Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Engineering

The field of engineering is expanding quickly. It requires skilled workers to apply principles based in scientific, mathematical, technological, and social methodologies to design, develop, construct, and operate structures, devices, systems, and processes. Skilled engineers find numerous opportunities for rewarding employment in many industries.

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Competition for engineering jobs can be quite competitive, and as with most careers, candidates who complete formal education, gain work experience and display skill are often preferred over individuals with less education, experience, and skill. Here are the Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs Engineering.

1. Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum Engineers are responsible for finding the most efficient and profitable means of extracting oil and gas from rock formations far below the earth. They design and develop ways to use water, chemicals, gases and steam to force oil out of reserves, perform research, develop drill plans, and ensure proper maintenance and function of oil and gas extraction equipment. Petroleum Engineers also develop means of connecting oil and gas deposits to new or existing wells. Petroleum Engineers must complete bachelor or master’s degree programs in petroleum engineering and also gain work experience before entering the field. Earnings for Petroleum Engineers range from $114,080 to $166,400 yearly.

2. Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear Engineers research nuclear energy and radiation for industrial and medical use. They design and create the processes, instrumentation, equipment, and systems which contain nuclear materials used in multiple industries, from spacecraft to medical imaging devices. They also maintain and monitor nuclear operations within facilities to ensure safety, identify violations of nuclear regulations and laws, give instructions regarding the handling and disposal of nuclear waste, and develop preventative measures for nuclear accidents. Nuclear Engineers also respond to plant shutdowns and other emergencies when they occur. Most Nuclear Engineers are required to possess a minimum of a bachelor degree combined with work experience to qualify for employment earning yearly salaries of $99,920 to $142,290.

3. Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace Engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, satellites, spacecraft, missiles, and other air or spacecraft products for the military, commercial, or private use. They research and determine the safety of proposed aircraft projects and parts. Aerospace Engineers also evaluate products to ensure they meet customer requirements, engineering specifications, and quality standards. Aerospace Engineers identify and develop solutions for malfunctioning or damaged aircraft, spacecraft, and parts. Aerospace Engineers may begin their careers within entry level positions upon earning a bachelor degree, though many employers prefer candidates with the combination of a degree and work experience. Salaries for Aerospace Engineers range from $97,480 to $143,360 yearly.

4. Software Engineers

Software Engineers blend computer science, mathematics, and engineering to design, develop, test, and maintain software or computer systems. They focus on user needs and write computer programs. Many work closely with teams of other computer science and engineering experts to secure, install, or develop advanced computer systems and software. Software Engineers also resolve any operational, security, or function issues with software, computer systems, and internal computer networks. Software Engineers generally must complete a minimum of a bachelor degree based in computer science, software, mathematics, or engineering as well as experience working with computer systems and applications. In addition, due to the constant changes within the industry, Software Engineers must continue education throughout the course of their careers. Software Engineers who qualify for employment often have annual earnings of $87,900 to $94,520 yearly.

5. Engineering Managers

Engineering Managers supervise teams of engineers within electrical, mechanical, civil, or industrial engineering fields. They administer, direct, and coordinate the research, design, financing, and development of products, hardware, equipment, and devices. They also oversee project design, manufacturing processes, productivity, and marketing analysis to lead projects for industrial, civil, and environmental products and services. Engineering Managers also create the specifications, proposals, budgets, and policies between engineering teams, clients, and contractors while adhering to regulatory laws and predicting the impact of the product. Individuals must complete studies within a bachelor or master’s degree program, gain work experience as an engineer, and obtain state licensing in order to qualify for employment as an Engineering Managers. They generally earn $91,180 to $141,730 annually.

6. Chemical Engineers

Chemical Engineers research, design, and troubleshoot the equipment and production processes for large scale manufacturing. They apply the engineering principles of physics, chemistry, and biology to develop, identify, and evaluate the safest and most efficient means of producing food, drugs, chemicals, fuel, and other materials. Chemical Engineers also research and determine the costs of manufacturing processes as well as the affects they have on the environment without compromising quality and safety. Chemical Engineers must complete studies within a bachelor level chemical or biomolecular engineering program and gain work experience before advancing to careers earning salaries of $90,300 to $139,670 yearly.

7. Electrical Engineers

Electrical Engineers devise new and improved electronics, components, and equipment. They also test and resolve problems with existing electronics. Electrical Engineers work with a large number of products and systems from lighting and wiring within structures to cars, robots, generators, and navigation systems to ensure performance and resolve issues. They also design and assemble new products, test products to ensure safety, and oversee the installation of components. Many create technical drawings and specifications indicating instructions and proper operation. Training to become an Electrical Engineer requires an associates or bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Earnings for Electrical Engineers range from $84,500 to $128,610 annually.

8. Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical Engineers focus upon improving the quality, efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of medical systems and products. They analyze, design, and resolve problems with biology and medicine. Biomedical Engineers create artificial organs, devices, and machines used to replace body parts and diagnose medical issues. They also conduct research to advance medicine, develop methods to assure product quality, and test drug therapies using computer simulations. Biomedical Engineers typically complete a bachelor or master’s degree in biomedical engineering in order to advance to positions earning salaries of $81,540 to $126,990 annually.

9. Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, design, process, and test materials to create new materials and products. Materials Engineers use metals, composites, semiconductors, plastics, and other substances which meet requirements based upon mechanical, chemical, and electrical standards. They also research, test, create, and evaluate the economic factors and standards involved in designing new products and developing materials processes. Additionally, Materials Engineers provide administrative and supervisory support by overseeing groups of technologists, scientists, technicians, and other engineers, providing proposals, completing reports, creating budgets, evaluating new projects, and preparing budgets. Most specialize in ceramic, composites, metallurgical, plastics, or semiconductor processing engineering fields. Materials Engineers often complete studies within bachelors or masters level materials science or materials engineering programs to qualify for employment. Earnings for most Materials Engineers range from $83,120 to $126,800 annually.

10. Environmental Engineers

Environmental Engineers apply and develop solutions to a number of environmental issues and problems by using the principles of engineering, biology, chemistry, and soil science. Environmental Engineers address global issues, like climate change, sustainability, and drinking water safety, as well as public health issues and means of controlling pollution. Environmental Engineers develop means of improving environmental protection, waste disposal, and recycling programs. They also create, evaluate, and update reports based on environmental investigations and environmental improvement programs. Environmental Engineers also oversee the standard operating procedures for legal plans, legal actions, environmental remediation programs, and permits. Additionally, they inspect industrial and municipal facilities to be certain environmental regulations and laws are followed as well as respond to hazardous waste and contaminated sites. Training to become an Environmental Engineer requires a bachelors degree based in environmental engineering and work experience. Some candidates may complete studies within a related field like civil, chemical, or mechanical engineering and gain additional on the job training. Environmental Engineers salaries range from $78,740 to $119,060 yearly.