This blog was written by Alex Downard (Fircroft Regional Manager)
In the United States, approximately 1.6 million individuals are employed in an engineering job, earning a median wage of $42 per hour. More high school seniors are planning to undertake a major in the field than any other degree, signalling a bright future for the sector.
Around 274,000 people are civil engineers, while mechanical engineers and industrial engineers represent 264,000 and 229,000 of the workforce respectively. Job growth is in double digits (between 2010 and 2014) in four different occupations, including petroleum engineering, mining and geological, biomedical and industrial.
This clearly indicates that demand for these particular types of jobs is high, but is this about to change? Is there an increasingly greater need for other kinds of engineers?
The Economic Modelling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) has posted statistics for 2014 that show not only the demand of engineering jobs, but the extent to which that demand is being met. The study looked at the amount of job postings and compared them to the number of hires between January 2012 and July 2014.
The Need for Industrial Engineers is High
Although it is only the third most popular sector of the engineering field, the demand for industrial workers is far greater than anything else. The EMSI’s report shows that there were almost 25,000 online job postings over a two-and-a-half year period – but just under 8,000 people were hired.
This figure is staggering – there are potentially 17,000 job openings that were not or have not yet been occupied. Industrial engineers are, by far, the most in-demand workers, but there is little supply to fill those vacancies.
Mechanical engineers are the second most in-demand, according to the report. But they are way behind number one with just 12,500 jobs being advertised on the internet. More than three-quarters of those were taken. Electrical engineering was in third place with 8,900 jobs and just 5,800 positions filled.
Hires Outnumbering Job Openings
In some peculiar cases, the number of people being hired by companies was higher than the number of positions that had been advertised. This could be for a number of reasons; one advertisement could have stated two or three positions were available. Employers could be taking people on with posting jobs online too, so they wouldn’t have been included in this study.
This was the situation for five out of the eight engineering categories researched. More than 13,000 people were hired as civil engineers compared to 6,000 advertisements, while in electronics there were 600 more appointments than supposed openings.
Another aspect to take into account would be the average age of the workforce. An older group may potentially suffer labour shortages in the future, and so would require younger people – college graduates most likely – to step in and fill those slots.
Approximately 29 per cent of marine engineers and naval architects are over 55 years old, while for petroleum and industrial engineers that figure is around 25 per cent. For the latter two this is particularly interesting because these fields are two of the fastest growing in the country.
Overall, the engineering field appears to be in good shape and there are plenty of opportunities for people who are considering it as a career path. If you’re a professional currently looking for a job, then check out Fircroft for up to date information on vacancies across the world.
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