We all love to see where we are relative to others within our same profession especially when it comes to salaries.  Are we ahead—behind—saying even?  That is one question whose answer is good to know.  Also, and possibly more importantly, where will the engineering profession be in a few years.  Is this a profession I would recommend to my son or daughter?  Let’s take a look at the engineering profession to discover where we are and where we are going.  All “numbers” come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Graphics are taken from Design News Daily.   I’m going to describe the individual disciplines with digitals.  I think that makes more sense.

The BLS projects growth in all engineering jobs through the middle of the next decade. For the engineering profession as a whole, BLS projects 194,300 new jobs during the coming ten (10) years. The total number of current engineering jobs is 1,681,000. I think that’s low compared to the number of engineers required.  (NOTE: I may state right now we are talking about degreed engineers; i.e. BS, MS, and PhD engineers.)

The average salary for an engineer is $91,010. The average across all engineering disciplines may not be particularly meaningful. The following slides who the average salaries for individual engineering disciplines.

These fields cover the major areas of engineering. Hope you enjoyed this one. Show it to your kids and grandkids.

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Data used in this post come from the following sources: 1.) Industry Week and the 2.) International Trade Administration.  

Unless you have been living in a cave, you know the United States has, for the most part, lost much of its manufacturing base.  I personally think this is a travesty, but that’s just me.  Think about those items you purchase with some degree of regularity and the “MADE IN _________” tag you find prior to that purchase.  Consumer goods such as: electronics, textiles, shoes, clothing, not to mention commercial products such as machine tools, hand tools, medical equipment, etc have gone “overseas”.   Made in China is much more common than made in America.   If you don’t believe that, take a stroll through Wal-Mart or Toys-R-Us.  There is good news relative to individual states exporting to other countries. We are in the process of seeing “re-shoring” or a return to manufactured goods produced in our country also.  Industry Week published a fascinating article indicating that in 2013 our country exported $2.3 trillion in goods to other countries.   The top twenty-five recipients of those goods are as follows:

TOP US TRADE PARDNERS

 

If we look at the percentages, we find the top five (5) are:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • China
  • Japan
  • Germany

The top ten (10) states exporting to other countries may be seen by the spreadsheet given as follows:

1.)    TEXAS  with $279.7 Billion

2.)  California with $168.1 Billion

3.)  Washington St with $81.9 Billion

4.)  Louisiana with $63.1 Billion

5.)  Michigan with $58.5 Billion

6.)  Ohi0 with $50.5 Billion

7.)  Georgia with $37.6 Billion

8.) Tennessee with $32.4 Billion

9.) North Carolina with $29.3 Billion

10.) South Carolina with $26.1 Billion

Let’s take a look at what each state contributes to the total $2.3 trillion dollar figure.

  • TEXAS: Texas merchandise exports increased 5.7%, growing from $264.7 billion to $279.7 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: petroleum products; computer and electronic products; chemicals; machinery manufactures; and transportation equipment.
  • CALIFORNIA:  California merchandise exports increased 3.9%, growing from $161.9 billion to $168.1 billion. Key merchandise export categories include: computer and electronic products; transportation equipment; machinery manufactures; miscellaneous manufactures; and agricultural products.
  • WASHINGTON:   Washington merchandise exports increased 8.4%, growing from $75.6 billion to $81.9 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; agricultural products; petroleum products; computer and electronic products; and food and kindred products.
  • LOUISIANA:  Louisiana merchandise exports increased 0.3%, growing from $62.9 billion to $63.1 billion. Key merchandise export categories include: petroleum products; agricultural products; chemicals; food and kindred products; and machinery manufactures.
  • MICHIGAN:  Michigan merchandise exports increased 2.6% growing from $57.0 billion to $58.5 billion. Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; machinery manufactures; chemicals; computer and electronic products; and primary metal manufactures.
  • OHIO:  Ohio merchandise exports increased 3.9%, growing from $48.6 billion to $50.5 billion. Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; machinery manufactures; chemicals; computer and electronic products; and fabricated metal products.
  • GEORGIA: Georgia merchandise exports increased 4.2%, growing from $36.1 billion to $37.6 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; machinery manufactures; chemicals; paper; and food and kindred products.
  • TENNESSEE:  Tennessee merchandise exports increased 4%, growing from $31.1 billion to $32.4 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; chemicals; computer and electronic products; miscellaneous manufactures; and machinery manufactures.
  • NORTH CAROLINA:  North Carolina merchandise exports increased 1.6%, growing from $28.8 billion to $29.3 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: chemicals; machinery manufactures; transportation equipment; computer and electronic products; and textiles.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA:   South Carolina merchandise exports increased 4%, growing from $25.1 billion to $26.1 billion.  Key merchandise export categories include: transportation equipment; machinery manufactures; chemicals; plastics; and paper.

Every $1.00 billion creates 5,000 jobs in our country with ninety-five percent (95%) of the potential consumers lying outside our borders.  I personally believe the work ethic demonstrated on a daily basis by men and women in our country is the best in the world.  It always amazes me that many people never take ALL of the vacation time they have available, consequently losing a considerable number of days that cannot be “rolled over” into the next year.  These days are simply lost, which is absolutely unique to our country.  Many Western European countries take their “summer sport” and “winter sport” no matter what.  I have dealt with companies in Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland and others that literally close down during August of each year.  Everyone dealing with them knows that and plans for that certainty.

We could see a huge improvement in unemployment IF just the FED would agree to “buy American”.  Can you imagine the boost in employment?  It would be astounding and I can tell you from experience, the quality of purchases would improve tremendously.

I would love to get your thoughts on this topic.  Please drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think.

 

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