Career Outlook

Civil Engineers

Nature of the Work

Civil engineers research, develop, design, build and maintain all basic infrastructures such as buildings, roads, rail roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water treatment facilities and so on. Civil Engineers participate in the geotechnical engineering where they design foundations and special issues arising due to natural hazards such as earth quakes, tsunami and flooding. Several civil engineers work with transportation engineering divisions and participate in traffic network design, high way design and traffic planning. Civil engineers with Structural specialization work with design of structural components which involves steel and concrete design. Civil Engineers with water resources and environmental engineering specialization participate in watershed eco system maintenance, water distribution network design, storm sewer design, flood plain development and water quality modeling. Civil Engineers with construction management works as team leads in the project site and manage the resources in an optimal way. Civil Engineers faces lots of design challenges and has tremendous research scopes in all the above mentioned specializations.

Computers assist civil engineers by accurately and efficiently performing computations, and by permitting the modeling and simulation of new designs as well as facilitating changes to existing designs. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is used for design data processing.

Civil engineers work in many industries, and their work varies by industry and function. Civil engineers have the scope to specialize in structural, transportation, water resources and environmental and construction management. This branch of civil engineering is also one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Civil engineering graduates have scope to choose field oriented jobs, travelling jobs, managerial jobs, computer aided design jobs and research positions as per their interest.

Employment and Job Outlook

Based on the input from our Engineering Advisory Board and websites, the need for qualified Civil Engineers is still growing especially for the infrastructure development as well as environmental issues. Civil engineers held about 278,400 jobs in USA during 2008. The US Employment outlook for the 10-year period 2008-18, published in Monthly Labor View in Nov 2009, indicates that the growth of Civil Engineers is anticipated to be especially robust. The increase from 2008 to 2018 will be 24.3% for Civil Engineers and 30.6% for Environmental engineers in the US. Similarly in the state of Indiana, the demand for civil and environmental engineers will increase by 13.8% and 27.1%, respectively, for the period 2006 ” 2016. Civil Engineers get opportunities in private, state and federal agencies. Having Professional Engineer license is very advantageous to civil engineering profession. Purdue University Calumet provides special review sessions for students to help their fundamental of engineering examination preparation.

Earnings

Median annual earnings of mechanical engineers were $74,600 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $48,140 and $74,600. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $115,630. According to a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelors degree candidates in civil engineering received starting offers averaging $,52,048 $ a year, masters degree candidates had offers averaging $54,565, and Ph.D. candidates were initially offered $69,904.

See the introduction to the section on engineers in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for information on working conditions, training requirements, and other sources of additional information.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Mechanical Engineers .

Mechanical Engineers

Nature of the Work

Mechanical engineers research, develop, design, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. They work on power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. They also develop power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. Mechanical engineers also design tools that other engineers need for their work. The field of nanotechnology, which involves the creation of high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules, is introducing entirely new principles to the design process.

Computers assist mechanical engineers by accurately and efficiently performing computations, and by permitting the modeling and simulation of new designs as well as facilitating changes to existing designs. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) are used for design data processing and for turning the design into a product.

Mechanical engineers work in many industries, and their work varies by industry and function. Some specialize in energy systems; applied mechanics; automotive design; manufacturing; materials; plant engineering and maintenance; pressure vessels and piping; and heating, refrigeration, and air-conditioning systems. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers may work in production operations in manufacturing or agriculture, maintenance, or technical sales; many are administrators or managers.

Employment

Mechanical engineers held about 215,000 jobs in 2002. More than half of the jobs were in manufacturing”mostly in machinery, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and fabricated metal products manufacturing industries. Architectural, engineering, and related services, and the Federal Government provided many of the remaining jobs.

Job Outlook

Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations though 2012. Although overall employment in manufacturing industries”where employment of mechanical engineers is concentrated”is expected to decrease slightly, employment of mechanical engineers in manufacturing should increase more rapidly as the demand for improved machinery and machine tools grows and as industrial machinery and processes become increasingly complex. Also, emerging technologies in biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology will create new job opportunities for mechanical engineers. Additional opportunities for mechanical engineers will arise because a degree in mechanical engineering often can be applied in other engineering specialties. In addition to job openings arising from growth, many openings should result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

Earnings

Median annual earnings of mechanical engineers were $62,880 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,800 and $78,040. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,490, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,430. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of mechanical engineers in 2002 were:

Median Earnings for Mechanical Engineers
Type of Job Median Annual Earnings

Federal government

$72,500

Architectural, engineering, and related services

65,610

Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing

65,430

Aerospace products and parts manufacturing

65,160

Other general puropse machinery manufacturing

55,850

According to a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelor’s degree candidates in mechanical engineering received starting offers averaging $48,585 a year, master’s degree candidates had offers averaging $54,565, and Ph.D. candidates were initially offered $69,904.

See the introduction to the section on engineers in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for information on working conditions, training requirements, and other sources of additional information.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition.