Employed in U.S.: 31,700
Change expected in next decade: -2 percent
Average salary: $84,680
Demand for engineers overall is good, with some specialties expected to see outstanding growth, but demand for chemical engineers, who work in the manufacturing of chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, and cement, is expected to drop 2 percent in the next decade.
The biggest demand in engineering will be for biomedical engineers, with projected growth of 72 percent over the next decade, as well as civil, environmental, and petroleum engineers.
The reason some areas are seeing a decline again comes down to money: Cutbacks in defense expenditures have crimped demand in industries such as electronics and aerospace. Plus, there is an increasing trend toward contracting engineers instead of hiring them full-time. Work is also being outsourced to English-speaking engineers outside the U.S., who are often willing to work for lower wages.
In order to remain competitive, it’s imperative for engineers, such as computer programmers, to stay on top of the latest technology and trends.