The Best Engineering Salaries

The job market is wide open for engineering majors, especially if you are specialized in the fields of petroleum engineering or computer science. The National Association of Colleges and Employers tells us that, “Engineering majors hold eight of the top 10 spots on the list of top-paid majors for Class of 2014 bachelor’s degree graduates.” According to NACE’s April 2014 Salary Survey, the highest starting salary is in the field of petroleum engineering at an average of $95,300. Coming in at a not-so-close second are computer science engineers. Who can expect an average starting salary of over $65K.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations, which requires more engineers for each drilling operation. Computer science and management information systems/business are the only non-engineering majors among the top-10 highest-paid at the bachelor’s-degree level.”

Getting the Job

Writing for InformationWeek, Kevin Casey offers advice for IT job seekers and employers in his article, which you can read here, “8 IT Trends You Can’t Ignore” , his tips on social media skills and specialization are worth sharing.

Be proactive! If you are a new graduate or are looking to make a job move than you will benefit from making the most of social media. Social media profiles may be low on your priority list, but their value keeps rising for employers who are in need of finding the right people with the right skills. Networking and keeping your profiles updated with your skills and experience will get the attention of employers who are looking for talented prospects. IT professionals tend to stay in their jobs, which makes sense since a recent survey from InformationWeek reveals that “more than 60% are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs overall”. Employers know that retaining talent is easier and better for the bottom line than having to search for and train new employees. Job openings are abundant and skilled professionals who are actively looking are scarce.

Specialization pays! Jobs as an architect, system architect, software engineer, project leader and systems programmer all pay over $100K. If you possess skills in any of these areas you can make yourself invaluable to an employer by specializing in them. Also, you want to stay competitive by keeping up to date with business trends and how technological applications meet the new needs of the market. Take advantage of training opportunities and keep current with market trends.

As an engineer you already have great income potential, but to be competitive and stay in demand you have to be willing to continuously educate and market yourself.


-Susan Mitchell