Engineering is a diverse field with a near-endless array of specializations and paths. If you are thinking about a career in engineering, it pays to know which fields are expected to experience the most growth over the next several years and which engineering specializations will be the most in-demand.
Civil engineering is a broad field that includes designing and developing infrastructure projects. Civil engineers build roads, buildings, airports, bridges, dams, water systems, tunnels and more. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of civil engineering will grow by 11 percent through the year 2026 thanks to renewed investment in the country’s aging infrastructure. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for civil engineers was $86,600 in 2018.
Environmental Engineering is a growing field that involves designing systems that protect people, animals, and ecosystems from pollution and improve environmental quality. They may design water treatment systems, develop air quality initiatives, work on recycling projects and infrastructure, assist with contamination cleanups and more. The field is expected to grow around 8% through 2026, and the median annual wage for environmental engineers was $87,600 in 2018.
Biomedical engineers design and create medical equipment, devices, computer systems, and software for the healthcare field. Competition in the healthcare industry is driving innovation and companies are pushing to develop new devices and technologies at a much faster rate than ever before. According to the BLS, biomedical engineering is expected to grow 7% through 2026. The median annual wage for biomedical engineers in 2018 was $88,500.
Marine engineers build and maintain the internal systems of a ship, such as the propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering systems. According to the BLS, the field is expected to grow 12% through 2026. That high rate of growth is being driven by a need to develop environmentally-friendlier vessels, especially tankers that haul environmentally hazardous chemicals. The median annual wage for marine engineers was $92,500 in 2018.
Petroleum engineers develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface and innovate new ways to extract more oil and gas from old wells. According to the BLS, petroleum engineering is expected to grow 15% through 2026 because the ever-increasing cost of oil drives companies to increase capital investment, creating new opportunities for engineers. The median annual salary for petroleum engineers in 2018 was $137,000.