Discover the engineering disciplines with the highest salaries


Discover the engineering disciplines with the highest salaries

Jun 13, 2019 · 7 minutes to read

If you are considering a career in engineering, the first step is to complete an accredited bachelor’s program in the specific branch you are interested in. Internship and licensure exams are the next steps to become a licensed professional. With more than five major disciplines and over forty sub-disciplines, there are endless options when it comes to specialization.

Many surveys reveal that in absolute terms, the highest median entry and mid-career salaries are all in the engineering spectrum. In particular, petroleum, chemical computer science, nuclear and aerospace engineering have a median salary that is very close to $100,000.

While engineering is one of the highest paid careers, it is not entirely without risks. As with other professions, engineers can be held liable for the sub-optimal quality of work, delays, negligence, or non-adherence to budget. Professional liability insurance is a must-have for engineers at both entry level and at a senior level to obtain maximum financial protection against lawsuits and claims.

Top Highest Paid Engineering Jobs – Role and Salary Estimates

Engineering is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of industries and applications. Combining science, technology, and mathematics, engineers offer creative solutions to the problems of the real world.  In the past, four major branches comprised the field of engineering. These were mechanical, civil, electrical, and chemical engineering.

Over time with the advent of technological innovations, environmental awareness, and big data, the number of engineering degree specializations have increased dramatically. Some of the major branches offered in colleges include mechanical, civil, chemical, mechanical, electrical, computer, environmental, biomedical, nuclear, aerospace, mining and metallurgy, architectural, geotechnical and petroleum engineering. Each of these major disciplines has hundreds of sub-categories of specialization.

The ever-expanding field is all set to witness increasing demand for qualified and licensed engineers. As per the BLS (Bureau of Labour Statistic) close to 140,000 new jobs are expected to become available for engineers in the decade between 2016 and 2026.

Engineering has emerged as the field with some of the highest salaries in the U.S. Glassdoor – a portal that offers employees an opportunity to anonymously review companies – surveyed close to 60,000 respondents to find out the average salaries based on years of experience across disciplines. It was found that the average salary for freshers and engineers with one year of experience was $67,368, while those with 4 to 6 years of experience earned $80,024 on an average. Seniors with 10 to 14 years of experience earned $95,239.

Glassdoor also compiled lists of 50 best jobs and 25 highest paying jobs in the U.S. for 2019 and found that 20 percent of the highest ranking jobs and close to 50 percent of the highest paying jobs were in the field of engineering.

1. Petroleum Engineers:  Petroleum engineering focuses on the evaluation of recoverable natural resources, analysis of the physical performance of water, oil and gas and on design and development of extraction tools and techniques. A bachelor’s program in petroleum engineering or general engineering with specialization in petroleum engineering is the first step to becoming a petroleum engineer. Licenses are acquired through professional exams while the Society of Petroleum Engineers also offers certifications. Although the salary depends on years of experience, qualification and the nature of roles and responsibilities, according to Glassdoor and PayScale, petroleum engineers earn a six-figure salary.

As per BLS data, a petroleum engineer’s estimated annual salary is between $99k and $196k each year with an average of $135k.  At the entry level, according to PayScale, the salary is to the tune of $94,000. At the supervisor level, recent estimates show the salary to be $237,784 while a junior technician or support staff earns $154,651. Salaries at the executive and top management levels range between $298,088 and $429,052. Texas, Alaska, Colorado, California, and Louisiana were the states which paid the highest salaries.

2. Nuclear Engineers: Nuclear engineers develop processes, systems, and instruments to leverage nuclear energy. Designing nuclear equipment, including reactor cores or radiation shielding instrumentation, overseeing maintenance and operation of nuclear power plants are just some of the areas where nuclear engineers work. A degree in general engineering or related fields followed by specialization in nuclear engineering and a professional license is the pathway to a career in the field.

According to A ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a nuclear engineer in the U.S. is $88,118 as of May 2019. PayScale lists the average salary as $85,330, although it could be anywhere between $67,000 and $118,000.

3. Chemical engineering:  Chemical engineers approach the problems in research, production or analysis of chemicals for commercial application. Combining the principles of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology, chemical engineers design and develop equipment and processes used in many industries including food, fuel, large scale manufacturing, pharmacy, and others. A four-year bachelor’s program in chemical engineering is the minimum requirement to enter the field. Licensing requirements and law vary in different states but obtaining a professional license brightens your job prospects apart from proving your competency.

As per the National Labour statistics, the median salary for chemical engineers is $68, 690 while the mean annual salary is $114,470.  According to Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter, the national average is $77,207 per year for chemical engineers. In 2018, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median pay was $104,910 per year.

