6 of the fastest-growing engineering jobs

In demand engineers
Computer systems software engineers conceptualise, design, construct, install, maintain and repair computer systems. And the coolest bit? We need more of them! Image: Shutterstock

Job security, much?! The demand for engineers is increasingly on the up. We’ve rounded up six of the fastest-growing specialisations

Engineers have always been important innovators, but as the world recovers from COVID-19, they’re literally at the forefront of rebuilding everything – from the economy, to our health system, agricultural practices and building new products. In fact, in 2021 there are more engineers needed than ever, which makes studying it at uni – or through a TAFE or trade school – a seriously smart career move.

Stumped on how to sift through the thousands of engineering-types out there? With so many different variations to the ‘E’ in STEM, we’ve short-listed six of the most in-demand job titles worth a search.

1. Robotics and automation engineer

The deal: People who design, build and test robots – or anything really, with machine learning capabilities! And nope, not just the Wall-E-types. Household helpers (shout out to Siri!), medical lifesavers (google “robotic surgery”) and agricultural innovations (self-driving tractors, anyone?) all require robotics specialists.

The growth: If you’re an automation engineer, the robots (that you’ve built) won’t take your job! In fact, they’ll make more of them – what with all the programming that’ll be needed to maintain them.

2. Civil engineer

The deal: Forget the hard-hat wearing stereotype! Civil engineers don’t just hang out at construction sites all day. They design, build, service and adapt the public infrastructure that we depend on – high-capacity roads, cost-effective transport systems, railways, waste networks, airports, flood defences and pollution control facilities.

The growth: A recent Graduate Outcomes Survey report revealed above-average employment outcomes for civil engineers, with graduates boasting an 88.2% chance of landing a job just four months post-uni.

3. Renewables engineer

The deal: Renewables engineers work on creating and implementing alternative energy sources such as solar, wind power and green energy tech!

The growth: As alternative energy sources become the done thing in most households, installation costs have gone down. This, in turn, has helped boost demand for people to work on developing new tech, as well as inspect, repair and install existing systems.

4. Environmental engineer

The deal: These engineers test and operate technologies that correct air and water pollution, clean up contaminated sites, manage land resources, handle certain aspects of public health and design sustainable infrastructure.

The growth: Jobs for environmental engineers are predicted to grow an epic 8.3% by 2026.

5. Biomedical engineer

The deal: Can’t decide between medicine and engineering? Biomedical engineers are awesome at both, applying their problem-solving skills to design and build devices and equipment used in healthcare and medicine. Think: bionic limbs, sophisticated prosthetics and hearing implants!

The growth: According to Engineers Australia, there are at least 500 other businesses and startups in the biomedical sector, with demand only set to increase as our population ages and healthcare needs increase.

6. Systems software engineer

The deal: Systems software engineers design, develop and test the operating systems within which our cities function.

The growth: The world needs innovators (shout out to every other type of engineer), but it also needs people to create the software to support their big ideas. The demand for software engineers is set to increase by 11% in the next few years.

This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2021.

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Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.

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