When deciding on a career path it is very difficult to know whether your chosen industry will continue growing, become oversaturated or even become completely redundant. It is clear that the trend is towards information technology and automation and this is set to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Traditional fields such as civil and petroleum engineering are still in high demand, but the fastest growing fields are those in the IT sphere. This article aims to list some of the engineering jobs that are most in-demand and show the greatest salary potential for 2019 and beyond.
1. Data Science & Machine Learning
Software engineering has seen continuous growth over the past few years and there are no signs of it stopping. Data science is a branch of software engineering that involves creating meaningful information based on large amounts of data. These large datasets are known as big data and can come from a variety of sources such as e-commerce, medical or financial sectors. This field uses both statistics and software engineering to gather, analyse and present data in such a way as to allow the end user to optimise their specific services. A simple example of this is using the data of which products sell best during a specific time of year to create targeted marketing campaigns.
Machine learning is a subset of data science that is used to make predictions of what might happen in the future based on data of what happened in the past. Machine learning algorithms will make predictions, test whether these predictions are accurate, and then optimise the algorithm to improve the accuracy of the prediction going forward. The more varied the volume of data available, the better the predictions. A Bachelor’s degree is not always necessary to begin a career in data science as there are various short courses that cover the required topics. However, it is important to note that a strong background in both mathematics and coding is necessary.
Average starting salary: $89,000
Average mid-level salary: $107,000
Average late career salary: $120,000
2. Automation & Robotics Engineer
Robotic systems are already good at performing menial repetitive tasks that don’t require the dexterity and attention to detail provided by a human worker. However, with constant advances in computing, energy storage and materials, robots are beginning to move from single arm welding and assembly robots to complex humanoid machines. A striking example of this is the Boston Dynamics robot. A robotics engineer is involved in every aspect of the design, development, testing and implementation of robotic systems. Robotics engineers are typically either mechanical, electronics or mechatronic engineers. As we move ever-closer to an automated world, the only safe jobs are those within automation itself.
Average starting salary: $77,000
Average mid-level salary: $92,000
Average late career salary: $99,000
3. Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers typically work on drilling methods, the design of drilling equipment and implementing and monitoring the drilling plan for the extraction of crude oil. Petroleum engineering has been in demand for the past few years and is set to continue growing over the coming decade. Despite the push for electrical vehicles and clean energy, oil is still highly valued as it is used in many different industries. Many petroleum engineers are expected to retire in the coming years, meaning job positions for new engineers will open up. There is, of course, a moral dilemma in getting into the petroleum industry when one considers the growing environmental crisis we are facing, something that should be taken into account when searching for a job.
Average starting salary: $97,000
Average mid-level salary: $120,000
Average late career salary: $140,000
4. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering was a highly sought-after job in 2018 and that trend continues 2019. Civil engineers build the infrastructure on which the world depends. There are various branches of civil engineering which make it difficult to saturate the market and it is therefore a great field to be in. The main civil engineering fields include: structural engineering, environmental engineering, road/highway engineering and transportation engineering.
Average starting salary: $59,000
Average mid-level salary: $72,000
Average late career salary: $96,000