No Surprise: Engineering Graduates Continue to Reign Supreme

Posted on January 24, 2013  Comments (9)

If you want a high paying job upon graduation choosing to major in engineering is a great choice, for those that enjoy it and are able to meet the challenge. This data is for the USA. My guess is that similar results would show up in most locations, but I am just guessing, I don’t have any specific data.

The top average starting salary paid USA under-graduates by major:

2012 salary
computer engineering $70,400
chemical engineering $66,400
computer science $64,400
aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering $64,000
mechanical engineering $62,900
electrical/electronics and communications engineering $62,300
civil engineering $57,600
finance $57,300
construction science/management $56,600
information sciences and systems $56,100

NACE salary survey

This continues a long term trend of engineering major being rewarded: Engineering Majors Hold 8 of Top 10 Highest Paid MajorsEngineering Again Dominates The Highest Paying College Degree ProgramsS&P 500 CEO’s: Engineers Stay at the TopCareer Prospect for Engineers Continues to Look Positive.

Overall starting salaries were up 3.4% to $44,455. Engineering major starting salaries increased 3.9%, to $61,913. Computer science is the 2nd highest paid broad major category at $59,221 (up 3.8%). Next is business at $53,900 (up 4.2%). At the bottom of both average pay and increase was humanities and social sciences with $36,988, up 2%.

The highest-paying industry for Class of 2012 graduates in this report is mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; employers in this industry offered starting salaries that averaged $59,400.

The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry also has the top-paying occupations for Class of 2012 graduates. Mechanical engineering graduates hired as petroleum, mining, and geological engineers received starting salaries that averaged $77,500.

As I have said before, I believe it is foolish to pursue a career in a field that doesn’t interest you. Pay doesn’t make up for doing something you don’t enjoy. But if you enjoy several things somewhat equally pay is worth paying attention to.

9 Responses to “No Surprise: Engineering Graduates Continue to Reign Supreme”

  1. Branigan Robertson
    January 28th, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    This does not surprise me. I wonder how a masters in computer engineering fares vs. a lawyer. Attorneys (especially employment attorneys and personal injury attorneys) do well, but not as well as some corporate lawyers. Regardless, computer engineers will definitely be needed in the future. Attorneys might get replaced by computers.

  2. Dave Burton
    January 28th, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in the UK job market. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and the salaries for engineering in the UK are nowhere near the same as in the USA. This is why I ditched the engineering industry and went into software development instead.

    Sad but true – I really enjoyed engineering but there isn’t the same status in the UK as Germany, USA etc.

  3. Matt Smith
    February 3rd, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    My 9-5 (or seemingly 7-7 job) is at an engineering firm and they have been expanding rapidly for a few years. Engineering definitely seems to be the way to go in the USA these days.

  4. Luice
    February 5th, 2013 @ 3:57 am

    I tell you there were days when I felt as if the world only needs engineering graduates. Be it the number of vacancies or the salaries offered, engineers always top the list. I don’t understand this trend, why is it so, does it educate you more than other subject, or does it make you more civil.

  5. Alejandro Gallego
    March 9th, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    I wish this was the case in Spain, but the unemployment rate is huge, specially for young people.

  6. Henrietta
    March 11th, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    Manufacturing out put has actually been rising quite steadily in the UK over this century and the last.
    However there are two noticeable dips, for the 1980s recession and this current recession, which began in 2008.
    Hopefully this dip will be short lived.

  7. Alan
    March 15th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    The underinvestment in manufacturing in the UK since the 60’s has ultimately led to our awful industrial performance and relative economic decline. It’s glaringly obvious. Over-educating bureaucrats has got us nowhere. Who cares if the chap serving your burger has a PhD in European Film & Media studies? It’s time we made some serious investment in engineering before it’s too late!

  8. Earnings by College Major – Engineers and Scientists at the Top » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    October 29th, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    […] No Surprise – Engineering Graduates Continue to Reign Supreme – Engineering Again Dominates The Highest Paying College Degree Programs – Engineering […]

  9. Peargentino
    May 1st, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    Who cares if the chap serving your burger has a PhD in European Film & Media studies? It’s time we made some serious investment in engineering before it’s too late!

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