Where the Engineering Jobs Are

Where the Engineering Jobs Are: February 2015

February 9, 2015

We mined the last six months of engineering jobs listings to find where your skills are in the most demand.


This quarter, we expanded our Where The Engineering Jobs Are report to incorporate the previous six months of listing information. While snapshots were useful in identifying demand right now — immediately relevant to both active and passive job seekers — an aggregate of the last six month’s activity is more widely useful as a career positioning tool.

A lot of petroleum engineers are probably wishing we did this sooner.

Some notes, before we dig in:

  • The information in this report is aggregated from twenty-seven snapshots, averaging 301,223 engineering jobs each.
  • Totals presented here are the average number of jobs in a given discipline from October 2014 through January 2015. Churn is constant and realtime totals will vary.
  • Discipline rankings exclude software engineering and technician roles.
  • You can run your own structured searches without registering an account, but (free) registration is required to apply for a job or post a resume.

Let’s begin by looking at the top five engineering jobs and industry-wide growth trends.

Top 5 Engineering Jobs in the US

Based on the last six months of activity, the most generally-applicable engineering disciplines are holding steady. It would take tremendous disruption to dislodge electrical, systems, and mechanical engineering from the top three; almost every industry has space for electrical or mechanical engineers, while the increasing complexity of modern projects drives demand for system engineers.

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Top 5 Engineering Jobs Six Months

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Here are the current six-month totals for the top five engineering jobs, with links to realtime totals:

Electrical 27,045 Computer 11,676
Systems 22,763 Civil 9,886
Mechanical 18,691

Below, you’ll find detailed breakdowns of each discipline, along with its leading states and metro areas. First, let’s look at the broader trends in engineering jobs data.

Six Month Trends in Engineering Jobs

While the top three disciplines show the expected, post-season hiring bump, civil and computer engineering each experienced double-digit growth over the last six months — 13% and 12%, respectively. These disciplines are some of the fastest-growing in our data set, behind only architectural and biomedical engineering in the six-month performance rankings.

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Growing Disciplines Six Months

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Biomedical engineering is typically the fastest growing discipline on the board, at 16%, but architectural spiked well ahead with remarkable 21% growth over the last six months. Each still represents a relatively small hiring pool compared to the larger engineering disciplines, but their continued growth is an encouraging sign for engineers in the opening stages of their career.

It’s not all so rosy — this latest jobs report also features the largest short-term contraction in a single discipline’s engineering jobs I’ve ever seen.

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Declining Disciplines Six Months

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Falling oil prices hit petroleum engineering hard. Nearly half of the petroleum engineering jobs we track evaporated as projects were cancelled and budgets slashed. Engineers who were drawn to the high salaries and booming job outlook from the oil and natural gas industries have a decision to make:  hang in and hope the commodities market turns in your favor, or retrain for a less volatile discipline.

(As for the apparent decline of solar engineering jobs, this is purely a data artifact. Companies tend to post non-technician solar industry jobs under disciplines relevant to the specific job description, such as electrical or materials engineering, which severely distorts the field’s outlook. The sun’s not going out, we assure you.)

The Best States for Engineering Jobs

Here’s a six month breakdown of where the engineering jobs are — and where they’re headed.

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Best States for Engineering Jobs

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California still holds the largest number of engineering jobs of any state and 15.4% of the jobs we track. There’s a lot of movement at the bottom, however, with (relatively) big changes in Mississippi, New Mexico, and Idaho. By our next report, we’ll be better able to evaluate whether these growth figures herald long-term growth in these states or are artifacts of modest growth and a low starting number of engineering jobs.

Here’s a table of the top ten states for engineering jobs, with their average total jobs and growth rates:

6 Month Average Growth Rate
California 46,453 4.16%
Texas 21,653 -4.57%
DC 20,729 0.90%
New York 18,333 3.15%
Virginia 14,386 0.88%
Illinois 13,080 0.63%
Massachusetts 12,217 3.60%
Maryland 10,554 -5.31%
Michigan 10,545 -3.33%
Pennsylvania 10,184 4.53%

Electrical Engineering Jobs Outlook

For reference, we prepared six month performance charts covering each of the five top engineering jobs, with accompanying tables that detail the best states and cities for each. Let’s start with our current leading discipline, electrical engineering:

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Electrical Engineering Jobs

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6 Month Avg % of Discipline
California 5,275 19.50%
Texas 1,818 6.72%
Michigan 1,581 5.85%
DC 1,336 4.94%
Massachusetts 1,183 4.37%
Fremont, CA 2,716 10.04%
Menlo Park, CA 2,650 9.80%
Palo Alto, CA 2,627 9.71%
Mountain View, CA 2,602 9.62%
Sunnyvale, CA 2,586 9.56%

This table brings up a frequently asked question regarding our job totals per city. These totals represent engineering jobs within a twenty-five mile search radius centered on the given city. It is possible — sometimes certain, as the above table shows — that some positions fall into more than one search volume.

City totals are not used to calculate the total number of engineering jobs on-site, within a state, or under an individual discipline. They are only offered to indicate geographical concentration, to aid job searchers or those considering relocation.

Systems Engineering Jobs Outlook

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Systems Engineering Jobs

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6 Month Avg % of Discipline
DC 4,516 19.84%
Texas 3,184 13.99%
Virginia 2,822 12.40%
Maryland 1,914 8.41%
New York 1,231 5.41%
Bethesda, MD 4,636 20.36%
Rockville, MD 4,532 19.91%
Gaithersburg, MD 4,331 19.03%
College Park, MD 4,291 18.85%
Arlington, VA 4,291 18.85%

Mechanical Engineering Jobs Outlook

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Mechanical Engineering Jobs

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6 Month Avg % of Discipline
California 2,127 11.38%
Texas 1,668 8.92%
Michigan 1,554 8.31%
Illinois 932 4.98%
Ohio 903 4.83%
Livonia, MI 1,203 6.43%
Southfield, MI 1,185 6.34%
Pontiac, MI 1,157 6.19%
Troy, MI 1,144 6.12%
Warren, MI 1,091 5.84%

Computer Engineering Jobs Outlook

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Computer Engineering Jobs

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6 Month Avg % of Discipline
California 2,171 18.59%
DC 1,094 9.37%
Texas 768 6.58%
Virginia 727 6.23%
Maryland 647 5.54%
Bethesda, MD 1,155 9.89%
Rockville, MD 1,145 9.80%
College Park, MD 1,100 9.42%
DC 1,094 9.37%
Gaithersburg, MD 1,093 9.36%

Civil Engineering Jobs Outlook

Where the Engineering Jobs Are Civil Engineering Jobs

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6 Month Avg % of Discipline
California 998 10.09%
Texas 951 9.62%
New York 487 4.92%
Florida 484 4.89%
Pennsylvania 464 4.69%
Bethesda, MD 450 4.55%
Elizabeth, NJ 436 4.41%
Rockville, MD 447 4.52%
Newark, NJ 436 4.41%
Jersey City, NJ 432 4.36%

 

 

Did we leave out your discipline? Sound off in the comments and I’ll happily add your chart to this quarter’s report.

2 Comments
Jacob Holland says:

Great, helped me make a solid choice on what I should do in the future.

Paulinr says:

My husband and I live in Oregon and he studying to be a mechanical engineer electrical as well. We really do not want to live in California. Do you have any news for jobs in Oregon or even Washington. Maybe even Utah Idaho. Thanks in advance