4. Computer Science: Computer science is a broad term with many different specializations within the field such as systems analyst, hardware engineering, information security analyst, information system managers, software developer, and much more. Many computer science specialists work closely with other engineering experts and software teams to install, develop, or secure advanced software and computer systems. Software engineers also resolve any operational, security, or function issues with the software, computer systems, and internal computer networks. The BLS lists the median salary of a systems analyst as $88,740 per year while it could range between $58,800 and $112,600.  Entry into this field is possible through a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or allied fields.

5. Aerospace engineering: Aerospace engineers are involved with research and design of prototypes, missiles, aircraft, satellite, and spacecraft. A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or in general engineering with a specialization in aerospace is the first step to pursuing a career in this field. License is a must for employment apart from security clearance if you wish to be employed in the defence sector. The median pay for aerospace engineers is $115,220 per year according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. As per other estimates, the average salary for aerospace engineers ranges between 58,000 and $107,900.

In Summary

According to statistics from the Bureau of Labour, engineers enjoy a median wage of $91,010 with projected growth in the coming decade. With bright job prospects and emerging focus on innovation, it is quite evident that an engineering career is a smart choice for those who love and have the aptitude in mathematics and sciences. The options are multiple when it comes to choosing a discipline, with each of the engineering branch presenting its own set of unique opportunities and challenges. While the choice of discipline depends on your area of interest, salaries for almost all engineering disciplines are higher as compared to most other occupations. An essential aspect of pursuing a career in engineering is to secure your future with comprehensive professional liability insurance for engineers. Even when professionals exercise the utmost caution and diligence, mistakes tend to happen. At times, for reasons beyond your control, projects could miss the deadlines or exceed the agreed budget. Clients may also allege poor quality of work or negligence on your behalf.  Lawsuits and compensation can create a massive dent in your finances, making it difficult for you to get back on your feet in quick time. Engineer’s professional liability insurance is recommended for engineers at both entries, mid-career, and senior levels as clients also demand to see your liability insurance certificate before hiring you. The insurance protects against wide-ranging claims including mistakes, errors or omissions committed by your employee, inadequate or wrong execution of a project, carelessness and unfulfilled promises.


Compare quotes in minutes with no obligation to buy

Get Quotes

Compare quotes in minutes with no obligation to buy

More than 6,000 customers covered by top-rated insurers.

