A recent survey, conducted by Design News and sponsored by staffing company Aerotek, painted a clear picture of why so many people are flocking to a career in design engineering, where the hard work is rewarded with rising salaries, job satisfaction and stability.
According to the survey, many design engineers say that although their job comes with a unique set of challenges, they typically confront these head on. In fact, 52 percent of respondents said their job is extremely or very challenging. The most challenging parts of the career, the respondents said, were balancing workload with their personal lives, and staying current with the most up-to-date technology. But with the average number of years spent as an engineer in the U.S. sitting at 18, these workers have clearly developed ways to meet these challenges, which has kept them in their position for nearly two decades.
Another 44 percent of respondents said that their stress levels have not risen in the last two years.
Job security, another major factor that contributes to overall job satisfaction, was high among design engineers, with only 23 percent saying they were extremely or very concerned. Six percent and 30 percent of respondents said they were either not concerned at all or not very concerned about their job security, respectively.
"Their comments included 'There are plenty of jobs out there for good engineers' and 'If I become unemployed I will find another job,'" the report noted.
Now could be a great time to break into the industry, considering 44 percent of engineer respondents said their company has brought on new workers in the last 12 months, compared to only 27 percent who said they have witnessed layoffs or downsizing. The survey also found that the prospects of finding a new job within the engineering field were remarkably high, with 59 percent of respondents saying recruiters have contacted them about a potential new job in the last year.
The survey found that on a normal workweek, design engineers typically put in about 46 hours, and an astounding 71 percent said their hours have stayed the exact same in the last year despite the volatile economic conditions. Only 19 percent said they have had to put in more hours in the last year.
Engineers also say their hard work does not go unnoticed, with 71 percent saying they feel appreciated and respected at their company. Another 68 percent said they view engineering as a very respectable profession. But perhaps most telling of the favorable work environment is how willing engineers are to recommend their job to friends and family. When asked this question, a whopping 83 percent said they think engineering would be a great career choice for their son or daughter.
After all is said and done, 56 percent of engineers say they are extremely or very satisfied with their decision to become a design engineer for several reasons. If you enjoy problem solving, creative thinking and a challenging work environment, you, too, may soon join the ranks of design engineers around the country. Also, the benefits that come with these titles, as well as the locations of engineers firms, are a huge attraction to the field.