A woman explaining her engineering drawing project.

Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Degrees To Major in

Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Degrees To Major in

A woman demonstrating her engineering drawing project.

Engineers are one of the highest paid professions in any field out there. With most CEO’s in silicon valley being engineers, you might ask yourself, which of the engineering majors is worth the struggle. There are tons of engineering majors out there and choosing them might be somewhat nerve-wracking. For example you may have a passion in cars and common sense would dictate doing Automotive Engineering. But what if computers are also your thing? To solve such a dilemma, we are going to group all engineering majors from which the rest arise from.

Basically, there are four main branches of engineering regardless of what anyone else tells you. These include; Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering. Below is a detailed structure of the sub disciplines of the main engineering branches.

Main BranchSub Disciplines.
Mechanical EngineeringBiomedical Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Structural Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Robotics Engineering, etc
Electrical EngineeringComputer Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering, Power Engineering, Control Engineering, Instrumentation Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Signal Processing Engineering, etc
Chemical EngineeringEnvironmental Engineering, Plant process Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, etc
Civil EngineeringDesign Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering etc.

Most of the sub disciplines listed above are rarely found at the undergraduate level. For example, to become a Signal processing engineer, a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering will suffice. But sometimes a postgraduate degree may be a requirement depending on the sub field you choose. As diverse as Engineering is, if you major in one branch, you can easily choose different career paths even with an undergraduate degree. Another good example is an Electrical Engineering major can easily decide to go down the Computer Engineering path. With all this in mind, let’s look at the Top 10 highest paying Engineering degrees today. It is also worth noting that this list is arranged from the least paying to the highest paying.

10.) Mechanical Engineering.

Average Salary: $96,000

A picture of an internal combustion engine.

Mechanical Engineers are often involved in the design, development, building and testing of mechanical systems and thermal sensors. As with any engineering degree, mechanical engineers receive an ungodly dose of math and physics and then use this knowledge to solve problems in everyday life.

A good example is the A/c in your car or even the Air conditioning in your building. You have a mechanical engineer to thank. Even the car you drive everyday, a mechanical engineer had to contribute a lot in the development and manufacturing process.

Career Paths: Automotive engineer, Acoustics Engineer, Automation Engineer, Autonomous Systems Engineer, Aerospace Engineer, Robotics Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer, etc.

9. Environmental Engineering.

Average Salary: $96,500

A bulb containing a leaf.

Environmental Engineers basically find new and innovative methods of protecting the environment. In addition to this, they also optimize existing methods, in order to make them as efficient as possible. A good example of this is finding new and harmless ways of waste management. By now everyone has heard of the hazards of plastics in the ocean. Here is where Environmental engineers come into play. They find new and innovative methods of how to deal with the plastic waste. A good example is how Adidas and other big clothing brands are using these plastics to make shoes.

Another perfect example of what Environmental Engineers do, is finding ways of purifying ‘dirty’ water for re-consumption. This method on average saves a lot of water which would have otherwise gone to waste.

Career Paths: Land surveyor, water treatment plant operator, professor, water engineer, environmental engineering, etc

8.) Biomedical Engineering.

Average Salary: $97,000

A laboratory assistant using a microscope.

Biomedical Engineering is one of the newest and rapidly growing fields of engineering. There is a misconception that Biomedical Engineers can be doctors, which is not true. If you want to be a medical doctor, you have to get a degree in medicine and progress with the specialization and residency training.

With this in mind, what does Biomedical Engineering involve? Well, Biomedical Engineers find and develop ways of improving human health through designing and manufacturing medical devices. These engineers use their knowledge in math, physics, biology, chemistry and computers to develop such devices. Examples of these devices include: MRI’s, pacemakers, advanced prosthetics, artificial organs, etc.

Aside from developing these devices, Biomedical Engineers may also train medical personnel on the use of these devices as well as adjusting, maintaining and repair of these devices. These engineers are currently in demand and you can never go wrong with this field.

Career Paths: Biomedical Engineer, Professor.

7.) Mining Engineering.

Average Salary: $98,000

A picture of a mine.

Mining Engineers usually evaluate, plan and supervise the extraction of certain minerals from mines. Their work may include exploration and discovering of a mineral. After an area has been approved to contain large deposits of a certain mineral, a mining engineer is then needed to oversee the construction of mines as well as the mining process.

Mining Engineers are not limited to minerals as substances such as oil and natural gas extraction need a Mining engineer to oversee the whole process.

Career Paths: Environmental management · Geo-science, Geo-technical engineering, Mining management, Metallurgy and Mining engineering.

6.) Electrical Engineering.

Average Salary: $101,000

A bulb in a dark room.

An Electrical Engineer uses Mathematical and Physics principles of Electricity, Electromagnetism and Electronics to build and solve various problems. An Electrical Engineer who specializes in Electronics has a very high chance of getting a job at the top tech companies, Eg Intel or Samsung to work on hardware. On the other hand an electrical Engineer who specializes in Telecommunications can easily build a career in companies such as MediaTek, Verizon or even Qualcomm.

