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15 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs

Engineering is a vast and diverse field, featuring core subjects such as science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and technology, and general conceptual subjects such as history and language. Engineering jobs are tough and require working in challenging settings. The nature of the work is complex and requires extensive knowledge and understanding of a plethora of tools and equipment. 

How to Choose an Engineering Degree?

The monetary rewards of an engineering degree are not all that is needed to be considered when deciding on an engineering degree. Other factors such as your skills, aptitude, and employment prospects in your region can be a dealbreaker. Here are some tips on how to determine your engineering degree.

1. Aptitude and Skills

The first step is to assess your strengths and weaknesses. What is it that you excel at? Is it designing? Is it technology and computers? Whichever field you choose, should hone your existing skills and give you ample opportunities to grow. If there is an engineering field you have no aptitude for, the process of mastering that particular subject and then growing in it can be more challenging. 

2. Interest and Passion

Engineering is difficult, and now that you have decided to pursue it, you’ll be spending a lot of time learning, working, and growing in your choice of specialization. Find a role that you will genuinely enjoy and be curious to learn more about. This is when you will discover a fulfilling journey. 

3. Consider the Work Environment

Different fields of engineering have different work environments. Some engineers will work entirely from offices, while others will be spending time on a site, a field, or even underground! Take this into consideration when selecting your engineering degree and whether or not you will enjoy being in a certain environment.

4. Job Prospects and Earnings

Another important factor to consider is the earning potential of your major. The demand for certain engineering majors is more than others, and so is their value. The intensive coursework of certain majors pays more than others, provided that there is a consistent demand for it in the industry/market. 

5. Course Requirements

Course requirements can also be a dealbreaker when selecting a college major. You may have an aptitude for a subject, but may not be the best fit for the course requirements of some majors. The duration of the major and how quickly you will be able to transition into it practically and professionally matters.

1. Petroleum Engineer

Median Base Salary: $130,850

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 8.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.77%

Average Annual Openings: 2500

Petroleum Engineer tops our list of the highest-paying engineer jobs. The primary responsibility of petroleum engineers is to design and develop ways to extract natural resources oil and gas from Earth. They work in offices or at excavation sites. Traveling to sites for coordination with other engineers and the ground workers is frequent.

2. Computer Hardware Engineer

Median Base Salary: $128,170

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 2.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.59%

Average Annual Openings: 5200

Computer hardware engineers are responsible for advancing computer systems and technology to better streamline operations, as well as maintain existing systems within an organization. They usually work in research and development laboratories that test and build prototypes and full operating systems.

3. Aerospace Engineer

Median Base Salary: $122,270

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 8.0%

Unemployment Rate: 0.78%

Average Annual Openings: 4500

Aerospace engineers work in industries focused on designing and building aircrafts, and spacecrafts. Students will be learning physics and aerodynamics, and research to develop aircraft for manufacturers and the federal government. 

4. Nuclear Engineer

Median Base Salary: $120,380

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: -8.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.77%

Average Annual Openings: 1100

Nuclear engineering is among the highest-paying jobs. Specialization in this field involves in-depth research and development to create the methodology, processes, and tools to harness and utilize nuclear energy. Nuclear engineers may delve into the medical field to research radiation treatments and develop the safety protocol for nuclear management.

5. Chemical Engineer

Median Base Salary: $105,550

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 1.57%

Unemployment Rate: 9.0%

Average Annual Openings: 2400

Chemical engineers design, produce, transport, operate, and transform intensive industrial processes that take raw materials as input and turn them into valuable products as outputs. Those with a passion for experimentation and an aptitude for natural sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology will benefit most from this specialization.


Chemical engineers work in laboratories or offices. They may also be allocated to industrial plants and refineries to monitor active problems onsite.

6. Electronics Engineer

Median Base Salary: $104,820

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 7.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.23%

Average Annual Openings: 9000

In this domain of engineering, professionals design, develop and test units and devices that make up large equipment or systems that are powered by electricity. This includes components such as diodes, capacitors, resistors, and transistors. 

Electronics engineers work in research and development, manufacturing, telecommunications, and for the government. Most of their work is done indoors, with some exceptions onsite.

7. Sales Engineer

Median Base Salary: $103,710

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 8.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.75%

Average Annual Openings: 7900

Sales engineering is an interesting field that combines sales with the technical side of engineering. This area of specialization involves scientifically and technologically advancing products for consumers and customers. 

Working in this domain can be stressful because income and job security are dependent on commissions from successful sales. Working overtime to meet client requirements is expected.

8. Electrical Engineer

Median Base Salary: $100,420

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 7.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.23%

Average Annual Openings: 13900

Electrical engineering is a discipline in which the design and application of devices and systems which utilize electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism are studied. 

Similar to electronics engineers, electrical engineers work in industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, and the government. Depending on the nature of their work, they work indoors or outdoors.

9. Health and Safety Engineer

Median Base Salary: $99,040

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 6.0%

Unemployment Rate: 2.26%

Average Annual Openings: 2000

Similar to sales engineering, health & safety engineering involves knowing all the health & safety protocols and then developing procedures and systems that work towards the well-being of people and property. Health and Safety engineers mostly work in offices but may require traveling to worksites when needed. 

10. Materials Engineer

Median Base Salary: $98,300

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 8.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.81%

Average Annual Openings: 1700

Also known as materials science, this division of engineering entails the discovery and design of new materials. You’ll be exploring materials and understanding how they work by studying physics, math, and chemistry subjects. 

Materials engineers work in offices generally on computers or other design equipment. Depending on the demand, materials engineers may work overtime hours. 

11. Biomedical Engineer

Median Base Salary: $97,410

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 6.0%

Unemployment Rate: 2.14%

Average Annual Openings: 1500

Biomedical engineers work on creating groundbreaking technology to improve human health and advance the detection and treatment of chronic diseases. Students will also learn how to carry out tests to monitor and check the potency of medicine and drugs. 

12. Mining and Geological Engineer

Median Base Salary: $97,090

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 4.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.77%

Average Annual Openings: 500

Students of geological engineering will work on excavating mineral deposits and metals from sites in the most efficient and sustainable manner.  

Mining engineers work at locations where mining operations are carried out, such as remote areas or mineral mines. Mining engineers in managerial positions work in offices for natural resources firms or engineering firms.

13. Environmental Engineer

Median Base Salary: $96,820

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 4.0%

Unemployment Rate: 2.57%

Average Annual Openings: 4600

Environmental engineering combines the principles of biology, agriculture, environmental sciences, and engineering to tackle the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change. Those who wish to have a larger impact on the environment and the ecosystem will be partial towards this major. 

Environmental engineers work in various settings due to the nature of their work. They work both in offices and on-site on construction projects and urban planning. 

14. Industrial Engineer

Median Base Salary: $95,300

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 14.0%

Unemployment Rate: 2.26%

Average Annual Openings: 22600

Industrial engineering is a specialization dealing with the improved production and manufacturing of consumer and industrial goods. Professionals eliminate wasteful to produce and scale industrial processes to make them more efficient. This field of engineering overlaps with supply chain. 

15. Mechanical Engineer

Median Base Salary: $95,300

Projected Job Growth in Ten Years: 7.0%

Unemployment Rate: 1.42%

Average Annual Openings: 22900

Mechanical engineering is an innovative division of engineering in which professionals work with everything from robotics to designing and developing prototypes for mechanical devices. Mechanical engineers will test mechanical units to understand their flaws and operational issues. They generally work in offices, with occasional visits to worksites.

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