Engineering is a very broad field which requires intense specialization. It's one thing to want to be an engineer, but picking a focus is crucial to preparing properly and early. The difference between each field can be fairly vast despite common requisite skills in math certain hard sciences. While it's not uncommon to change majors while in college, engineering fields tend to have stringent deadlines and paths towards obtaining a degree. If you're considering becoming an engineer but are having trouble picking a field, you may want to look at the six engineering fields with the highest job growth. According to engineering.com, jobs in these fields are expected to grow in number according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1. Biomedical – Biomedical engineers find technological solutions to problems in healthcare. This can include improving existing biomedical equipment as well as designing new pieces such as artificial internal organs and other body parts. With a growth rate of 27 percent, there may be many opportunities available for experts in this field in the coming years.
2. Environmental – If you enjoy the prospect of tending to the environment and solving puzzles, becoming an environmental engineer may be the right path for you. These individuals use a collaboration of different fields to identify, analyze, and solve problems affecting the natural world around us. It is important to note that environmental engineering is in and of itself a broad sub-field; specializations range from water reclamation to pollution control.
3. Civil – At a predicted growth rate of 20 percent, civil engineering may be a very secure option in the future. Civil engineers focus on the design and construction of public and private infrastructure. Projects include everything from buildings to airports and even sewer systems. Most jobs in this field tend to require a degree higher than a bachelor's, so it will be a long road before employment opportunities are available.
4. Petroleum – It's no secret that gas and oil are extremely lucrative raw materials in the U.S., and the people who know how to access and use them are usually paid very well. With a predicted job growth rate of 26 percent and a bachelor's degree generally being enough to secure employment, this field can be very attractive to prospective engineers.
5. Nuclear – It can lead to working near radioactive material, but working as a nuclear engineer can be very lucrative. However, keep in mind that expected job growth is only 9 percent. Professionals in this field carry a lot of responsibility: making nuclear energy safer and cleaner benefits the general population, not just a particular company.
6. Sales – It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but engineers with good interpersonal skills can become sales engineers. If you know exactly how a product works and can articulate a pitch, this may be a great job to have. Commission sales are always stressful, but networking with hospitals and businesses can be rewarding. Job growth is pegged at 9 percent.