From eagle watching in the wintertime to hiking miles of trails in the summertime, Illinois is a land of opportunity. Some of this opportunity is due to the city and metropolitan region of Chicago making the state of Illinois is the fifth most populous state in the country.
The Illinois economy is powered by many different sectors, including energy, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and the service industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that these areas are also growing the need for engineers. In fact, manufactoring engineers are now employing at a 41.4% increase.
Some of the largest employers that hire engineering professionals in Illinois include: Archer Daniels Midland, Walgreen, Boeing, State Farm Insurance Cos., Caterpillar, Kraft Foods, Sears Holdings, Abbott Laboratories, United Continental Holdings, Allstate, Deere, McDonald’s, Exelon, Illinois Tool Works, Navistar International, Baxter International, Motorola Mobility Holdings, Sara Lee, Aon, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, CDW and Motorola Solutions.
Engineering Education in Illinois
Illinois has an extensive educational system and places an emphasis on engineering degrees and related courses. The College of Engineering offers thirteen engineering degrees in a diverse range of industries, such as nuclear engineering, agricultural engineering and financial engineering. Its Grainger Engineering Library Information Center is the largest engineering library in the United States.
The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago offers thirteen degrees in various engineering fields, including geotechnical, metallurgy, transportation and highway, and water resources. Some of these specialty engineering degrees are not available in very many states, therefore, many students get their degrees in Illinois and return to their home states to work.
Outlook for Engineering Jobs in Illinois
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Illinois has the fourth highest employment level for mechanical engineers. The Chicago metropolitan area also has high employment levels for industrial engineers and chemical engineers. The BLS predicts that, between 2010 and 2020, there will be a slow to average job growth rate for engineers overall.
Some branches of engineering, such as safety engineers and similar, may see a slightly higher job increase rate in the growing healthcare industry. With the surge in alternative energy production, others may find employment in that industry.