Engineering is a diverse and dynamic field that includes a wide range of disciplines, from civil to environmental engineering. But one of the first things that most people want to know is what the highest-paying engineering jobs are.
Although there are a lot of factors you need to consider before choosing a field, money is certainly still one of the strongest drivers.
To help you discover which careers will give you the most bang for your engineering buck in 2024, keep reading because we’ll share our list of the top 10 highest-paying engineering jobs in the USA!
- The top 10 highest paying engineering jobs include software engineer, petroleum engineer, aerospace engineer, chemical engineer, and environmental engineer, among others.
- Salaries for these engineering jobs range from $100,000 to $200,000 per year, varying mostly due to the specific field and your experience level.
- Engineering is a lucrative and rewarding field, with opportunities for growth, development, and personal satisfaction.
- To succeed in these engineering jobs, you will need to have advanced degrees, specialized certifications, or relevant work experience.
12 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs
The field of engineering offers many high-paying career opportunities, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the top ten:
#1. Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers deal with computer systems and components, such as microprocessors, circuit boards, and memory storage. They usually work on designing new computer hardware and developing new technologies to improve existing systems.
Computer hardware engineers are required to have an engineering bachelor’s degree. Additionally, they must have strong computer and tech-related skills.
Computer hardware engineers make around $135,000 annually, definitely making it one of the highest-paying engineering jobs, if not the highest-paid one.
Additionally, the need for hardware engineers will increase due to the recent surge in the development and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems.
#2. Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers develop techniques that can help extract oil and gas from underground resources. They are professionals that specialize in the exploration, extraction, and production of these resources.
Petroleum engineers have a wide knowledge of geology, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. These areas of expertise can be used to analyze data and determine the most efficient and cost-effective ways to extract oil and gas.
The median salary for a petroleum engineer is around $130,000, making it one of the top. A bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a related field is typically required for this job, and licensure may be required in some states as well.
The demand for petroleum engineers is expected to decline slightly in the future. This is due to a shift towards renewable energy sources.
#3. Aerospace Engineer
Next on the list of highest-paying engineering jobs is an aerospace engineer, who deals with aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and related technologies. They usually work closely with scientists and technicians to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
Expertise in physics, mathematics, and engineering is required to be able to test new designs, materials, and technologies. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field is also required. Some employers may require a master’s degree or higher for advanced positions.
The average yearly salary for an aerospace engineer is around $122,000. The demand for aerospace engineers is also expected to grow by 6% before 2030.
#4. Nuclear Engineer
Nuclear engineers work in industries such as nuclear power generation, research and development, and defense. They apply nuclear science principles to develop and operate nuclear systems (such as nuclear power plants and reactors) and technologies.
To apply for a nuclear engineering position, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering. You must also prove that you’re able to keep up with new technologies and advances in the field to ensure you’re using the most efficient and effective methods for operating nuclear systems.
The annual salary for nuclear engineers varies depending on education and work experience; however, it’s usually around $120,000. According to the BLS, employment of nuclear engineers will rise by 2% from 2019 to 2029.
#5. Software Engineer
Software engineers design, develop, and test software for various applications. These applications can be operating systems, databases, mobile apps, and games.
The median annual salary for software engineers is around $120,000. To qualify for this position, you will be required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree or equivalent work experience.
The demand for software engineers is expected to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030, which is significantly faster than the average for many other occupations, meaning this one will continue to be one of the highest-paying engineering jobs in the future as well.
#6. Chemical Engineer
Chemical engineers are professionals who apply principles of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to design and develop chemical processes and equipment. They usually work in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food and beverage, and biotechnology.
To become a chemical engineer, you’re required to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering as well as some stable math, science, communication, and problem-solving skills. You’re also expected to have knowledge of safety and environmental regulations.
Chemical engineers make around $105,000 per year, and when it comes to growth, the need for chemical engineers is expected to rise by around 4% by 2030.
#7. Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers design and test electrical equipment and systems. They can work on a wide range of projects, such as power generation and distribution, communication and control systems, and electronic devices.
The work of an electrical engineer can include analyzing data to ensure that systems meet performance requirements and safety standards. They also usually work with computer and mechanical engineers on integrated systems.
Electrical engineers make around $100,000; however, if you have certain certifications, the number can be higher. Additionally, the demand for electrical engineers will remain steady in the upcoming years. That is because renewable energy sources will become more prevalent.
#8. Materials Engineer
Materials engineers specialize in testing materials that are used in a wide range of products and systems. They work on developing new materials, improving the ones that already exist, and testing them for reliability.
