Infrastructure groups lead effort to build interest in engineering

(The Center Square) – In an effort to address a growing need for engineers in Illinois, several infrastructure groups have joined to create additional interest in the field.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois is partnering with several agencies, including the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and the Illinois State Tollway Highway Authority to highlight the need for more engineers across the state.

Kevin Artl, president and CEO of the ACEC, said the need for engineers has been evident for years.

“There is an engineer shortage today and looking out for 10 or 20 years in the future there is going to be engineer shortages,” said Artl.

The industry partners and state agencies jointly produced an informational video that will be available to all schools for career day presentations, STEM events so students can better understand the opportunities available to them in the engineering field. The video explains that engineering jobs don’t only exist in big cities but in communities big and small across Illinois.

Civil engineer and ACEC board member Laura McGovern said 10 of the 17 highest paying careers in the country are in engineering.

“We’re solving problems, we’re fixing problems, we’re keeping the world going, and so it is a great career that really pays off well,” McGovern said.

According to ZipRecruiter, the starting pay for an entry-level engineer is between $31,000 and $55,000 a year.

Artl said with Illinois’ $45 billion capital investment plan and the massive national infrastructure program being talked about, it is guaranteed there will be jobs for engineers.

“It is a talking point but it truly is right now a generational investment, so there are going to be jobs emerging in this sector for decades,” Artl said.

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