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Jobs in Demand: The Best Metro Areas for Engineers

Oct. 28, 2013
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NerdScholar found that engineering is one of the top jobs in demand in the United States. The profession was ranked as one of the top 10 occupations with the highest job availability in the 100 largest metro areas.

So which places have the largest share of job openings available to engineers? We ranked the top 10 metros for engineers according to job availability.

The Top Metro Areas for Engineers

 1.    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

It is no wonder 8.5 percent of the San Jose metro area’s 2012 job openings were for engineering talent—Silicon Valley is known for its thriving culture of science and entrepreneurship. An established tech hub and home to companies like Facebook and Google, Silicon Valley is full of companies that are constantly looking for computer-engineering talent.

2.    Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI

Known for being an automotive hub, Detroit and the surrounding region are home to General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. Detroit’s engineering organizations give back to the community as well—the Engineering Society of Detroit offers networking, youth education programs and other events for residents interested in engineering.

3.    Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a large employer for engineers, and the NASA base is committed to enriching the community. The base runs the Space Center as well, which has attractions for visitors, day camps for children and a space school for high-school students that helps spark an interest in engineering.

4.    Wichita, KS

Known as the “Air Capital of the World,” Wichita is a hub for aircraft production, and the city is home to several aircraft factories, including Boeing, Cessna and Learjet. These companies all employ plenty of engineers to develop new aircrafts. Wichita State University has an excellent engineering department, and they even run several summer camps for children, where they can learn about bioengineering and robotics.

5.    Augusta-Richmond County, GA

Augusta is a hub for medicine, biotechnology and the military. One of the largest employers in the area is the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, which employs many engineers. Georgia Regents University is located in Augusta, and the university has a strong biotechnology and medical research program, where engineers can innovate on medical techniques and clinical care.

6.    Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge has strong industrial, medical, oil and research industries. The petrochemical production industry employs many engineers in the area—the metro area is home to the second-largest oil refinery in the country, an ExxonMobil facility. Louisiana State University, located in Baton Rouge, encourages middle and high school students with a budding interest in engineering by running the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair, a competitive regional fair. LSU’s College of Engineering also runs a pre-college program targeted at high school students called PREP, which aims to increase the pool of diverse students who enter engineering programs in college.

 7.    Akron, OH

Akron is internationally known for its polymer research. Akron is home to Goodyear’s headquarters, and the Goodyear Polymer and National Polymer Innovation Centers are located on the campus of the University of Akron. Engineers interested in polymer research and materials science can find plenty of research jobs in the area—over 6 percent of the metro area’s job openings in 2012 were for engineering positions. The University of Akron also encourages youth innovation by holding summer camps and career days for area children.

8.    Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

Known as a center of the insurance industry, Hartford also has strong medical research and energy industries. Northeast Utilities, New England’s largest energy utility, has its corporate headquarters in Hartford. Rensselaer at Hartford (a branch of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) runs several community-enriching programs that cultivate a connection between science, education and business, including the Special Education Resource Center and the Rensselaer Learning Institute, which provides corporate training and services to working professionals.

9.    Lancaster, PA

Lancaster is home to Burle Business Park, a commercial and industrial park that is home to Burle Industries, a major manufacturer. Lancaster is in the process of expanding its hospitals and universities, thereby employing plenty of civil engineers. Lancaster’s universities help cultivate engineering interest among youth—Millersville University runs several technology camps for K-12 students.

10. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

Albany’s emerging high-tech industry has led to the region’s alternate name as “Tech Valley.”  Albany is a leader in nanotechnology, and the SUNY College of Nanoscience and Engineering contributes to the strong research culture of the region. The university’s research complex employs many engineers.


Rank Metro area Percent of metro area’s total job openings that were for engineers in 2012
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 8.5%
2 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 8.4%
3 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 7.9%
4 Wichita, KS 7.2%
5 Augusta-Richmond County, GA 6.9%
6 Baton Rouge, LA 6.1%
7 Akron, OH 6.1%
8 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 5.8%
9 Lancaster, PA 5.7%
10 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 5.6%

Data came from the Brookings Institute, year 2012.  The 100 largest metro areas were included in this analysis.