Engineering Jobs and Careers

Engineering jobs are on the rise, and like all STEM careers, that growth is predicted to continue. Engineering graduates can specialize in a number of different areas, enjoying average salaries of over $70,000 in many areas.

While a bachelor’s degree is required for most engineering jobs, the number of fields requiring a master’s degree is smaller than in most other STEM careers.

Most Common Job Titles and Descriptions

Manufacturing/Mechanical Engineers work in a wide range of industries, from food and drink to oil and plastics. They produce high quality goods and components to exact specifications using efficient and cost effective methods. Mechanical engineering roles often encompass an element of design. Tasks include designing new processes and systems, collaborating with other engineers on larger projects, managing budgets and junior staff, tendering for equipment, and staying up to date with current research and trends.

Salary Range: $70,000 - $80,000


Materials Engineers research, design, and develop new materials that support and advance various areas of technology. They have a deep understanding of the way different substances behave, and work with a wide range of materials, including ceramics, composites, polymers and textiles. They work in many different industries to improve products and processes. Tasks include identifying the best combinations of materials for specific purposes, performing tests on different materials, analyzing data, considering environmental issues, collaborating with other engineers, and assessing and solving any problems that may arise during manufacturing processes.

Salary Range: $80,000 to $90,000


Water Engineers deal with projects based around water and may have an environmental or civil engineering background. Their jobs are centered around the need to provide clean water for domestic and industry use and remove waste water and sewage safely and efficiently. They also focus on the prevention of flood damage. Asset management is central to their role with much work focused on maintaining water systems and structures, such as reservoirs, sea defense walls, and sewage treatment plants.

Salary Range: $70,000 - $80,000


Drilling Engineers work in the oil and gas industry where they plan and supervise drilling operations. They work on mobile drilling units and offshore platforms as well as on land, and are involved in the planning of new wells. Tasks include designing well-head equipment, creating drilling programs, managing on-site staff, monitoring well operations, managing costs, environmental compliance, and designing directional well paths.

Average Salary: $130,000


Quality Managers work in all engineering industries and may come from a variety of different educational backgrounds. Their job is to ensure that products and services are consistent, high quality, fit for purpose, and compliant with all regulations. They analyze data, report on the performance of products and systems, and work with other engineers and managers to make sure everything is functioning properly. Tasks include designing company quality procedures, reducing waste, increasing efficiency, suggesting improvements, and setting quality and safety standards.

Salary Range: $50,000 - $140,000

Salary Statistics and Growth for Engineering Jobs

Salaries tend to be on the high side, but vary widely across different specializations. The highest paying areas include electrical, petrochemical, computer, materials, and chemical engineering. Many engineering positions have starting salaries of over $60,000.

Engineering Job Field Growth or Decline

The field of engineering is growing in line with other STEM areas, and is projected to grow over the next ten years as the development of emerging technologies advances. Some areas are growing faster than others, with particularly high growth expected in the fields of environmental, biomedical, civil, and petroleum engineering.

Job Certifications, Training, Education Requirements

Many entry-level roles require only a bachelor's degree, although some fields may require a master’s degree for advancement. Bachelor’s degrees are available in a wide range of different disciplines and generally cover area-specific math and science. After earning a bachelor’s degree, prospective engineers will also have to complete a state licensing exam in order to obtain a license. Further testing is available to those who wish to become a registered professional engineer.

Where Can I Go From Here?

Entry-level engineers will have numerous opportunities for advancement during their careers, with the opportunity to advance to senior engineer, supervisor, or manager. Advancement generally depends on experience and qualifications.

Best Cities for Engineering Jobs

  • Huntsville, Alabama - Aerospace
  • Warner Robbins, Georgia - Aerospace
  • Palm Bay, Florida - Telecommunications
  • Warren, Michigan - Autoengineering
  • San Jose, California - Information technology
  • Houston, Texas - Energy, oil, and gas
  • Midland, Texas - Aerospace, oil, and gas
  • Decatur, Alabama - Aerospace
  • Kennewick, Washington - Renewable energy, manufacturing, and utilities
  • Dayton,Ohio - Aerospace

Top US Employers in This Field

  • Boeing
  • NASA
  • Google
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • General Electric
  • ExxonMobil
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Walt Disney Company
  • IntelShell Oil Company
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • Chevron Corporation
  • BMW Group
  • Northrop Grumman
  • IBM
  • Siemens
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Ford Motor Company

Sources:

By Staff Writer, SimplyJobs