More than 1.7 million engineers are employed in the United States. Many different industries employ engineers. Most engineers are employed in manufacturing or for companies that provide professional, scientific, or technical services. Civil engineering is the largest engineering specialty, with approximately 326,800 workers. Many engineers are employed by federal government agencies (such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or U.S. Department of Energy) or those at the state level.
There are many ways to learn about job opportunities in engineering. Recent graduates can use their college placement services, or they may apply directly to employers. Information on job openings is also available at state employment offices, at the federal Office of Personnel Management (https://www.usajobs.gov), and at employment and association Web sites.
Entry-level engineers generally work under a senior engineer and may receive extensive on-the-job training in addition to augment their college education.
Keeping up with new technology and scientific developments is essential for advancement, especially in fields that experience rapid change such as biomedical engineering or information technology. In general, engineers who begin by working under a senior engineer may advance to bigger and more complex projects, and eventually to executive management or sales positions. Voluntary certifications, which are offered in many engineering specialties, can aid advancement by demonstrating proficiency and up-to-date knowledge. Engineers may also advance to become college engineering professors. Others work as consultants.
Tips for Entry
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: http://www.nspe.org/resources/career-center/job-board/job-board and http://careers.swe.org.
Join professional associations to access training and networking resources, mentoring and employment opportunities, and industry publications.
Participate in internships or part-time jobs that are arranged by your college’s career services office. Professional associations, such as the Biomedical Engineering Society (http://jobboard.bmes.org/jobseekers), also offer information on internships at their Web sites.
Land an entry-level job as an engineering technician or technologist to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.