent World Economic Forum Report, it is noted that: “In many countries, the most in-demand occupations did not exist five to ten years ago. By one popular estimate, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will eventually work in completely new careers that do not exist today.”

So what exactly can these "New Industrial Revolution" jobs look like?

Considering how quickly technologies are changing, making predictions for the future is a tough task. However but we can predict the most significant industry shifts in the years leading up to the year 2030.

Here are the Top 5 Engineering Jobs of The Future:

1. Robot Programmer

Robot Programmer

[Image Courtesy of Moley]

Since we are moving from the world where robots are programmed to perform specific tasks repeatedly, such as robots assembling parts in an automotive manufacturing plant, to the world where robots become responsible for analyzing situations and making their decision to perform a job, the necessity for human involvement increases.

More and more, robots are likely to work together with human colleagues.

Robot Programmers, a.k.a. Human Trainers will be in demand to demonstrate complicated tasks for robots to learn and act accordingly.

Consider this: the cook who recognizes flavor combinations and makes a delicious meal won't go away anytime soon, but the time-consuming task of dicing onions and chopping carrots might be much better taken care of by training a robot to perform the task.

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Because of Machine Learning, robots can soon fully differentiate and understand various vegetable which all present unique shapes.

2. Sensor System Integrators

sensors design

[Image Courtesy of Pixabay]

As more products get equipped with sensors, they become part of the significantly growing Internet of Things. But enabling all Internet-connected sensors to talk to each other is turning into an even bigger problem.

With technology, your shoes can monitor your exercise and your fridge can order eggs when you're running low. The real problem occurs when your shoes tell your refrigerator you worked out much more today and it doubles your order of protein drinks.

That might not be a typical example, but the demand for engineers who can program and integrate sensors is on the rise.

The job of a Sensor Programmer and system integrator will have various shape and forms. It could be creating sensor networks in residential buildings or integrating connected devices in homes, or even analyzing sensor data to develop a product further.

Think of a company aiming to improve the energy efficiency of its washing machine and dryers. One possible solution is to use sensors that keep track of when clothes are dry enough to turn off the machine, but a sensor integrator may think bigger and add to the system a moisture sensor.

Installing that sensor will result in the discovery that continuing the spin-cycle in that machine longer will in fact cause a quicker drying time, saving time and energy.

This type of “sensor enablement” can be extremely beneficial to manufacturers as well, since systems integrators will have to make sure the machines can talk to all kinds of other devices in the plant. In the long run, it is a virtuous cycle of smarter products and new engineering job opportunities.

3. Algorithm Designer

Algorithm Design

[Image Courtesy of Pixabay]

Algorithm Design is a growing career. While algorithmic design software tools become more common and sophisticated, they won't substitute the requirement of software designers and developers. However, this will change how an algorithm developer works.

A growing category of algorithm design systems will supply countless design options instantly per criteria such as weight, force, scale, cost, count, size, etc.

Human beings will invest a shorter period around the shape of a product and how it is built. They will continue to have to see and understand the engineering challenge and design flaws, finding the right design parameters that will result in the original solution.

Essentially, rather than creating a 3-dimensional model on your own from scratch, the algorithm designer will enable the AI-based design software to generate a smart solution that will define and improve the outcome.

4. 3D Printing Specialist

3D Printing

[Image Courtesy of 3D Print]

3-D printers are growing at an astonishing rate, and they are becoming faster too while handling many new materials. As costs fall and software applications improve, 3-D Part Manufacturing becomes increasingly more popular.

3-D Printing is an accepted change in how we manufacture part. It uses fewer parts and reduces material costs. It's able to create complex parts in shapes not commonly available with using other manufacturing techniques.

We are dealing with a growing shortage of skilled machinists who can work with CNC based machines like lathes and mills. The US alone will go through a deficiency of two million skilled machine designers and software programmers over the next 20 years.

The growth in 3-D printing will equally call for experienced 3-D software specialists and machine programmers which in return will add massive employment opportunities and engineering jobs in the next two decades.

5. Augmented & Virtual Reality Programmer

virtual reality

[Image Courtesy of Pixabay]

The new and upcoming 3-D Games demonstrate one thing, it’s how huge the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies will be. Although a career in Augmented and Virtual Reality is already on the rise, it’s going to grow even more dramatically.

Numerous AR & VR applications are designed for gaming applications. However, the opportunities for engineering jobs and design projects are countless.

AR and VR can benefit employees in areas like automotive application design and building automation. It can also help in areas where health and safety remain top priorities.

Contrary to 3-D Gaming which is already well-versed in 3-D animations, companies which are new to these technologies are building design firms, heavy-duty manufacturers, educational institutions which should lead their employees in creating opportunities where Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences can be implemented.

Which Engineering Field will Prepare you for this?

Engineers who understand how to deliver these types of experiences will be in high demand. They'll have a smooth transition into such engineering jobs.

To be certain, most of these five engineering jobs will need a high-level university education. These will be better suited for Ph.D. graduates.

It is much more dependent on realizing these engineering jobs in early stages and enrolling in academic programs that prepare you for success. Potential designers interested in these areas have a lot of engineering job opportunities to look for in the next 10-20 years.

Electrical engineering jobs are the most practical choices if you are interested in any of the engineering jobs mentioned above. An electrical engineer salary can exceed $254k/year within such field. Here’s an article to help you find out why some of the highest paying jobs are in electrical engineering fields.

Here’s the Bottom Line

We are far from having robots steal our jobs. Robots will always need us to train them.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Engineering Degrees with Highest Paying Jobs in 2017

About The Contributing Author:

Nader Mowlaee is an Engineering Career Coach, Personal Branding and Networking Specialist who helps Engineers Reach their Professional Career Goals within 4 Weeks. Follow him on Facebook to learn more.

Featured Image Courtesy of Pixabay

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