The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for engineering occupations will grow by 6% between 2020 to 2030, creating nearly 150,000 new positions by the end of the decade. The pay for these occupations averaged $83,160 as of May 2020 – far above the average salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
Prospective students considering an engineering degree can rest assured that following this path will result in an above-average salary and job growth over the coming decade. Keep reading to learn more about the highest paying engineering careers currently on the market, how they’re expected to expand, what they pay, and how much education is required.
Highest Paying Engineering Careers
1. Petroleum Engineers
These professionals spend their days devising new methods for bringing oil and gas deposits up to the surface from underground. They look for ways to create new equipment that can aid in extraction, with safety always at the forefront of their designs. They may also oversee the installation and maintenance of equipment to ensure it is used properly.
2. Computer Hardware Engineers
Computer hardware engineers design and develop the components needed to keep computers and other technologies running smoothly, including:
- Circuit boards
- Data devices
These professionals create blueprints for their designs, oversee the development process, and test for any issues before making modifications.
3. Aerospace Engineer
Aerospace engineers use their knowledge of design and manufacturing protocols to create new air and space crafts, missiles, satellites, and other aerospace products. They must carefully select materials, create schematics for their designs, and ensure their designs meet both safety and financial protocols. After getting the all-clear, they create their designs and test them to ensure they meet quality standards.
4. Nuclear Engineer
Nuclear engineers use their knowledge of both research and development to find new ways of using nuclear energy and radiation in beneficial ways. By designing equipment that can harness nuclear power and radioactive materials, nuclear engineers are able to further the field and create new devices and equipment.
5. Chemical Engineer
Chemical engineers bring together elements of math, chemistry, physics, and biology to produce products. Whether working in food and drug development, petroleum and coal, or other in-demand areas, these professionals test and develop new manufacturing processes, enact safety protocols, and utilize chemical processes to achieve the desired result.
6. Electrical and Electronics Engineers
These professionals enjoy access to many different career avenues. While electrical engineers oversee the development and manufacturing of electrical equipment such as radars, communication systems, and generators, electronics engineers focus on the design of components. They must also create procedures for both testing and maintaining the products they create.
7. Materials Engineers
Whether designing the next generation of titanium golf clubs or finding innovative ways to use existing materials, materials engineers create products based on their specifications. They also consult with clients and supervisors to identify needs, draw up blueprints for new designs, and manage the testing procedures to bring the product to the usage stage.
8. Health and Safety Engineers
Health and safety engineers spend their days designing products and systems that keep people safe from injuries and illness. They stay up to date on state and federal health and safety regulations and industry standards, review existing engineering plans to ensure they meet safety requirements, and identify any potential hazards with designs.
9. Mining and Geological Engineers
As their titles suggest, mining and geological engineers create mines according to safety protocols and industry regulations. These mines are then used to extract minerals and metals. Whether creating an open or underground mine, these engineers must design both the pathways for workers and materials to travel while also ensuring everything remains safe – both for miners and the environment.
10. Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers
Bringing together both engineering and scientific principles, bioengineers and biomedical engineers design a wide variety of devices, software, and equipment that can be used in medical settings. For instance, they may design prosthetics for patients missing limbs, or they may develop machinery and applications that make diagnoses more streamlined.