Leaning towards engineering as a potential career path? Great choice! Engineers change the world with their big ideas, and they often get paid extremely well for it, too. In fact, some of the highest-paid bachelor’s degree jobs are found in engineering, with many disciplines having salaries that exceed $100K per year on average.
Of course, money isn’t everything, which is why it’s also important to pick a branch of engineering that plays to your personality and strengths. To help you launch an exciting career, we’ve rounded up the best engineering jobs that have fantastic job prospects and high average starting salaries.
Related: How to Choose a Career
*Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
1. Chemical Engineer
Median Salary: $108,770 per year
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 4%
Chemical engineers use their knowledge of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to manipulate chemicals and make better products. You’ll find them working in a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing and petrochemicals to pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Although they typically spend most of their time in the office, chemical engineers will occasionally visit industrial plants and refineries. As a chemical engineering major, you’ll learn all about mass and energy transfer, economies of scale, plant design, and the dynamics of fluids.
2. Electrical Engineer
Median Salary: $101,250
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 3%
Want to feel like a wizard every day? Become an electrical engineer. Seriously though, designing and developing electrical systems is probably the closest thing anyone will ever get to real-life magic. From smartphones and computers to aircraft navigation systems and traffic lights, electrical engineers use electrical power to develop a diverse range of electronics and electrical systems. To succeed in this field, you’ll need to have a strong grasp on math and physics.
3. Industrial Engineer
Median Salary: $88,020
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 10%
In a nutshell, industrial engineers use math and engineering principles to develop and optimize efficiency at factories and plants. This engineering discipline is often described as the “business” side of engineering because it focuses heavily on finding ways to waste less money and materials without compromising safety. One of the perks of being an IE is that you can work in a diverse range of industries, from transportation and mining to agriculture and food production. From your smartphone to your coffee cup, every product has a lifecycle that can potentially be improved by an industrial engineer.
4. Biomedical Engineer
Median Salary: $91,410 per year
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 5%
Want to work in the field of medicine without going to medical school? Consider a career in biomedical engineering. Biomedical engineers spend their days researching and developing medical equipment, devices, and software programs that improve treatments for patients. For instance, you might develop artificial limbs or grow heart tissue in a lab. Some biomedical students choose to specialize in bioelectrics, which is a field that focuses on the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and plasma ions with cells. There are a lot of cool career options you could explore with this major.
Median Salary: $65,470 per year
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 4%
In a world driven by technology, cartography (mapmaking) can easily seem like an outdated profession. But surprisingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has cartography projected as a growing field. Modern cartographers have adapted to our digital world and are now heavily involved in map software development. Cartographers collect and interpret geological information to create maps. You can usually find these technical professionals working at architectural and engineering firms, tech companies, and all levels of government.
6. Software Engineer
Median Salary: $107,510 per year
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 22%
As far as salary and job security are concerned, software engineering is clearly one of the best engineering jobs you can get. Software engineers are in high demand in nearly every industry and make extremely good money. These computer science professionals use their knowledge of engineering principles and programming languages to develop and build computer software systems. Although many software engineer careers require a bachelor’s degree, some computer-savvy individuals get their start through engineering apprenticeships.
Sound interesting? Check out Tallo (hint: that’s us) to find apprenticeships that match your interests and skill set.
7. Petroleum Engineer
Median Salary: $137,720 per year
Job Outlook, 2019-29: 3%
Want a career with excellent job prospects in the next decade? A career in petroleum engineering is a sure bet. The United States is the top producer of oil in the world, which means more jobs for petroleum engineers. As a petroleum engineer, you’ll be involved in all phases of oil exploration, from finding oil and gas to designing methods of oil extraction. If you don’t mind frequent travel and uncertain working conditions, this could be an extremely lucrative and rewarding career.
A Career with Huge Rewards
A career in engineering can provide a good wage, high job satisfaction, and the chance to make a real impact on the world. If you’re still undecided on an engineering discipline, look for internships that will help you explore your passions. Once you narrow down your options, it’ll be easier to find the right specialization for your engineering career.
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