Electrical Engineering being a broad field, one has to specialize in a particular sub field in order to master their craft well. Areas such as Power Grid systems also need Electrical Engineers to operate and maintain the equipment there. If circuits and electrical devices excite you, this field can be very rewarding.

Career paths: Electronics engineer, Microelectronics engineer, Signal processing engineer, Power engineer, Control engineer, Telecommunications engineer, Computer engineer, Instrumentation engineer, etc.

5.) Robotics Engineering.

Average Salary: $101,000.

A group of robotics engineers.

Robotics engineers use computer science, mechanical engineering, physics and advanced math knowledge to create autonomous devices. Autonomous machines, basically perform operations in place of humans. Being a relatively new field, Robotics engineers are in high demand more so in the following sectors: Military, Agriculture, Manufacturing industries and also Medical Institutions.

A robotics engineer as the name suggests can also use their knowledge to create robots. Next time you use your dish washer, your washing machine or even your Tesla, you have a Robotics engineer to thank for.

Career Paths: Robotics engineer, design engineer, Mechanical engineer, Manufacturing engineer, Hydraulic engineer, Controls engineer, etc.

4.) Chemical Engineering.

Average Salary: $105,550.

A chemical engineer.

Chemical Engineering is purely based on finding efficient ways of turning a raw material into a finished product. Chemical engineers are responsible for almost anything and everything we use daily. Most fields require these engineers to find better ways of using the required resources to produce quality products.

Some of the industries that heavily rely on Chemical Engineers include: Clothing industry, Oil and natural gas industries and Food industries just to name a few. Chemical engineers also work in quality standardization companies to ensure the goods being released into the market are safe for consumption by citizens.

Career paths: Analytical chemist, Energy manager, Environmental engineer, Manufacturing engineer, Materials engineer, Mining engineer, Production manager, Quality manager, Waste management officer, Water engineer, etc.

3.) Petroleum Engineering.

Average Salary: $120,000

Oil Refinery plant.

Unlike Mining Engineers who may specialize in the extraction of oil, minerals or natural gas, Petroleum engineers solely focus on the extraction of oil and natural gas. They use math and physics principles, to design and develop methods of extracting oil deposits from the earth’s surface. Petroleum Engineers more so those who work in Oil rigs in the middle of the ocean, may earn over $300,000 a year due to the risk accompanied with the job.

To become a petroleum engineer, you can either major in Petroleum engineering or other disciplines of Engineering including; Mechanical, Civil or Chemical Engineering. It is a high risk high reward kind of job. Everything we use today requires energy and petroleum is one of the fuels that power large nations. Despite carbon regulations and the shift towards Electrical systems, there is no doubt that Petroleum engineering will stay around for quite sometime.

Career paths: Completions engineers., Drilling engineers., Natural gas engineers., Oil drilling engineers., Oil exploration engineers., Oil well engineers, Production engineers, Reservoir engineers, energy engineer and Geochemist.

2. Aerospace Engineering.

Average Salary: $122,000

A rocket launching into space.

An Aerospace Engineer mainly focuses on the design, development and management of aircraft, spacecrafts. Satellites and missiles. If you see any machine in the air be it a plane, a helicopter or even satellites, an Aerospace engineer had a lot to contribute to its development. These kind of engineers also develop new systems used in space exploration and also defense systems.

An Aerospace engineer may choose to specialize in any of these areas;

  • Navigation and Control.
  • Instrumentation and Control.
  • Structural design of an aircraft.
  • Propulsion.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Feedback control systems.
  • Orbital Mechanics.
  • Linear Control Systems.

Career paths: Aerospace technician, Data processing manager, Aircraft designer, Compliance officer,Mechanical Engineer, Aeronautical Engineer etc

1.) Computer Engineering.

Average Salary: $128,000.

Computer components.

A computer Engineer uses Electrical Engineering and Computer Science knowledge to design and develop computer systems. As a matter of fact, in most universities, Computer engineering is normally 50% Computer science and 50% Electrical Engineering making it one of the hardest Engineering majors. Despite focusing mainly on the hardware aspect of computers, these types of Engineers can easily shift to Software development upon completion of their degree. Companies like Intel, Apple and Microsoft rely on Computer engineers to design their circuit boards as well as coming up with efficient designs to ensure proper end user experience.

Career paths: Big data engineer, Data scientist, Data Analyst, Blockchain developer, Software developer, Full stack developer, Computer network architect or Cryptography Engineer

This Post Has 4 Comments


    I am definitely educated by this!

  2. Nelly Njeri

    Thank you for the enlightenment!

  3. Lyda Dorcas

    I did electrical engineering power, am yet to secure a post but I know when I do, I will definitely forget poverty


    The funniest thing is that these salaries are very rare in today’s world

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