10 High Paying Jobs in Engineering

Most engineers are paid well for the work they do, but there a few engineering niches that stand out as being particularly lucrative. Are you wondering which types of engineers get paid the most? Let’s explore 10 high paying jobs in engineering.

1. Aerospace Engineers

National defense is high on the priority list for the authorities governing countries. Aerospace engineers are needed to design, build, test and maintain the satellites, missiles, aircraft and spacecraft that accomplish tasks critical to national defense. The travel and communications industries also have important work for aerospace engineers to do.

In the USA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that annual median pay for aerospace engineers was $107,830 as of 2015. In the UK, experts at the National Career Service report that aerospace engineers can expect to earn between £20,000 – £60,000 annually.

2. Biomedical Engineers

The healthcare industry has need of innovators who can draw on their technical and scientific expertise to develop and test new software systems, diagnostic equipment, and medical treatment devices.

As of 2015, biomedical engineers were earning annual median pay of $86,220 in the USA. In the UK, clinical engineers earn average annual pay of £22,000 – £41,000.

3. Chemical Engineers

An expert level understanding of chemistry and the other sciences could lead to a lucrative career developing new drugs, processed food products, beauty care products, fuels, varnishes, cleaners or other innovations that incorporate chemicals into their composition. Chemical engineers are employed across a wide spectrum of manufacturing niches; any industry that makes use of chemicals is likely to have employment opportunities for chemical engineers.

As of 2015, chemical engineers were earning annual median pay of $97,360 in the USA.

4. Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers use math, physics, the sciences and their technological expertise to develop and test a huge diversity of interesting technologies. Their efforts have given us useful inventions including communications systems, navigation equipment, electronic motors and more. Their expertise is needed in a variety of industries including manufacturing, energy, transportation and construction.

In the USA, electrical engineers were earning annual median pay of $95,230 as of 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the UK, the National Career Service website reports that electrical engineers generally earn between £21,000 – £45,000 or more.

5. Engineering Managers

Many engineering firms need supervisors to oversee various aspects of the work their organizations are doing. This creates significantly lucrative opportunities for individuals who have excellent interpersonal skills, leadership ability and engineering expertise.

In the USA in 2015, engineering managers earned annual mean salaries of $132,800, making them some of the best-paid engineers of all.

6. Environmental Engineers

Industry takes its toll on the environment by creating pollution and waste. As a result, environmental engineers are assured of having significant amounts of work to do in the future. These professionals are the ones who work to create solutions for the environmental problems resulting from less than ideal industrial methodologies. They’re hard at work creating new ways to recycle, dispose of industrial waste and control pollution of air, water and other resources.

In the USA, environmental engineers were typically earning annual median pay of $84,560 as of 2015.

7. Materials Engineers

Materials engineers are at the forefront of technological innovation. They’re inventors who specialize in developing new materials that can be patented and used for a variety of industrial purposes. Some of these engineers are currently working to explore new applications for nano materials. Some of them are working to reinvent known materials such as metals and ceramics. Some of them are working to develop new composite materials that offer enhanced benefits.

These skills are needed in a wide variety of organizations. Governments utilize them for national defense purposes. The healthcare industry uses them for the purpose of exploring new biomedical devices. The manufacturing industry employs significant numbers of them to work on a diversity of projects and products.

As of 2015, materials engineers in the USA were earning annual median pay of $91,310.

8. Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers use their talents to develop innovative uses for nuclear energy, radiation and radioactive substances. Some of them are working in healthcare researching new diagnostic methods that incorporate radiation. Some of them are involved with projects to develop submarines that run on nuclear power. Some of them are also working at nuclear power facilities with the goals of ensuring safety, monitoring levels of radiation in the environment, overseeing the disposal of nuclear waste material and performing maintenance on equipment and infrastructure. This career has both its hazards and its rewards.

In the USA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that annual median pay for nuclear engineers was $102,950 as of 2015. In the UK, a nuclear engineer could expect to earn between £24,000 and £70,000, according to the experts at the National Career Service.

9. Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum, petrochemicals and petrochemical-based products are big business. Fuel is the most obvious use for these substances, but manufacturers are using them in astonishing numbers of other applications. Several examples: The ethylene from natural gas is a component of vinyl, which is used to manufacture windows, the siding on homes, and countless other types of products. Ethylene is also used to make trash bags. Petrochemicals comprise various textile products, from carpeting to clothing. Plastics are largely comprised of petrochemical substances. Significant demand for these products results in huge opportunities for petroleum engineers.

Oil and natural gas are deposited in sizable quantities down in the depths of the earth. The problem is that it’s challenging for people to extract it all. Petroleum engineers devise ways of accessing the deposits of oil and gas and bringing them to the surface so they can be used. Currently, they’re doing much of the extraction using an environmentally harmful process called hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking”. There are huge and highly lucrative opportunities for innovative petroleum engineers who can improve on the extraction methods the industry is currently using.

As of 2015, $129,990 was the annual median salary that petroleum engineers were earning. The US Department of Labor projects strong growth of about ten percent for petroleum engineers’ occupation through the year 2024.

10. Software Engineers

Software engineers are the innovators who bring us new, useful computer programs, including the applications we use for performing specific tasks on our devices. There are also software engineers who mastermind and create the entire systems responsible for controlling our devices and networks.

In 2015, software engineers’ annual median pay was $100,690. This occupation is poised for exciting levels of growth, according to experts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They’re predicting a whopping 17 percent growth in employment for software engineers through the year 2024.

Related Resource: 10 Highest Paying Careers for Bachelor’s Degree Grads

Engineers are performing work that’s highly valued by both governments and industry, as evidenced by the high paychecks so many engineers are earning. If you have a scientific mind and innovative ideas for creating beneficial new inventions and methods, it would be particularly lucrative to pursue any of the 10 high paying jobs in engineering mentioned above.