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engineering

The engineering sector has a lot to look forward to in 2022, from new legislation to new occupations, rising salaries and more — and engineers themselves will find no shortage of opportunities. Employers looking to hire and retain these skilled professionals, on the other hand, will have their work cut out for them.

new investments mean new opportunities

The much-celebrated Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly known as just "the infrastructure bill," is expected to contribute to the continued boom in engineering roles. Specifically, it promises a $1.2 trillion investment designed to upgrade roads, bridges, water systems and even the nation's broadband networks — all of which will take no small amount of engineering manpower.

Expect engineering firms looking to capture some of that investment to make two things top priorities:

  • offering competitive compensation to candidates
  • upskilling or reskilling existing workers

Both can give organizations an edge when competing for contracts like the ones that come with the infrastructure bill — and even ones that don't.

global priorities create new demand for engineers

Like infrastructure, addressing climate change is also a major priority around the world, and doing so will take no shortage of engineers. Consider that, late in 2021, dozens of nations met at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference and committed to raising $100 billion to combat climate change by 2023. From green energy to electric vehicles to sustainable agriculture, initiatives like these will only increase the demand for engineers — and maybe even create new engineering disciplines.

Little wonder, then, that the BLS predicts almost 146,000 new engineering jobs to be added by 2030, largely in areas like infrastructure, renewable energy, oil and gas extraction and robotics. Employers looking to capitalize on opportunities in these areas should expect competition for engineering talent to be fierce — and to pay above-market rates in order to attract them.

wages rise as competition increases

Salaries are rising in virtually every industry, and engineering is no exception. The median annual wage for all architecture and engineering occupations is almost double that for all occupations ($83,160 vs. $41,950), and this year, we saw national average salaries rise by as much as 19 percent for some of the most in-demand positions.

Positions that command the highest salaries, like petroleum engineer, electronics engineers and engineering managers, reflect both the limited supply of talent and increasing demand for these highly specialized professionals. If your organization finds itself looking to fill a key role like these in 2022, prepare to pay top dollar — and then some.

there's (much) more work to do on EDI&A

It's no secret that STEM fields like engineering are among the least diverse, and while engineering as a discipline has made some significant strides in improving EDI&A in recent years, that work is far from finished. Black and Hispanic workers remain vastly under-represented in the field, as are women.

To stay competitive in our evolving business landscape, employers looking for engineers should consider making EDI&A initiatives a priority in 2022 — especially when it comes to landing entry-level talent. That's because comparatively few students from under-represented backgrounds pursue the kind of STEM degrees required to enter the engineering field. To combat this shortage of diverse entry-level talent, employers might consider partnering with local universities to generate interest in the field or even implementing initiatives like Randstad's own REVup internship program.

takeaways

  • Major investments in infrastructure and responses to climate change are creating new opportunities for engineering employers — if they can find the right talent. To do that, engineering employers will need to leverage every weapon in their arsenals, offer competitive salaries and make sure worksites are optimized with health and safety in mind.
  • Meanwhile, engineering remains a largely homogeneous field, and additional efforts to improve EDI&A within the space are sorely needed. This is especially the case for early talent, since relatively few students from under-represented backgrounds currently pursue engineering degrees. To build a talent pipeline that's truly representative of the population as a whole, employers will need to find ways to generate interest and connect with candidates from under-represented backgrounds.

national salaries

Let's review the salaries for entry-level, mid-level and senior-level positions.

