Engineering Salaries

If you are still undecided about a college major, you may want to consider the engineering field, especially if you are good at math and science. Engineering salaries can be very high. In fact, engineers boast the highest starting salaries. This is because engineers have unique skills and are often called upon to create highly complex devices and equipment. Due to advances in technology, engineers must always be learning new methods in order to stay ahead of the game. With society advancing at a rapid pace, engineers are called upon to improve current projects as well as plan for future ones. Unlike some careers, the demand for engineers keeps growing. Some industries have experienced a drop in salaries. However, engineering salaries keep increasing in order to attract new talent.

Of the top 10 highest-earning college degrees, seven of them are in the engineering field. Petroleum, chemical, electrical, materials science, aerospace, computer and nuclear engineers all have beginning salaries of $60,000 or higher annually. What's more, engineering salaries can nearly double to $100,000 or more after many years of experience. Petroleum engineers can make $155,000 or more. Combine the right engineering degree and the right location and you can even see salaries of $200,000 and up. Even if you are interested in other types of engineering, you can expect entry-level engineering salaries in the mid-$50,000s and up to $80,000 or more throughout your career.

Engineering salaries is one of very few tending to increase annually, even in weak economies. Depending on the type of engineering degree you have, you can expect your salary to jump from 0.2 percent to 3 percent every year. So if your main focus is to quickly jump into a high-paying career, then engineering is the best field.

Although engineering salaries are above average, some are higher than others. They can range from $68,000 to $108,000 annually, with salaries for petroleum engineers climbing above $166,000. The lowest-paid engineers are agricultural and health and safety engineers, at $68,000 to $72,000. Many engineering salaries are based on projected job growth. Although engineering jobs overall are expected to increase by 11 percent by 2018, some types of engineering will increase at a much higher rate, while some may even decrease. Aerospace and agricultural engineers are expected to grow 10-12 percent. Civil engineers are expected to grow by 24 percent. Environmental engineers are expected to grow by 31 percent. Biomedical engineers are expected to grow the fastest, a whopping 72 percent. This is due to an aging population, resulting in a growing demand for better medical equipment. Chemical and electrical engineers are expected to experience very little growth and may even decline.

Engineering salaries also vary depending on experience and education level. Although most careers require a bachelor's degree, more and more employers are requiring a minimum of a master's degree. Entry-level workers can expect to start out at the lowest pay levels and see their salaries increase as they gain more experience. Some engineers are required to have a license and/or certification, so having these increases engineering salaries as well.

Engineering salaries can also vary depending on where you work. The government and the private sector pay differently. Usually government agencies pay more. Location is also a factor in determining engineering salaries. If you work in a large city or other area with a high cost of living, your salary will tend to be higher than average.

So if you enjoy math and science and want to make your community a better place, an engineering degree can open up many doors, as well as many benefits. Engineering is truly a career that pays, and pays very well.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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