7 Booming Federal Career Fields
Currin Berdine | Editor
Engineering, Science & Technology
Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs.
Engineers use computers extensively to produce and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates; to generate specifications for parts; and to monitor product quality and control process efficiency. Nanotechnology, which involves the creation of high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules, also is introducing entirely new principles to the design process. Most engineers specialize.
The role of scientists is equally important and diverse. Everything in the environment, whether naturally occurring or of human design, is composed of chemicals. Chemists and materials scientists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals. Developments in the field of chemistry that involve life sciences will expand, resulting in more interaction among biologists, engineers, computer specialists, and chemists.
Jobs: Engineer, Biologist, Physicist, Chemist, Astronomer, Aerospace Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Computer Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Instrumentation Engineer, Logistics Engineer, Maintainability Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Materials Engineer, Mining Engineer, Optical Engineer, Ordnance Engineer, Packaging Engineer, Photographic Engineer, Pollution-Control Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Software Engineer.
Median Annual Salary
Federal branch Scientists earn an average salary of $88,930.
In the Federal Government, mean annual salaries for engineers ranged from $75,144 in agricultural engineering to $107,546 in ceramic engineering in 2007.
A Bachelor’s degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. Most engineers enter the occupation with at least an associate degree in engineering technology; scientists with at least an associate degree in a hard science field. Most employers prefer to hire someone with at least a 4-year
• Opportunities will be best for individuals with a bachelor’s or extensive job training in engineering.
• Environmental engineering technicians are expected to have 25 percent employment growth between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations.
• Engineers who work in an aerospace related field generally receive higher pay than other types of engineers.