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Engineering Employment Over Time

June 29, 2011

How has engineering fared as a career during this recession? How has it been doing over time? Must be jobs week here at Design. Build. Play. Since I was so hard on software “engineers” before I made a separate category from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data. I’m including programmers separately (but still there) from computer/software engineers (which here includes both systems software and applications). So how do we engineers do?

As you can see computer and software engineers have done particularly well. I’d grant the decline to programmers as being employers are ever more demanding specific degrees from their programmers so it’s more just a transfer between categories. The recession has only continued the downward trend from before.

In comparison, civil, electrical and mechanical look almost flat. Of course they aren’t really. So maybe you went into engineering for the money, how’s that been doing? Here’s some not adjusted for inflation salaries over time.

Again it’s the same breakdown by discipline and again you see the obvious levelling off of the programmers’ salaries. Mechanical and civil seem tied like in the previous graph and now electrical has a definitely higher salary. Is this because it has lower employment compared to the other disciplines as seen in the first graph? Does scarcity drive electrical engineering salaries up?

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