Engineer Career Outlook

Employment of materials engineers is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations.

Materials engineers will be needed to design uses for new materials both in traditional industries, such as aerospace manufacturing, and in industries focused on new medical or scientific products.

Materials engineers are in demand in growing fields such as nanotechnology and biomedical engineering. They find new uses for these technologies, which can help to address problems with consumer products, industrial processes, and medical needs. Because the work of materials engineers is closely connected to organizations’ research and development, firms will likely seek to draw upon the skills of materials engineers to stay at the forefront of their respective industries.

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Engineer Career Outlook

Employment of chemical engineers is expected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Demand for chemical engineers’ services depends largely on demand for the products of various manufacturing industries. Employment will be sustained by the ability of these engineers to stay on the forefront of new, emerging technologies.

Many chemical engineers work in industries that have output sought by many manufacturing firms. Therefore, employment is tied to the state of overall manufacturing in the United States.

However, chemical engineering is also migrating into new fields, such as nanotechnology, alternative energies, and biotechnology, which will likely increase demand for engineering services in many manufacturing industries.

Job Prospects

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Engineer Career Outlook

Employment of mechanical engineers is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology. Mechanical engineers can work in many industries and on many types of projects. As a result, their growth rate will differ by the industries that employ them.

Mechanical engineers should experience demand in architectural, engineering, and related services as companies continue to hire temporary engineering services as a cost-cutting measure rather than keeping engineers on staff. Mechanical engineers will also be involved in various manufacturing industries—specifically, transportation equipment and machinery manufacturing. They will be needed to design the next generation of vehicles and vehicle systems, such as hybrid-electric cars and clean diesel automobiles. Machinery will continue to be in demand as machines replace more expensive human labor in various industries. This phenomenon in turn should drive demand for mechanical engineers who design industrial machinery.

Mechanical engineers often work on the newest industrial pursuits. The fields of alternative energies, remanufacturing, and nanotechnology may offer new directions for occupational growth.

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