Engineering is an exciting field, in that engineer jobs often place you at the cutting edge of progress. Indeed, almost every aspect of our lives requires engineering of some kind. Agriculture, mining, and telecommunications are just a few examples of fields that depend on engineers, but there are many more.
Engineers use math and science to solve technical problems and create solutions. In 2006, engineers held 1.5 million jobs, with most in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and electrical engineering. Rapidly changing technological advances have increased our need for trained engineers - in the past 30 years, engineer jobs have almost tripled.
Of all the job industries, engineering has probably shown both the most growth and the most instability over the past few decades. An engineering boom in the 1980s and 1990s gave way to widespread layoffs in telecommunications and computer technologies as companies adapted to the market.
Now, the market for engineer jobs is stronger than ever. However, as new technologies develop and crowd out the older versions, layoffs likely will continue to be a part of the engineering industry. Being an engineer in the 21st century requires staying relevant and up-to-date with the changing technology.
Most engineers are highly educated in their fields - about 75 percent of engineers have at least one engineering degree, and some hold master's degrees. Of all the jobs taken by new college graduates, engineer jobs start out with the highest salaries.
Many engineers work for private companies in new product development or maintenance, and almost all engineering jobs are specific to a particular industry. Electrical engineers, for example, work on computer technologies, communications, and power systems, among many other areas.
Environmental engineering is a hot field right now, as the green movement continues to go mainstream and individuals and companies look for ways to reduce the human environmental footprint. The United States government also employs an increasingly large number of engineers, as it strives to become more technologically progressive.
Last Updated: 06/08/2014