Material engineers are required to have a bachelor’s degree, problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and a deep understanding of material properties.
The annual salary can be around $98,000 per year. The increasing demand for new materials and the need for improvements to existing materials in aerospace and electronics will drive job growth in the field.
#9. Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical engineering is a field that combines principles and aspects from engineering, biology, and medicine to develop solutions for healthcare problems. This can include the design process of medical equipment, prosthetics, artificial organs, and software, which can help improve patient care.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biomedical engineers must also have strong problem-solving and research skills and a clear understanding of medical principles. This is necessary as biomedical engineers may work on research projects to develop new treatments.
Biomedical engineers make around $97,000, but it depends on the industry and the location.
The need for biomedical engineers is expected to increase in the coming years. The aging population and the increased focus on healthcare outcomes will greatly benefit this field.
#10. Environmental Engineer
The main duties of an environmental engineer include utilizing engineering principles to solve environmental problems related to pollution control, waste management, water treatment, and air quality.
Environmental engineers are highly responsible for creating and implementing solutions to environmental problems. They usually work to minimize the environmental impact of human activity by creating systems that promote sustainability and protect natural resources.
An environmental engineer is expected to have computer skills and, in contrast to some other engineering fields, decent communication skills as well. The annual salary is around $96,000.
It’s a growing field with a positive job outlook as the need for clean energy sources and more efficient waste management increases.
#11. Civil Engineer
Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure. This can include buildings, bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, and other infrastructure.
Civil engineers use a combination of technical, analytical, and creative skills to solve complex problems related to building infrastructure. That’s why a degree in civil engineering is required.
The salary for civil engineers varies based on education, experience, industry, and location. However, the median annual wage is around $88,000. This is subject to change based on where you decide to work and whether you hold any additional advanced degrees.
How to Find an Engineering Job
Here are some tips on how to find an engineering job:
- Network with professionals in the field. Build relationships with professionals in your field of interest as they can help you learn about job openings and gain valuable insights on the industry.
- Gain practical experience. Internships and co-op programs can provide you with real-world experience and can help you build connections within the industry.
- Research market trends and companies. Staying up-to-date on industry trends and researching companies that are hiring engineers can help you identify job opportunities and target your job search.
- Attend career fairs. Networking events can provide you with opportunities to meet with recruiters from all over the industry.
- Customize your resume and cover letter. Tailoring your application to the specific job and company indicates that you’ve done research on the company and can also help you stand out from other applicants.
- Consider working with a recruiter. A recruiter can help you find job openings that match your skills and experience. They can also provide valuable guidance throughout the job search process.
- Utilize social media platforms. Many companies and recruiters use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to post job openings and to connect with potential candidates. Keep your profile up-to-date and engage with industry professionals.
This concludes the list of the highest-paying engineering jobs in 2024.
Whether you’re passionate about space travel, renewable energy, or cutting-edge technology, there’s an engineering job out there that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for a career that will not only challenge you intellectually but also reward you handsomely, engineering is definitely the way to go!
In the end, it’s clear that the demand for skilled engineers will continue to grow in the years to come. So, why wait? Start exploring these exciting careers today and see where your engineering journey takes you! We wish you good luck!
Highest Paying Engineering Jobs FAQ
#1. What is the best field in engineering?
Some popular engineering fields are civil, mechanical, electrical, computer, and aerospace engineering. Each field has its own unique set of opportunities and rewards. The choice you make depends on your interests and skills.
#2. Which engineering is best for the future?
All fields of engineering are likely to see growth in the future. However, some areas that are expected to offer significant opportunities are artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics and automation, renewable energy, and biomedical engineering.
#3. How hard is it to get a job in engineering?
The difficulty of getting a job in engineering depends on your education level, experience, location, and current job market conditions. Generally speaking, there are many job opportunities for engineers, and engineering is considered a stable and growing profession.
However, competition for certain jobs may still be high.
#4. What’s the hardest engineering job?
Each field can present its own challenges and difficulties. However, some engineering jobs that can be considered hard due to their complexity, responsibility level, or work environment are aerospace engineering, nuclear engineering, biomedical engineering, and petroleum engineering.
#5. What engineering job pays the most?
The engineering field in general offers many high-paying jobs, and salaries can vary depending on your education and the industry you choose. Some engineering jobs that tend to have higher average salaries than others are computer hardware (median salary around $135,000), petroleum (median salary around $130,000), and aerospace engineering (median salary around $122,000).