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The Most In-Demand Engineering Jobs in 2020

Industry News

The world will always need engineers, but some specialized fields are growing faster than others. As the population ages, environmental policy changes, and automation takes over more and more aspects of manufacturing, the world needs people out there to design, develop, test, and implement new strategies for meeting these challenges. Here are the fastest growing, most in-demand jobs predicted for 2020:

1. Automation and Robotics Engineer

Many people place the blame on trade agreements for reducing jobs in key industries,but, in reality, much of the responsibility belongs to automation. Robots can perform tasks faster, cheaper, and more safely, and can perform repetitive tasks around the clock. There's no going back from automation now—in fact, the field of robotics is only going to continue to grow. For job security, it's a good idea for prospective engineers to position themselves within the automation industry.

Automation and robotics engineers are responsible for creating, developing, testing, and putting automated systems into place. Mechanical and electronics engineers will find themselves very welcome in this field.

2. Alternative Energy Engineer

As alternative energy sources become more mainstream and their technology advances, the cost of creating and implementing solar and wind power has gone down. This, in turn, has helped to boost demand for people who work on developing new, more efficient green energy tech, as well as inspect, repair, and install existing tech.

Alternative energy engineers can assemble and install solar panels and service wind turbines. Mechanical or electrical engineers can start out here, but may want to go for a Master's degree in energy engineering, specifically.

3. Civil Engineer

Civil engineering never goes out of style. It's a very varied field with a lot of different branches, and, as the population grows and environmental policies adjust, there will always be a need for people to oversee infrastructure projects. This is another safe bet for people looking for a secure long-term prospect.

Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing road systems, sewage systems, and dams, among other things. With the increase in demand for alternative energy sources, there's an equal increase in openings for civil engineers to handle the needed infrastructure for solar and wind farms, geothermal installations, and more. They will need to handle feasibility studies, impact studies, cost estimates, site inspection, and integration with existing infrastructure.

4. Environmental Engineer

Some experts predict that jobs for environmental engineers are predicted to grow by 8.3% by 2026, while others estimate as much as 12.9%. As we learn how to reduce our impact on the environment and live and work more sustainably, many industries have to keep up. Like civil engineers, environmental engineers are largely responsible for helping the world keep pace with changing environmental policies.

These engineers test and operate equipment that helps to detect and correct air and water pollution, clean up contaminated sites, manage land resources, handle certain aspects of public health, and design sustainable infrastructure. Because of the highly specialized knowledge required by this field, a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, or a related field like civil, chemical, or general engineering, is a must.

5. Biomedical Engineer

As the population ages and doctors improve out ability to detect rare medical conditions, we're running into the need for more medical advancements. Jobs all across the biomedical industry are going to continue to increase between 2020 and 2026—engineering jobs are predicted to grow by a little over 7%, research and development by roughly 18%, and manufacturing by about 6%. Biomedical engineering helps people live longer, healthier lives, catch illnesses early, and improve the quality of life for the chronically ill.

A biomedical engineer is responsible for developing medical devices, prosthetics, implants, artificial organs, and diagnostic instruments. For these jobs, a Bachelor's in biomedical or bioengineering is necessary.

6. Systems Software Engineer

While the world needs people to design and develop new ways to respond to environmental issues, an aging population, manufacturing, and our growing need for new, sustainable infrastructure, it also needs people to create the software that helps those things function. Every industry is increasing their dependence on technology, and the demand for software engineering has been increasing for years. That doesn't look like it's going to slow anytime soon. In fact, experts predict an increase of about 11% within the next few years.

Systems software engineers design, develop, and test operating systems. As more industries continue to update their technology, there will also be a need for network software. Network engineers are needed to oversee planning and implementing computer networks, while data science specialists are needed to analyze data and turn it into usable information. A Bachelor's in a related engineering field or in computer science is required.

The variety of engineering jobs available can seem daunting at times. Automation and robotics, alternative energy, civil engineering, environmental engineering, the biomedical field, and software engineering are all rapidly growing in response to a changing world. These positions won't just offer a good salary, they also offer a chance to develop the innovations that make that world a better place.