Some of the highest paying careers in the world are found in engineering. In fact engineering is one of the most lucrative and in demand career choices a school leaver can make, with salaries often exceeding $100k per year once the engineer has some experience behind them. Engineers tend to earn in excess of the national average salary and this is only set to continue in the future¹. In fact Engineering degrees make up 10 of the top 17 highest paid degrees at the time of writing.
The reason for this is simple, engineers are in high demand. This is fairly standard across all engineering disciplines. In fact almost half of all engineering positions are unfilled.
To become an engineer, however, you need a degree. If you do not yet have a degree or you are looking to advance with a higher degree than you currently have, use our Engineering Degree Finder below to quickly get matched to a program. You can also check out the schools below listed with each career. They are some of our most requested engineering degrees that can help you get started toward a career you are proud of. Simply click a listing and request an information packet from them to get more detail on their engineering program.
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Here are the current six highest paid engineering careers available and how the future looks for each.
The median starting salary for petroleum engineers is $74,240 ¹, with the mid-career salary of $132,320¹, and with experienced petroleum engineers making around the $186,520 mark¹. Industry groups anticipate many employees will retire in the next decade, just as the global demand for energy is increasing. The demand for petroleum engineers is expected to exceed the number of individuals trained to fill available positions increasing demand.
Internationally and domestically this demand will advance the careers and the salaries of petroleum engineers. There are a number of degrees available for those interested in pursuing petroleum engineering including training online.
Many electrical engineering jobs are tied to designing, testing and supervising the manufacturing of electrical equipment, but some electrical engineering careers consist of designing electronics schematics for commercial and consumer use.
Job growth in these areas is expected to be around 6%, a rate lower than average, through the rest of the decade.
Mid-career salaries for electrical engineers are in the neighborhood of $89,180¹.
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The median starting salary for a computer hardware engineer is $63,970¹. This is a relatively new field of engineering and some sources say that there are not enough computer engineers to keep up with demand while other sources say that the job growth for computer engineers will be below the national average. As schools start producing more computer engineers, the job growth rate could potentially slow. A computer engineer can anticipate earning a mid-career salary of $101,000¹.
Most technological breakthroughs are coming in the area of software engineering and not computer hardware, so keep that in mind as well.
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A new graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering can expect a starting salary in the range of $65,450¹. With cutbacks in space exploration the Department of Labor expects that the need for aerospace engineers will grow at 5% over the next few years, a slower pace than the average job market. A mid-career salary for an aerospace engineer is $103,720¹.
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The median starting for chemical engineers is approx. $94,000¹. Chemical engineers are typically employed in the areas of manufacturing and research. They work not only for chemical companies, but also work in the manufacturing of electronics, clothing, paper, medicine, and food to name just a few.
Chemical engineers can advance their careers from manufacturing plants to technical sales and company management. The market for chemical engineers is expected to be reasonably flat over the next few years. Job growth, however, in closely-related fields, such as biomedical engineering, is expected to be much faster than average job growth according to the US Department of Labor. A mid-career salary of $109,000 is the average.
The median starting salary for a materials engineer is $52,900¹.
Materials engineers work at developing and testing materials used in the production of industrial and consumer products, as well as working with metals and fabrics, and understanding the uses of each in consumer products.
From now to the year 2020, the job growth for a materials engineer position is expected to be around 9% with a mid-career salary of approx. $85,150¹.
If you are looking for a stable and enriching career It’s important to not only consider the highest paid engineering jobs available, but also the engineering fields with the best potential for advancement and employment opportunities. In industries where demand outstrips availability you will find the highest potential earnings along with job security.
- Petroleum engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Chemical engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Electrical engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Materials engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Aerospace engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Computer hardware engineer salary – BLS: Source
- Engineer salaries expected to rise: Source, Source