15 of the Highest Paying Jobs in Engineering (With Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 28, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated October 28, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Engineers apply mathematical concepts to solve technical issues. They are experts in testing and developing high-quality products and making sure processes are efficient and cost-effective. If you're interested in mathematics and mechanical systems, a job as an engineer may be perfect for you. In this article, we discuss 15 of the highest-paying jobs in engineering and explain engineering educational requirements and skills.

What are the highest-paying jobs in engineering?

The highest-paying jobs in engineering require extensive education, experience, and skills. Certain types of engineers can have higher earning potential than others, especially if they work in industries like health care and technology. One of the highest-paying jobs in engineering is that of data engineers, who handle large amounts of data for companies. An engineer's salary typically depends on the extent of their education and their industry. Here are some other common engineering fields:

  • Mechanical

  • Civil

  • Electrical

  • Computer

  • Aerospace

  • Chemical

  • Materials

  • Biomedical

  • Nuclear

  • Environmental

  • Data


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15 of the highest-paying jobs in engineering

Engineers work in an important industry and make significant contributions to society. Learning about the salaries and duties of engineering positions may help you decide what kind of career path to follow within this field of work. Here is a list of 15 of the highest-paying jobs in engineering:

1. Propulsion engineer

National average salary: $80,680 per year

Primary duties: A propulsion engineer designs propulsion, control, propellant, and similar systems. They may work with wind, steam, diesel, gas, nuclear, solar, or fuel cell propulsion to propel air and spacecraft. Those in this role are experts in capturing energy to produce thrust and move machinery through physical space.

2. Product development engineer

National average salary: $72,204 per year

Primary duties: A product development engineer is an expert in designing, developing, and optimizing product ideas for an organization. They create blueprints and prototypes of a commodity to test its functionality, usefulness, and appearance and solve any issues it has. Their responsibility is to produce an item that fulfils a business's mission and meets customer needs.

Related: How to Become a Product Design Engineer

3. Process engineer

National average salary: $79,410 per year

Primary duties: A process engineer designs, develops, and perfects chemical and biochemical processes, or systems to transform raw materials into end products. They may work with oil, natural gas, or food materials in the chemical, petroleum, agriculture, mineral, food, pharmaceutical, or biomedical industries. Those in this role are experts in using methods such as heat, cold, and fermentation to trigger chemical reactions and develop new commodities.

4. Project engineer

National average salary: $85,497 per year

Primary duties: A project engineer is responsible for managing an engineering or technical project. They plan project ideas, goals, and methods, lead teams, assess progress, and complete reviews at the end of activities. Those in this role have expertise in both engineering principles and project management strategies.

Read more: What Does a Project Engineer Do? (With Average Salary)

5. Computer engineer

National average salary: $92,318 per year

Primary duties: A computer engineer researches, designs, and tests computer parts and devices. They might work on hardware and software such as processors, motherboards, memory cards, video cards, monitors, storage drives, operating systems, and applications. Those in this role tend to be experts in both electronic engineering and computer sciences.

Related: Top Computer Science Jobs To Consider

6. Electrical engineer

National average salary: $78,568 per year

Primary duties: An electrical engineer uses math and electronic frameworks to design equipment and systems that give electricity to the public. These may be motors, navigation systems, or power generation equipment. They also work on connections with space satellites to improve the functionality of smartphones and other telecommunication devices.

Related: 5 Steps To Become an Electrical Engineer

7. Civil engineer

National average salary: $75,043 per year

Primary duties: A civil engineer is responsible for designing and building civil infrastructure projects like roads and bridges. They evaluate maps to find the most efficient way to complete projects, and they monitor the costs of labour and materials needed to finish them properly. They also test the foundation of structures to see if additional improvements may be necessary.

Related: How To Become an Architect Designer in Four Steps

8. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $30.32 per hour

Primary duties: A biomedical engineer spends time researching and developing materials and software to advance health and medical care. These may include items like artificial organs, replacement body parts, and diagnostic machines. They log information and perform tests to ensure new equipment and therapies are safe and effective.

