For a challenging and satisfying career, consider engineering. Few other career paths are quite as varied and full of options as engineering. Whether you like to work on tiny, delicate electronics, want to look at the big picture of an entire city’s functioning, or anything technical in between, there’s an engineering career for you out there.
These engineering fields, in particular, deserve your attention for high pay and steady demand:
Manufacturing firms and many related industries rely on mechanical engineers to design and maintain complex equipment systems. A mechanical engineer primarily works from an office rather than on the job, but they do visit factories and other facilities when there’s a need for repairs or extensive maintenance. You can earn an average salary of $87,370 per year as a mechanical engineer with only a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With a 4% rate of growth expected between 2018 and 2028, new positions will continue to open up each year.
All electrical equipment requires an electrical engineer for design work at some point in the process. This engineering focus involves the design of electromagnetic equipment, control systems for manufacturing and industrial units, and wiring for both power and telecommunication uses. An electrical engineer may focus on the design and implementation of these systems or maintain and repair them instead. The work may take place in an office, plant, out in the field, or even from home. With a median pay rate of $99,070 per year, according to the BLS, it’s well worth pursuing the required bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
If you prefer more theoretical work or a laboratory work environment, consider a career as a chemical engineer. Creating new chemical compounds can save lives by assisting in medication development, testing, and increasing the safety of existing materials. The median annual salary of $104,910 is another attractive reason to choose this career path. The BLS estimates a 6% growth rate for chemical engineer positions between now and 2028, opening up both new positions and opportunities for moving up in the ranks.
If you loved building towns and structures out of toys as a child, but you don’t want to become an architect, consider a civil engineer position instead. Civil engineers design anything from bridges to dams to power stations, depending on their specific training and experience level. A civil engineer begins their work in the office, but they’ll spend plenty of time in the field supervising the work at the construction site. Working on public or private infrastructure can earn you an average annual pay of $86,640. With over 300,000 civil engineer jobs reported by the BLS in 2018, it’s clear there are positions available across the country.
After studying for four years about soil composition and erosion factors, you’re ready to start your career as an environmental engineer. These specialists often work closely with civil engineers to develop major infrastructure projects. All structures rely on stable soil or rock below the foundation, so environmental engineers are in high demand for measuring and improving these conditions. This is reflected in the median pay of $87,620 per year for environmental engineer positions. You can find work with construction companies, civil or private engineering firms, public environmental agencies, and urban planning boards once you’ve entered this career path.
With so many great options, it’s no wonder that so many people join the engineering industry each year. The college and university training programs for these careers are intense, but most of the positions only require a bachelor’s degree at an average of four years. If you’re ready for something new, the continued growth in these fields will ensure you’ll still have work opportunities after finishing your training.
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