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Employment: Engineers




In 2002 engineers held 1.5 million jobs. The following tabulation shows the distribution of employment by engineering specialty.

Total, all engineers 1,478,000 100
   
Electrical and electronics 292,000 19.8
Civil 228,000 15.4
Mechanical 215,000 14.5
Industrial, including health and safety 194,000 13.1
Aerospace 78,000 5.3
Computer hardware 74,000 5.0
Environmental 47,000 3.2
Chemical 33,000 2.2
Materials 24,000 1.6
Nuclear 16,000 1.1
Petroleum 14,000 0.9
Biomedical 7,600 0.5
Mining and geological, including mining safety 5,200 0.4
Marine engineers and naval architects 4,900 0.3
Agricultural 2,900 0.2
All other engineers 243,000 16.4

Almost 4 in 10 of all engineering jobs were found in manufacturing industries, such as transportation and equipment manufacturing and computer and electronic product manufacturing. About 354,000 wage and salary jobs were in the professional, scientific, and technical service industry, primarily in architectural, engineering, and related services and in scientific research and development services, where firms designed construction projects or did other engineering work on a contractual basis. Engineers also worked in the construction and transportation, telecommunications, and utilities industries.

Federal, State, and local governments employed about 192,000 engineers in 2002. About 88,000 of these were in the Federal Government, mainly in the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, Agriculture, Interior, and Energy, and in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Most engineers in State and local government agencies worked in highway and public works departments. In 2002, about 55,000 engineers were self-employed, many as consultants.

Engineers are employed in every State, in small and large cities, and in rural areas. Some branches of engineering are concentrated in particular industries and geographic areas, as discussed later in this chapter.