The most recent surveys of the engineering field have found that while it is seeing growth in a number of areas, overall employment growth is about level.
According to Staffing Industry, a recent survey of engineering jobs in the United States saw the field grow by .13 percent from November to December, helping the workforce reach a total level of 2.48 million people. On a yearly basis, engineering employment has risen by 1.39 percent in 2013 over 2012, with 33,900 additional workers joining the field.
Industry professionals told the news source that while the engineering growth during the month was modest and somewhat irregular, the pervading growth was a positive factor. Employers were notably more cautious in the second half of 2013 regarding hiring, though there are plenty of signs that growth will strengthen as 2013 begins to gain strength.
Robotics hiring up, healthcare leading the charge
In addition, Robotics Tomorrow reports that while there were about 45,000 job listings asking for professionals skilled in developing robotics during 2013, engineering jobs were only one slice of the demanding market. Healthcare jobs represented 35 percent of the market, exceeding expectations and adding another angle to the industry's engineering market
As robotic components become more common in a variety of industries, the engineering skills needed to run them and develop new uses for them have become only more pressing for many companies. However, those with skills in the specialties will likely be able to find work almost anywhere, especially if they are willing to move to locations with plenty of robotics workforce demand. For instance, Macon, Ga. and Austin, Texas have been noted as having high demand for robotics skills, as they have low natural levels of hiring for these disciplines.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reports new changes
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also released new reports concerning a variety of engineering positions, and many of them have been revised to see much higher levels of demand than expected. For instance, the BLS recently released a revised report on expectations for the field of petroleum engineering, which has seen an increase in its outlook for the next ten years. While the field employs fewer than 38,500 people, it plans to hire another 10,000 by 2022, which places its overall job outlook at 26 percent through that year.
As petroleum engineers are working to design and develop new methods of extracting oil and gas from below the earth, as well as new ways to extract resources from older wells, their services will be in heavy demand in the near future as gas prices continue to rise and new resources become increasingly important. Higher prices will also lead to a new effort to improve efficiency, which will also be a major aspect of job descriptions in the near future.
Another engineering field that will soon see growth will be that of biomedical engineering. According to the BLS, employment in this field will soon grow by a projected 27 percent through 2022, because of both an aging population that will need new methods of healthcare to be developed, as well as an increased public awareness of biomedical engineering benefits. As more people learn about the innovations and improvements in care rapidly being seen in the field, growth and interest in the field will only rise further.
Another major concern that will only become more pressing in the near future is the importance of civil engineering, expected to grow by 20 percent. Infrastructure across the country continues to age, and civil engineers will need to help rebuild bridges, repair roads, upgrade levees and dams and manage additional projects.