Engineering is a growing field that will gain almost 140,000 new jobs by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some engineers will find their calling helping others in fields like biomedical engineering, where they develop technology for use in the health care industry. Others will improve the infrastructure we use in our day-to-day lives. Still other engineers will work on vessels built for space exploration or sea travel. With all of these options, it is helpful to know which fields are growing faster than the others.

Engineering Disciplines With the Best Job Outlook

Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineers work in developing gas and oil wells. To enter this field, you will need a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering. Employers also want you to have experience, so many students choose to attend a college that has a cooperative education , or co-op, program so they can gain valuable work experience while getting an education. Another option to increase your higher potential is to pursue a five-year program that will enable you to earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree faster. With a master’s degree, you could work as a college instructor or go into research and development.

Job opportunities for petroleum engineers are expected to rise by 15 percent over a decade, much faster than average, according to the BLS . This growth rate will equal about 5,100 new jobs, primarily with gas and oil companies that are looking for new extraction facilities or to expand existing operations. Petroleum engineers may also find jobs with mining companies, since gas and oil companies contact this work out to save costs. One last reason the outlook for this field of engineering is promising is because many current petroleum engineers are expected to retire or switch occupations over the next decade.

The BLS reports that petroleum engineers enjoy a median salary of $132,280, which is higher than the $92,220 median salary for all engineers and much higher than the $37,690 median salary for all occupations.

Marine Engineers

Marine engineers help design, build, and maintain the propulsion, electrical, steering and other internal systems of a ship. Their jobs span from aircraft carriers to sailboats and from submarines to cargo ships. To enter this maritime occupation, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, which may be offered at state maritime academies. As part of your education at a maritime academy, you would spend time out at sea to gain onboard operating experience. You could also take the exam to attain your license as a merchant marine officer through the United States Coast Guard .

Marine engineers will enjoy a 12 percent job growth, resulting in about 1,000 new jobs by 2026, according to the BLS. This job growth stems largely from the need to transport energy products around the world in an environmentally friendly way. Marine engineers will also be needed to help update existing ships to cut down on pollution and make them more efficient. Some marine engineers will find jobs with gas and oil companies as these companies seek to find offshore drilling sites.

Marine engineers enjoy a median salary of $90,970, according to the BLS.

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, construct, supervise and maintain infrastructure projects as well as roads, buildings, airports, bridges, and water systems. To enter this growing field, you will need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. While pursuing your bachelor’s degree, you should take advantage of co-op programs in college. These programs allow students to take on full-time paid work assignments lasting six months or more in which they are directly involved in real-life engineering activities and still gain academic credit. If you aspire to eventually be promoted to senior positions, you will need to attain a professional engineer (PE) license and a graduate degree at some point during your career.

The BLS predicts an 11 percent rate of job growth in the field of civil engineering, or about 32,200 new jobs, by 2026. The main reason for this job growth is due to the growing population. As our society expands, the need for water systems to either be created or updated increases. Time is another factor as current roads, bridges, buildings, and other structures are showing wear and tear and will need to be replaced or repaired.

The median salary for civil engineers is $84,770, according to the BLS.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers seek out ways to eliminate wastefulness in production process. They design efficient systems that take into account the different workers, machines, materials, information, and energy used to make a product or provide services. To enter the world of industrial engineering, you will a bachelor’s degree in engineering. A bachelor’s in industrial engineering specifically is preferred, though other related fields such as mechanical, manufacturing, or general engineering would work, as well. Taking part in a co-op program will help you gain valuable experience.

Currently, the field of industrial engineering is seeing faster than average job growth, with a growth rate of 10 percent, or about 25,100 new jobs by 2026. One reason for this promising job outlook is that an industrial engineering education is versatile. The practices used to reduce internal costs are similar across the board, so engineers in this discipline can find work in numerous industries. About 18 percent of all industrial engineers work in the industry of transportation equipment manufacturing. Another 13 percent of industrial engineers work in professional, scientific and technical services, and computer and electronic product manufacturing also accounts for 13 percent of jobs in the field.

Industrial engineers earn a median salary of $85,880, according to the BLS. Those working in the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry enjoy a median salary of $94,120.

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