Illinois’s Economy Benefits from Engineering
The advancement of technology has changed many industries throughout the nation, as well as within the state of Illinois. With these changes has come the need for people with skills and experience in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. If you’re looking to go into a field that has numerous disciplines and options that will also get you a great paying job, then you might consider going into engineering.
The Value of Engineering to the Economy of Illinois
There are many industries with the state of Illinois that generate revenue, and the service industries generate the most. The leaders in this field include healthcare, law firms, repair shops, engineering companies, law firms and accounting firms, among others. Coming in second include real estate, finance and insurance, with the third largest revenue contributors being the wholesale and retail industries.
Agriculture also plays a huge role when it comes to the state’s revenue. Within the state, the top five agricultural products that generate revenue include soybeans, corn for grain, cattle and calves, hogs and dairy products. The state is one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to crops, with corn being the highest revenue generator.
Manufacturing is another important revenue generator, and the state is a leader when it comes to manufacturing machinery. Items they create include machine tools, construction equipment and farm equipment. Processed food is the second most manufactured product in the state, with breakfast cereals, baked goods, sausage, spices and candy being the chief products. Illinois also processes dairy, soft drinks and sauces.
Chemicals are also manufactured in the state. Pharmaceuticals and cleaning solutions are the most popular, with paint, resins and industrial chemicals also being manufactured. Mining is also an important contributor to Illinois’s economy, and coal is the most important mined product. Other items that are mined include crushed stone, petroleum and sand and gravel.
Annual State Revenue/GDP
Illinois has the fifth largest economy by GDP, as well as one of the most diverse economies in the world. This is largely due to the Chicago metropolitan area, which has many of the U.S.’s largest companies. These include Baxter International, Allstate, Caterpillar, Conagra, Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s, US Foods, Walgreens and United Airlines, among others. There are also a variety of financial institutions in the area as well, and these include CNA Financial, Discover Financial Services, and Citadel LLC, among many others.
Throughout the rest of the state, there are many Fortune 500 companies that can be found, including State Farm in Bloomington and John Deere in Moline. In 2017, there were 36 Fortune 500 companies in the state, ranking Illinois fifth in the nation.
When it comes to manufacturing, this industry generates $101 billion and accounts for 14% of Illinois’s total output. This manufacturing industry rose in response to agriculture within the state. It has expanded beyond farm equipment and car parts to manufacture electronics, telecommunications gear, steel, industrial products and automobiles.
The manufacturing sector is a key driver for Illinois’ economic competitiveness, and engineering is the catalyst. This video highlights one Illinois manufacturer and the contribution they make to the state’s economy.
In 2004, the other sectors of manufacturing contributed quite a bit of money to the state’s economy. These include the following:
- Chemical – $16.6 billion
- Food – $14.4 billion
- Machinery – $13.6 billion
- Fabricated metal products – $10.5 billion
- Plastics and rubber products – $6.8 billion
- Transportation equipment – $6.7 billion
- Computer and electronic products – $6.4 billion
Illinois, like many places in the U.S., has seen technology advance to make manufacturing more efficient. Machines have been developed that make many processes faster, and if you are considering becoming an engineer, there are many industries within Illinois that your skills and education will be needed and valued.
The Number of Engineering Jobs in Illinois
In 2016, there were 91,441 architecture and engineering occupations within the state, which accounted for 1.4% of the total work population. These numbers are expected to grow by 6.7% by 2026, adding approximately 6,000 engineering jobs to the market. On average, the yearly opening for architecture and engineering jobs within the state of Illinois is expected to be around 7,000 jobs.
Engineer Salaries in Illinois
The average salary for architecture and engineering jobs in Illinois is $79,263, with entry-level salaries averaging $52,109 and experienced salaries getting as high as $99,542. Depending on your skill level, where you live in the state and the company you work for, these numbers can vary. Compared to the national median annual wage of $80,170, Illinois is only slightly under what other places pay in the U.S.
Type of Engineering Work in Illinois
When it comes to engineering jobs in the state of Illinois, there are many to choose from. You have the opportunity to live within the Chicago metropolitan area, or you can find positions throughout the rest of the state. The most popular engineering jobs available include the following:
- Process controls engineer
- Production engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Project development and design engineer
- Civil engineer
- Engineer specialist
- Interdisciplinary engineer
Illinois Engineering Colleges and Universities
Becoming an engineer can be a great career choice that will ensure you have job security, as well as good income to live life to the fullest. Whether you’re looking to earn a bachelor’s degree or go further in your schooling, you need to attend the right university or college. Below are some of Illinois’ engineering schools you can consider.
- Northwestern University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Bradley University
- University of Illinois, Chicago
- Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
- Northern Illinois University
There are many industries in Illinois that need engineers to help usher them into the future. After earning your degree, you have the opportunity to move to the Chicago metropolitan area, where there are a lot of opportunities, or to any other part of the state. Finding an engineering job after graduation shouldn’t be an issue, and it’s a great way to put your degree to good use.
There are many different fields within engineering, and the skills and knowledge you gain from earning this degree will make you a valuable contributor to many different industries. If you’re planning on living in Illinois and looking for a career that is in high demand and pays well, then you should look into becoming an engineer.
Are You an Illinois Professional Engineer
We prepared a detailed review of the requirements to renew your engineering license in the State of Illinois. This article includes a list of all required forms, licensing fees, due dates, and much more.
We prepared a set of continuing education packages for Illinois PEs that includes all required hours and courses. These packages are guaranteed to meet the Illinois board’s requirements.