The career field of engineering is one of the most progressive, challenging and rewarding careers that one can pick today. And the way technology is rapidly advancing, it is a field that will continue to grow well into the future. Defined as “one who practices ingenuity”, it is the various types of engineers that create the things that make our lives simpler and more enjoyable from the spoon you use at the dinner table to the aircraft that transports you from one place to the other. Below are five of the fastest growing engineering fields today.

 Type of Engineer Median Salary Projected Employment (out through 2028) Projected Job Growth% Education Required
Computer Hardware $114,600 64,400 6 Bachelor’s from an accredited computer engineering program or degree in computer science.
Civil $86,640 326800 6 Bachelor’s/with state licensing
Environmental $87,620 55,400 5 Bachelor’s in environmental or related field such as civil, chemical or general.
Biomedical $88,550 20,500 4 Bachelor’s degree in biomedical or bioengineering
Petroleum $137,170 33,500 3 Bachelor’s in petroleum, or a related field such as mechanical, civil or chemical/Professional Engineering License

Computer Hardware engineer

Of the engineering fields listed in this article, this is one of the fastest growing and best paying. These engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. A big part of their job is to ensure all components work together with the latest software, which is a different engineering field – computer software engineering. With computers designed into new cars, home appliances and medical devices, let alone computers used in the home and business, this field of engineering will continue to grow.

Civil engineer

Revitalizing an aging infrastructure will be part of the demand for engineers in this field. An estimated $4.6 trillion worth of work will be required to get America’s public utilities, roads, bridges, airports, railways and ship ports back to an acceptable and safe condition. But another part of the demand for civil engineers will be the design and oversight of the construction of new solar arrays and wind power farms, as that technology and demand continues to evolve and grow.

Petroleum Engineer

This type of engineer designs equipment that companies use to extract oil and gas from rock deposits deep inside the Earth. To do so in the safest and most cost-effective ways requires gathering and analyzing data and building models as to how that equipment will work two miles deep in the earth with the operator above on the surface. As shown by the chart, it is the best paying of these five.

Biomedical Engineering

With an aging population growing fast with the entrance of the baby boomers – estimated to be 98 million by 2060 – the services of this type of engineer will continue to grow also. Biomedical engineers not only research, design and build medical and diagnostic devices, but also artificial limbs and organs for a population that requires more medical services.

Environmental Engineering

Similar to the work of civil engineers, in that they too work on creating sustainable infrastructure, this type of engineer primarily focuses on making the world a healthier place for people to live by focusing on water supply and waste treatment, air quality and contaminated site cleanups. Another aspect of their work is the growing field of “green” energy, including designing and building wind farms, hydroelectric plants and solar arrays.

If wanting to make a difference in the world is your goal for your second career and you want to continue service to your country (but in a different way), then choosing one of the many engineering fields would be a good choice.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.