9. Systems engineer

National average salary: $83,465 per year

Primary duties: A systems engineer is responsible for ensuring the functionality and efficiency of systems. They may work in different fields, such as manufacturing, software, transportation, or product development. Those in this role use various techniques such as statistical process control to design and improve processes, making sure they're useful and cost-effective.

10. Materials engineer

National average salary: $80,610 per year

Primary duties: A materials engineer works with existing substances such as metal and plastics to create more complex, useful materials. These resources may help other engineers and professionals produce items like medical equipment, propellers on an aircraft, or even a baseball bat. They design materials, estimate the costs of a new product, and create reports about their impacts.

11. Avionics engineer

National average salary: $87,293 per year

Primary duties: An avionics engineer designs and develops components of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, rockets, missiles, and other machines and instrumentation. Those in this role create vehicles, systems, and technologies that are safe for flight or functional in other ways. They often work on researching and creating safety systems, landing gear, and electronic navigation software.

12. Nuclear engineer

National average salary: $93,757 per year

Primary duties: A nuclear engineer develops methods to produce nuclear energy, which can give power to ships, energy plants, and other systems. Those in this role have to conduct thorough research and planning to ensure the safety of reactors and waste disposal within their area of operation. They may also apply their work to the medical field to develop treatment procedures that can cure patients of life-threatening illnesses.

13. Engineering manager

National average salary: $104,709 per year

Primary duties: An engineering manager oversees an engineering team and the proper production of new products. They perform administrative and management tasks like creating and monitoring project budgets, hiring and training staff, and ordering equipment and supplies. Those in this role typically have extensive experience in and knowledge of their technical field.

14. Data engineer

National average salary: $100,716 per year

Primary duties: A data engineer collects, analyzes, and prepares data for operational use. Those in this role find trends in data to make it helpful to a company. They're experts in software engineering, information technology, data science, and compiling information from various source systems.

Related: How to Become a Software Engineer

15. Petroleum engineer

National average salary: $118,276 per year

Primary duties: A petroleum engineer strategizes with other engineers on ways to extract oil and natural gas from the earth. They keep records on the amount they drill per day, log this into their records, and use special tools to streamline the drilling process. Those in this role might design equipment, develop plans, or operate drilling machinery.

Related: How to Become a Petroleum Engineer (With Steps and Tips)

Academic requirements for engineers

The educational requirements for engineers can vary based on the type of engineering they're performing. Engineering students may pursue an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree, depending on their interests and career goals. They also typically have to complete an internship before graduation. These students take courses in engineering, but they may also study computer science and information technology. They might learn about topics like:

  • Physics

  • Calculus

  • Differential equations

  • General chemistry

  • Statics

  • Dynamics

  • Thermodynamics

  • Basic engineering programming

  • Mechanical systems design

  • Material science

  • Fluid mechanics

  • Electric circuits

Related: The Most Important Engineer Skills for Your Resume

Engineering skills

As they work in an exciting, fast-paced field, engineers have many abilities that can help them succeed in their roles. Here are some typical engineer skills:

  • Mathematics: Engineers have to make mathematical calculations regularly to complete tasks like designing systems, developing products, and taking measurements. It's important they can perform calculus with speed and accuracy.

  • Mechanics: Engineers tend to be experts on mechanics, or how objects and machines work. They're often able to take machines or systems apart to study them and put them together again when they're done.

  • Science: As they often perform experiments and testing, it's beneficial if engineers have skills in using the scientific method. They may need to test a product or investigate a process to improve it.

  • Communication: Engineers can benefit from both written and verbal communication skills to interact with their colleagues, supervisors, and clients. They may need to explain plans or offer directions clearly, especially if they're in a leadership position.

  • Collaboration: As engineering projects typically require effort from a team of professionals, engineers usually have excellent collaboration skills. They can listen to others and form working relationships to invent and implement ideas.

  • Computer skills: Many of those in this role have to perform computer-aided design and use other computer applications, so it's good if they know how to work a computer. They can excel in their role if they can troubleshoot computer issues and use its functions efficiently.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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