The demand for mechanical engineers is higher than for electrical engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, electrical engineers with additional expertise in electronics and computer hardware engineering are in greater demand than mechanical engineers. Regardless of the marketplace, the BLS notes that candidates who earn a bachelor's degree from a program accredited by ABET, formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and who are trained in the latest engineering tools will face the best job prospects.
Mechanical Engineering Demand
Jobs for mechanical engineers are expected to increase 9 percent between 2010 and 2020, states the BLS. This is lower than the anticipated 11 percent for all engineers and 14 percent for all professions. The large size of the field, however, will result in numerous jobs added during these 10 years: 21,300. To best compete for mechanical engineering jobs, learn the latest tools of the trade, such as Advanced Visualization Process, a software application that eliminates the need for prototypes.
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Demand
The BLS anticipates the employment for electrical and electronics engineers to increase 6 percent, equaling 17,600 jobs, between 2010 and 2020. Specifically, electrical engineering jobs are expected to increase 7 percent or 10,700 jobs, while electronics engineering jobs should increase 5 percent or 6,800 jobs. The best prospects will exist in engineering services forms, since many companies are cutting costs by contracting out engineers instead of hiring them in-house.
Computer Hardware Engineering Demand
Employers of computer hardware engineers often hire graduates of electrical and electronics engineering programs, as well as those with computer engineering degrees. Job growth for computer hardware engineers is expected to be 9 percent between 2010 and 2020, equaling 6,300 more jobs, reports the BLS. The greatest job options will exist in computer consulting firms, since many manufacturers contract out hardware design to cut costs.
High-Demand Hot Spots
Some states hire more engineers than others. According to the BLS, the states that hire the largest percentage of mechanical engineers are, in order starting with the highest: Michigan, California, Texas, Illinois and Ohio. Top states for electrical and electronics engineers are, in order: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Massachusetts. For computer hardware engineers, the following states hire the greatest concentration: California, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts and Colorado.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Mechanical Engineers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Computer Hardware Engineers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Electrical and Electronics Engineers: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Mechanical Engineers: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Computer Hardware Engineers: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012
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