Engineering -- an endless frontier
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America's science and engineering workforce
Engineers constitute, after teachers, the largest profession in America.  Almost all of them have college education.  The diversity of their expertise is apparent in the large number of professional societies.  Most engineers engage in design and development.  A significant number are engineering scientists who perform basic and applied research.  Another large group consists of entrepreneurs and business managers.

The following table shows the characteristics of the US science and engineering workforce in 1999: number of employed scientists and engineers; median annual salaries of workers with highest degrees; percentage of S&E workers with primary or secondary activities in research and development.  Source: National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators 2002, Tbs. 3-10, 3-12, 3-22; S&E Indicators 2000, Tb. 3-27.

Field Workers (000) Median salary ($000) % in R&D
BSc MS PhD BSc MS PhD BSc PhD
Engineering total 907 377 84.2 60 70 79 45 76
     Aerospace 36 26 4.6 69 75 84 41 85
     Chemical 51 21 8.1 65 70 80 51 75
     Civil 161 57 5.1 55 65 70 36 67
     Electrical & electronic 233 109 18.4 65 75 86 49 76
     Industrial 63 17 1.0 55 60 85 30 62
     Mechanical 197 62 9.1 60 68 75 55 80
Computer/information 715 305 32.4 61 70 81 34 72
Mathematics 12 16 7.9 56 60 74 21 67
Physical sciences 140 73 84.9 45 52 70 37 73
Life sciences 136 73 121.1 37 41 62 23 68
Social & human sciences 71 156 126.9 30 43 60 13 46


References

Campbell-Allen D. and Davis, E. H. eds. 1979. The Profession of a Civil Engineer.  Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Floreman, S. 1979.  The Civilized Engineer. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Fredrich, A. J. ed. 1989.  Sons of Martha: Civil Engineering Readings in Modern Literature.  New York: ASEE.  (Many good portraits on engineers).

Gerstl, J. E. and Hutton, S. P. 1966.  Engineers: The Anatomy of a Profession.  London: Tavistock Pub.

Gover, J. and Huray, P. G. 1998.  The U.S. engineers shortage – How real?  Research Technology Management 41(6): 9-14.

Hersh, M. 2000.  The changing position of women in engineering worldwide.  IEEE Transactions of Engineering Management, 47: 345-59.

Hutton, S. and Lawrence, P. 1981.  German Engineers: The Anatomy of a Profession.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Love, A. and Childers, J. S. eds. 1965.  Listen to Leaders in Engineering.  Atlanta, GA: Tupper & Love.

Meehan, R, L, 1981.  Getting Sued and Other Tales of the Engineering Life.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Meikins, P. and Smith, C. 1996.  Engineering Labor: Technical Workers in Comparative Perspective.  London: Verso.

Smiles, S. 1874.  Lives of the Engineers.  London: John Murray.

Social and sociological images

Downey, G. L. and Lucena, J. C. 1995.  Engineering studies.  In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, ed. by S. Jasanoff, G. Markle, J. Petersen, and T. Pinch, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; pp. 167-88.

Friedel, R. 1986.  Engineering in the 20th century.  Technology and Culture, 27: 669-73.

Layton, E. T. 1971.  The Revolt of the Engineer: Social Responsibility and the American Engineering Profession.  Cleveland: Case Western University Press.

Tichi, C. 1987.  Shifting Gears: Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America.  Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.

Vaughan, D. 1990.  The image of the engineer in the popular imagination, 1880-1980.  Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, 10: 301-4.

Williams, R. 2000.  “All that is solid melts into air:” Historians of technology in the information revolution.  Technology and Culture 41: 641-68.