A leading recruitment firm expects jobs for engineers in the US to grow by nearly a quarter of a million over the next decade.
The latest Engineering Employment Outlook released by human resources firm Kelly Services sees the US engineering labour market expanding by 11 per cent over the next decade as a result of flourishing growth in the fossil fuels, aerospace and renewable energy sectors.
With over 2 million engineers currently employed in the US, equivalent to approximately one per cent of the nation's total workforce, this projected percentage growth in the labour market for engineers translates into nearly 250,000 new job positions from now until 2023.
According to the Outlook major metropolitan areas will continue to dominate growth in the engineering jobs market over the upcoming decade. The 10 biggest cities in the US will collectively account for 35 per cent of total growth in the engineering jobs market through 2023.
Employment growth will be most pronounced in the field of civil engineering,with the addition of 46,000 more jobs over the next 10 years. Mechanical engineering comes in second, with job growth of 25,500 during the same period.
Civil and mechanical engineering remain the two biggest areas of employment for engineers in the US today, accounting for 16 and 14 per cent of the nation's engineering labour market respectively. The "big four" fields, consisting of civil, mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering, comprise 51 per cent of the US engineering workforce.
Kelly Services sees a shake-up in this standard quartet, however, with architectural an engineering managers potential ousting electrical engineering from the big four as a result of more rapid jobs growth.
A key factor behind the surge in jobs for engineers is the maturity of the workforce in the US, with over half of all employed engineering professionals at least 45 years in age.
Tepid enrolment numbers for college engineering courses are failing to compensate for the wave of retiring baby boomers and driving salaries to unprecedented heights. Young engineers enjoy a median starting salary of $53,400, while the median annual salary enjoyed by engineers as a whole is $85,000.
Those engineering fields commanding the highest remuneration levels include petroleum engineers ($123,947), architectural/engineering managers ($123,115) and aerospace engineers ($103,459).
Engineering continues to remain a heavily male-dominated profession in the US. While women obtain around 20 per cent of all engineering degrees conferred in the US, they comprise a even lower 13 per cent of the country's engineering workforce.