Engineering careers have a lot of benefits for job seekers who have the right qualifications. While the field offers enticing benefits like job security and consistent opportunities, there are certain areas of the US where you can find more opportunities for specialty engineering jobs.
The West holds the most opportunity for high tech engineering & defense contractors. “Hot spots for engineering jobs are where the defense contractors, high tech industries and aerospace congregate — California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, Arizona and around Washington, DC,” says Jim Turnquist, director of the career center at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. There is also a substantial amount of military engineering that is found on the West Coast. If you’re looking to get into defense or high tech engineering, the West Coast might be there place to call home.
The demand for energy engineers has remained strong and there are some areas that offer more opportunities than others. Paul Klein, Director of Career Services at Cleveland State University says go West if you’re looking for Chemical and Petroleum engineering careers. There are a lot of hiring opportunities for petroleum engineers in California, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.
If you’re more into renewable energy, like wind and solar, Colorado is known for wind power, while California and Arizona host a number of companies geared towards solar powered technologies. The Rocky mountains also hold a lot of opportunities for mining engineers, which are in high demand.
Environmental engineers are in high demand in states that are the forefront for environmental regulation.
“There’s a lot of environmental engineering going on in Orange County and northern California, in Seattle and in the Northeast, especially Maine,” says Ziyad Duron, chair of the engineering program at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
Mechanical and industrial engineers are in high demand across the country, especially in the South. Bioengineering hotspots are in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and areas of Texas.
Covering the map, civil and electrical engineers are in demand throughout the US. “With civil engineers, no matter where you go, they’re looking for you,” Klein says. “The bridges, roads and other infrastructure funded by the Recovery Act are fueling creation of civil engineering jobs.” Similarly, electrical engineers are needed on many kinds of projects all over the country.
Last but not least are government jobs in engineering. “Engineers in the federal government will be retiring at great rates very soon, and your upward mobility will skyrocket,” says Klein.
If you have a background in engineering, there are a lot of opportunities out there, especially in the West. For specialty fields, look into the state mentioned and see if there is a right fit for you and your career.