The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that environmental engineers will experience growth that is faster than the average for all occupations while biomedical engineers will experience growth that is much faster. Civil, petroleum, and geological and mining engineering will grow as fast as the average and industrial engineering will grow more slowly than the average.
Recently graduates have higher average starting salaries than their counterparts with degrees in other fields of study. Salaries vary by branch of engineering and level of education.
Median annual earnings for several branches of engineering (US, 2012):
- Electrical: $87,920
- Civil: $79,340
- Mechanical: $80,580
- Environmental: $80,890
- Nuclear: $104,270
- Biomedical: $86,960
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much engineers currently earn in your city.
What Do Engineers Do?:
Engineers who work in design and development:
- design, plan, and supervise the construction of buildings, highways, and transit systems;
- develop and implement improved ways to extract, process, and use raw materials;
- develop new materials that both improve the performance of products and take advantage of advances in technology;
- analyze the impact of the products they develop or the systems they design on the environment and on people using them;
Engineers who work in testing, production, or maintenance:
- supervise production in factories;
- determine the causes of breakdowns;
- test manufactured products to maintain quality;
- estimate the time and cost to complete projects;
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Engineers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm (visited June 25, 2013).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/ (visited June 25, 2013).