10 of the Highest-Paying Engineering Jobs (With Salary Info)

By Jennifer Herrity

Updated June 23, 2022 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated June 23, 2022

Published February 4, 2020

Jennifer Herrity is a career coach at Indeed who has worked with job seekers from various industries over the last 12 years. She creates resources to help people navigate career challenges with tools and techniques she has refined through practical experience.

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The field of engineering covers a broad range of jobs working across six major branches: chemical, civil, electrical, geotechnical, management and mechanical, and hundreds of different subcategories beyond that. Given how diverse the engineering field is—requiring a range of education and skills—some engineers earn significantly more than others.

In this article, we discuss 10 of the highest-paying engineering jobs and their educational requirements for those interested in pursuing them.

What are the highest-paying engineering jobs?

Certain types of engineers can have higher earnings potential, especially if they work in industries like healthcare and technology. The highest-paying jobs in this field relate to those who handle large amounts of data for companies, as data storage is largely demanded by large companies and corporations.

Read more: Choosing a Career Path in 9 Steps

10 high-paying engineering jobs

Here is a list of 10 of the highest-paying engineering jobs. Take note of this list when you're applying for jobs to earn a higher salary for your career.

1. Computer engineer

National average salary: $80,729 per year

Primary duties: A computer engineer is responsible for the development of a company's computer hardware and software structure. Computer software engineers help with the applications that can run on a computer or smartphone for business purposes. They'll be accountable for training staff on how to use software to achieve their goals and upgrade the software to bolster its functionality. Hardware engineers take ownership of the computer itself, so they can repair parts that break or install add-ons that may have a positive benefit on the user.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Computer Science can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

2. Chemical engineer

National average salary: $81,068 per year

Primary duties: A chemical engineer works with a variety of products and makes sure that food processing techniques meet guidelines set by the federal government. They also ensure that there is enough fertilizer being produced to create quality food products and if what's being produced is environmentally friendly. They do not produce food, but they examine chemical properties associated with them.

Educational requirements: A Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering is required to work in this position. Some programs may have internship programs that can help you gain a competitive advantage for applying to jobs. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

3. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $81,492 per year

Primary duties: A biomedical engineer spends time researching and developing materials that can be used to assist patients like artificial organs. They log information on behavioral patterns to find out reactions resulting from human behavior, which can be shared in an academic setting or through consulting.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering or Bioengineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

4. Nuclear engineer

National average salary: $81,677 per year

Primary duties: A nuclear engineer creates procedures to produce nuclear energy, which can give power to ships, powerplants, etc. They have to conduct additional research on ensuring the safety of reactors within their area of operation and dispose of waste. Applications can also be used in the medical field for treatment procedures that can cure patients of life-threatening illnesses.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position but you may need a Master's or a Ph.D. to get some entry-level roles. A Bachelor's Degree in Nuclear Engineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

5. Petroleum engineer

National average salary: $82,020 per year

Primary duties: A petroleum engineer strategizes with other engineers on ways to extract oil and natural gas from the earth. They also can extract these resources from older well when possible, but keep records on the amount they drill per day and log it into their records. They also find additional means to drill and see what tools can streamline the drilling process.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical or Civil Engineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

6. Environmental engineer

National average salary: $82,292 per year

Primary duties: An environmental engineer develops methods to enhance recycling processes, along with containing water and air pollution issues tied to public health. They generate reports on their research. establish permits to distribute to companies, cities and towns to enforce and inspect areas periodically to see if they comply with regulations.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering, Civil or Chemical Engineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

7. Aeronautical engineer

National average salary: $84,273 per year

Primary duties: An aeronautical engineer works on the physical components of aircraft, spacecraft and satellites. They develop systems to improve the safety of the aircraft while in the air, undertake research to increase fuel efficiency and improve its environmental impact. They ensure the items they work on align with the requests from their client and manager, along with ensuring they're working within the guidelines of assigned procedures.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. It's important to have an internship to gain hands-on experience and improve your chances of getting an entry-level position. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

8. Electrical engineer

National average salary: $87,028 per year

Primary duties: An electrical engineer fuses math and electronic frameworks to design new equipment and systems that give electricity to the public. They also enhance telecommunications systems, so it can be connected to satellites in space and improve the functionality of smartphones and other devices. They mainly work with computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in how well devices can function on a telecommunications infrastructure.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or Electronics Engineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

9. Materials engineer

National average salary: $92,008 per year

Primary duties: A materials engineer works with existing parts such as metal and plastics to create other materials helpful for engineers to work with. The materials they create can produce medical equipment, propellers on an aircraft, a baseball bat, etc. They can use a computer to mass-produce materials, estimate the cost of the new product and create reports about the impact it has on a relevant industry.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Materials Engineering or Engineering can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

10. Data engineer

National average salary: $115,687 per year

Primary duties: A data engineer builds the analytics infrastructure for an organization that understands a variety of coding languages. These languages can give functions for how a company stores data within their database. Engineers can have a background in software development and use their knowledge to keep data secure from outside sources.

Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required to work in this position. A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology can make you stand out, along with relevant internship experience. A Professional Engineering (PE) license is required to work in higher-level positions.

Related careers

Here is a list of related engineering careers that you should also consider in your job search:

Engineering manager

An engineering manager is in charge of creating plans to produce new products. They create a budget aligned with the demand for the manufactured equipment and training of staff to use. Once the budget is approved, they check with their staff to ensure the success of procedures being followed and executed.

Civil engineer

A civil engineer is accountable for public projects like roads and bridges to be designed and built properly. They evaluate roads and maps to find out the most efficient way to complete manufacturing projects to the highest standard possible. It's also important for them to find out the costs of labor for the workflow of the project and the materials needed to finish it promptly. They also test the foundation of structures to see if additional improvements may be necessary.

Cartographer

A cartographer draws maps that can help engineering teams find out the best way to complete the installation of structures for infrastructure projects. They work with different pieces of geographical data. past images of an area and weather patterns to provide a team with the most updated information before carrying out their tasks. A cartographer must be able to communicate how they drew up the map and the findings they found that could be of use to a business or government.

Mechanical engineer

A mechanical engineer makes repairs and produces new designs for parts on vehicles, turbines, engines and other power mechanisms noteworthy for a building to operate efficiently. They perform analysis on components that can transfer energy and render ventilation for systems like refrigerators and air conditioners.

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