Engineering Series: Career Paths in the Workforce
February 26, 2019
The High Demand For Engineers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth for engineering jobs over the next several years through 2026. As the Bureau notes:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment growth for these workers, with nearly 140,000 new jobs expected for engineers over the 2016–26 decade. And in 2016, engineers had a median annual wage of $91,010 —more than twice the median wage for all workers.
The engineer jobs that have the highest projected growth through 2026 are:
- Civil engineers (32,300)
- Mechanical engineers (25,300)
- Industrial engineers (25,200)
- Electrical engineers (16,100)
The numbers may look great on the national level, but they also look extremely promising for Texas. The Bureau’s breakdown for Texas occupations in 2017 notes that Texas is among the top 5 states with growing employment needs in this field.
In 2017, there were over 230,000 engineering jobs in Texas. The rise in employment was almost two percent, and the annual median wage was $97,400.
In addition, the Texas Workforce Commission has observed some interesting growth trends between 2018 through 2024 for engineering-related industries, projecting more than 25 percent growth rates through 2024 in these industries.
Participating in FIRST in Texas at a young age positions students to have the skills needed for the fast-growing engineer career fields.
Corporate Partners Become Career Pathways For Aspiring Engineers
Another clear advantage for students when they participate in FIRST in Texas comes in the form of corporate partners.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) notes in an article how internships among corporations who need engineers are on the rise, as explained by Nathan Parcells the founder of Intern Match:
“Currently over 10 percent of our available internships are for engineering roles, which is the highest we have seen in the past three years,” Parcells says. “A lot of these are electrical engineering positions related to the growing competition among tech companies… Mechanical engineering internships are also on the rise because more companies are investing in engineering and innovation. In a recent survey, we discovered that over 93 percent of startups are planning on hiring interns within the next three months—this is becoming a competitive hiring strategy for many companies,” he adds.
Students can discover future engineering career paths and alumni can develop their professional network through some of our corporate partner sites for engineering students:
- ASME has university campus student programs which offer engineering internships, scholarships, and mentoring.
- Texas Instruments provides university engineering students with resources, tutorials, design inspiration, and more.
FIRST in Texas is the Perfect First Step to a Fulfilling Life of Engineering
Students who experience one or more of the four FIRST® robotics programs supported by FIRST in Texas are getting the perfect introduction to the skills and mindset needed to succeed in engineering. Research shows that FIRST® participants are twice as likely to major in engineering when they move on to higher education. 90 percent of students who participate in FIRST Robotics Challenge are inspired to take a more challenging science or engineering-related class.
The bottom line is simple: when it comes to getting students prepared and positioned for engineering opportunities down the road, FIRST in Texas is the perfect training ground and pathway.
This concludes the three-part series on Engineering. To read the entire series begin with part one: FIRST in Texas Opens Up a World of Opportunities For Young Engineers continue with part two: Engineering Series: Girls and Women are FIRST.