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Engineering Overview - Engineering Disciplines - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations - Profiles of Engineering Students - PowerPoint - Podcast


Employment 
Engineers hold 1.6 million jobs in the United States. About 36 percent of engineering jobs were found in manufacturing industries, and another 30 percent were in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries, primarily in architectural, engineering, and related services. Many engineers also worked in the construction, telecommunications, and wholesale trade industries.

Federal, State, and local governments employed about 12 percent of engineers in 2008. About 6 percent were in the Federal Government, mainly in the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, Agriculture, Interior, and Energy, and in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Many engineers in State and local government agencies worked in highway and public works departments. In 2008, about 3 percent of engineers were self-employed, many as consultants.

The distribution of employment by engineering specialty follows:

Civil engineers 278,400
Mechanical engineers 238,700
Industrial engineers 214,800
Electrical engineers 157,800
Electronics engineers, except computer 143,700
Computer hardware engineers 74,700
Aerospace engineers 71,600
Environmental engineers 54,300
Chemical engineers 31,700
Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors 25,700
Materials engineers 24,400
Petroleum engineers 21,900
Nuclear engineers 16,900
Biomedical engineers 16,000
Marine engineers and naval architects 8,500
Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers 7,100
Agricultural engineers 2,700
Engineers, all other 183,200

Engineers are employed in every state, in small and large cities and in rural areas. Some branches of engineering are concentrated in particular industries and geographic areas; for example, petroleum engineering jobs tend to be located in States with sizable petroleum deposits, such as Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alaska, and California. Other branches, such as civil engineering, are widely dispersed, and engineers in these fields often move from place to place to work on different projects.

Engineers are employed in every major industry. The industries employing the most engineers in each specialty are given in the table below, along with the percent of occupational employment in the industry.

Specialty Industry Percent
Aerospace engineers Aerospace product and parts manufacturing 49
Agricultural engineers Food manufacturing 25
  Architectural, engineering, and related services 15
Biomedical engineers Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing 20
  Scientific research and development services 20
Chemical engineers Chemical manufacturing 29
  Architectural, engineering, and related services 15
Civil engineers Architectural, engineering, and related services 49
Computer hardware engineers Computer and electronic product manufacturing 41
  Computer systems design and related services 19
Electrical engineers Architectural, engineering, and related services 21
Electronics engineers, except computer Computer and electronic product manufacturing 26
  Telecommunications 15
Environmental engineers Architectural, engineering, and related services 29
  State and local government 21
Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors State and local government 10
Industrial engineers Transportation equipment manufacturing 18
  Machinery manufacturing 8
Marine engineers and naval architects Architectural, engineering, and related services 29
Materials engineers Primary metal manufacturing 11
  Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 9
Mechanical engineers Architectural, engineering, and related services 22
  Transportation equipment manufacturing 14
Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers Mining 58
Nuclear engineers Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 30
  Electric power generation, transmission and distribution 27
Petroleum engineers Oil and gas extraction 43

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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