energy
energy entry-level mid-level senior-level
construction manager/superintendent $56,888 - $73,466 $73,466 - $97,178 $97,178 - $128,856
designer $58,406 - $71,885 $71,885 - $90,168 $90,168 - $114,379
drafter $57,491 - $70,179 $70,179 - $83,741 $83,741 - $97,524
electrical engineer $78,998 - $100,838 $100,838 - $128,669 $128,669 - $159,515
electronics engineer $84,406 - $107,536 $107,536 - $135,304 $135,304 - $167,398
petroleum engineer $108,139 - $137,322 $137,322 - $189,030 $189,030 - $237,298
project engineer/manager $95,306 - $119,309 $119,309 - $149,531 $149,531 - $185,266
safety engineer/manager $55,390 - $71,469 $71,469 - $94,245 $94,245 - $120,890
scheduler $64,992 - $79,008 $79,008 - $97,504 $97,504 - $128,152
technician/operator $44,262 - $55,494 $55,494 - $67,371 $67,371 - $82,451
engineering and construction
engineering and construction entry-level mid-level senior-level
automation/robotics engineer $61,472 - $80,032 $80,032 - $104,992 $104,992 - $130,016
buyer $50,835 - $66,685 $66,685 - $88,608 $88,608 - $112,174
civil/structural engineer $74,464 - $92,512 $92,512 - $120,032 $120,032 - $156,000
construction manager/superintendent $56,888 - $73,466 $73,466 - $97,178 $97,178 - $128,856
designer $53,373 - $71,323 $71,323 - $90,168 $90,168 - $114,379
drafter $57,491 - $70,180 $70,179 - $83,742 $83,741 - $97,525
electrical engineer $78,998 - $100,838 $100,838 - $128,669 $128,669 - $159,516
electronics engineer $84,406 - $107,536 $107,536 - $135,304 $135,304 - $167,399
mechanical engineer $71,885 - $90,168 $90,168 - $114,379 $114,379 - $123,594
project engineer/manager $95,306 - $119,309 $119,309 - $149,531 $149,531 - $185,266
safety engineer/manager $55,390 - $71,469 $71,469 - $94,245 $94,245 - $120,890
scheduler $64,992 - $79,008 $79,008 - $97,504 $97,504 - $128,153
technician $40,851 - $54,080 $54,080 - $68,349 $68,349 - $82,950
manufacturing
manufacturing entry-level mid-level senior-level
automation/robotics engineer $61,472 - $80,032 $80,032 - $104,992 $104,992 - $130,016
controls engineer $75,424 - $90,016 $90,016 - $114,976 $114,976 - $135,008
designer $53,373 - $71,323 $71,323 - $90,169 $90,168 - $114,380
drafter $57,491 - $70,181 $70,179 - $83,743 $83,741 - $97,526
electrical engineer $78,998 - $100,838 $100,838 - $128,669 $128,669 - $159,517
electronics engineer $84,406 - $107,536 $107,536 - $135,304 $135,304 - $167,400
engineering manager $95,306 - $119,309 $119,309 - $149,531 $149,531 - $185,266
field service technician $32,822 - $40,726 $40,726 - $52,686 $52,686 - $68,494
maintenance manager/supervisor $54,205 - $70,242 $70,242 - $89,045 $89,045 - $109,450
manufacturing engineer $72,992 - $87,008 $87,008 - $106,912 $106,912 - $130,016
mechanical engineer $71,885 - $90,168 $90,168 - $114,379 $114,379 - $123,595
metallurgist $77,709 - $83,446 $83,446 - $104,132 $104,132 - $129,118
planner $67,101 - $84,989 $84,989 - $108,784 $108,784 - $141,294
production manager/supervisor $87,008 - $106,912 $106,912 - $123,638 $123,638 - $137,125
project engineer/manager $71,635 - $88,941 $88,941 - $111,363 $111,363 - $136,926
quality engineer/manager $67,101 - $84,989 $84,989 - $108,784 $108,784 - $141,294
safety engineer/manager $55,390 - $71,469 $71,469 - $94,245 $94,245 - $120,890
supply chain manager $74,016 - $94,496 $94,496 - $120,032 $120,032 - $160,096
technician $45,032 - $57,325 $57,325 - $71,989 $71,989 - $86,902
test engineer $93,600 - $113,697 $113,697 - $120,032 $120,032 - $145,632
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