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April 23, 2014

Engineer Demand is High – Good News for College Graduates!

Filed under: Compensation,Hiring & Jobs7:22 am

College graduates studying engineering have something to cheer about!  Bloomberg-BNA recently reported soaring demand for engineers in the manufacturing field, particularly for automation engineers.  Salary increases in this area have been relatively modest according to several salary surveys.  In part, this is due to retiring Baby Boomers.  Replenishing the gaps their departures have created is more difficult as less students are taking these college courses.

In the last few years, we have seen a trend in the return of some of our manufacturing base to the United States which will likely increase demand also.  Alan Carty, President and CEO of Automation.com and Automationtechies, a recruiting service for engineers, told Bloomberg-BNA “Right now, there is probably no career more secure to get into than manufacturing. Within the manufacturing realm, the real shortage is of people who understand automation and process engineering.”

Although demand may be up for this type of engineering, a number of companies are still somewhat reserved in salary offers, partly based on equity issues with their existing employees. Selected engineering positions also require on-the-job learning skills, making the degree the first step in the career.  Another skillset college students should consider is experience with programming and courses such as C++ or Sharp++ often required for automation and aircraft engineers.  The January 2014 Salary Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers says, “Pressing demand for engineers is driving up starting salary offers for engineering majors.”  Petroleum, Computer and Chemical categories round out the top three, but 7 out of 10 highest starting salaries are engineering positions.

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