Get instant quotes
The process was fast and easy and the professional staff was very knowledgeable with any questions that I had and ready to help
06:40 31 Mar 22
Friendly agents. Timely replies. Fair pricing. This is a good fit for my business! Thank you, Noah, for all your help.
Beth Anne V.
19:27 28 Mar 22
They are awesome
Tony H.
00:41 07 Jan 22
Noa made sure I had all the information I needed for a first time business owner . He helped me understand what I needed to secure a quality policy and he was super helpful when explaining how the policy would serve its purpose to my company. I was very satisfied and had an Awesome experience, I think people like that make the company look good!
Wayleen O.
04:36 15 Oct 21
I was in need of WC, GL and PL coverages for my business and was able to shop, discuss, confirm and purchase all the coverages in two days! This was a great experience, especially when "Time is Money". Noah Bowman was very professional and knowledgeable. Thanks!
AmeriCreed 1.
15:42 23 Sep 21
19:49 09 Sep 21
Their representative clearly explained different kinds of policies to help me select the one appropriate for my needs and then helped me enroll by phone painlessly. By the end of the call, I had a policy in place.
Dissent D.
22:21 02 Sep 21
Eugene was Awesome!!!!
Lakesha G
17:19 21 Jul 21
Excellent solution for writers and authors professional liability policy as well as coverage for copyright and trademark infringement. Service was prompt and excellent.
18:22 22 Jun 21
Done in less than an hour!
William O.
00:30 02 Jun 21
Efficient, and great value. The agent was able to give us a quote and a new policy in a short period of time. Thank you
Brenda J.
20:30 24 May 21
I had a great experiencing obtaining several of my insurance needs as a landscaping company here in Northern Colorado. BizInsure's team took care of my needs and was very responsive to help with paperwork needed to secure a potential client account!
Arik S.
16:34 10 May 21
Very efficient they were able to help me out with my request promptly....highly recommend this companyI am very happy to have them
Elba P.
18:50 26 Apr 21
I need a help getting errors and omissions insurance along with general liability. Jose was very friendly informative and was very patient with me during the process. He found me some of the best rates for the coverage that I needed. Highly recommend
Casper M.
19:51 20 Apr 21
I had numerous conversations with several business insurance agents over a month's time. I also had several conversations confirming the policy inclusion/exclusions and asked many questions. My BizInsure agent was professional, knowledgeable and most important—detail oriented. Even after having an initial conversation a month earlier he knew and *remembered* all my personal/professional insurance needs. When I asked for additional information on the third call he was able to provide me with details very quickly. He was also VERY patient. That is a big plus in my opinion. It illustrated a high level of respect for my needs. I also found when I called back and asked to talk with the initial agent, the person who answered the call was able to get in contact quickly and my agent responded and returned the call within 5-10 minutes. The transaction was smooth, and I think it's a good sign should I ever need to make a claim. I highly recommend BizInsure.
Poetic F.
21:00 07 Apr 21
The rep was extremely helpful actually lowered my quote and made sure I was covered to fit my needs with my growing business! 5star!!
Franklin B.
19:04 16 Mar 21
Excellent service and prices.
Cassiopée V L.
23:13 09 Mar 21
Mr. Daniel Scott was very responsive to my professional needs.
Stephanie W.
17:38 18 Feb 21
Eugene deserves a raise! First time purchasing insurance and he made the process so simple for me. His patience and attention to detail left me feeling confident in my decision to choose BizInsure. Gracias Eugene!
Esined P.
23:32 17 Feb 21
The customer service provided by Jose was outstanding. He explained everything in a very clear/logical way and answered all of my questions. After providing all the information to obtain general liability insurance, Jose sent me the declaration page of the insurance for review. All of the information matched what I provided over the phone and there were no typos. The next day I called back to purchase the insurance which was easy and fast. Overall, my experience with BizInsure including the customer service by Jose exceeded my expectations.
Joe W.
03:29 12 Dec 20
Hiscox/BizInsure made getting Liability Insurance very easy and reasonable.I expected it to be a long and complicated process and it was a nice surprise that they made it so uncomplicated. Thank you. Lisa
Lisa W.
21:51 24 Nov 20
Eugene was incredible. I called 4 other brokers before him who were impossible to get any help.
rhonda H.
23:26 12 Nov 20
Very quick to get in touch with you and good with follow up. Had some trouble retrieving my quote to log into my account initially but Daniel assisted me and the changes were made to get me into my account. Great value for the money.
Fran S.
16:34 20 Sep 20
Very happy to be insured with this company. Professional, Timely, very helpful. Thank you Juan, you made it so much easier for me to understand.
Aileen D.
19:55 15 Sep 20
This company responded when I needed them to respond while facing a deadline. They are an excellent choice for business Insurance.
Michele H.
01:52 12 Sep 20
Jose Quintero took such great care of me and was very patient explained everything I did not understand and got me set up quickly. Fabulous customer service
Christina R.
02:41 27 Aug 20
I can't say enough good things about Daniel Santos kind and effective communication skills as an insurance agent. Daniel was so pleasant, friendly and efficient with helping me obtain insurance as a teacher. If I were to give Daniel a grade, he has earned an At . He made the process easy to understand, it was far easier than what I anticipated. Nancy S.
Nancy S.
00:47 26 Aug 20
I was in need of professional liability insurance for my sole proprietorship. A friend referred me. Everythng was quick and simple and AFFORDABLE!
hope J.
20:31 25 Aug 20
If you need Private Home Care Provider insurance for your company, BizInsure, LLC can get it for you!
Pamela C.
16:45 24 Aug 20
Great and fast service!!!! The representative was very professional!!!!
Tanya S.
19:51 14 Jul 20
I was tryi9ng to find commercial liability insurance for my new comp-any and BizInsure was easy to use and very affordable which is great for me as a new business.
Jimmy S.
19:01 14 Jul 20
Great service insurance prices are great for professionals looking to get insurance for businesses....
Rhonda G.
22:34 22 Jun 20
The provided very professional service and made the process easy.
Paul R.
21:51 04 Jun 20
Bradley Hoyle from the Biz Insure team was excellent to work with. Everything was quick and smooth. Great service, much appreciated!
Kristene S.
02:03 04 Jun 20
Anthony Spencer was great!! Very quick response time!! He was very Professional! I would suggest him because he helped me find a affordable rate and explained all the technicalities..
Fre H.
16:38 28 May 20
I was referred to Bizinsure by a industry trade group that I am a member of. It was easy to get a quote online and then received excellent customer service from Bradley H. to complete my policy purchase over the phone. I have shared this company information now with other business owners for their policy needs.
Dawn T.
22:11 08 May 20
This company was very precise with explaining services and made sure I chose the right business insurance coverage, great customer service at purchasing.
Nekeisha B.
01:30 05 May 20
Jasmine Q
14:31 02 Dec 19
Trish is the most patient, professional and understanding insurance agent I’ve ever worked with. Trish has taken care of all my business insurance needs for the last couple years. I am really happy that I found an insurance agent that I know will take care of me & all of my concerns. I feel like a valued customer & I appreciate the great customer service that I get every time!!THANK YOU!
Dr. Youssef C. A.
17:21 14 Nov 18
Tricia helped me get insurance for my business. The task of obtaining a quote was really starting to frustrate me until I was referred to BizInsure through a different agency. Tricia got me a quote fast, and even took a down payment over the phone and issued the proof of insurance the same day. a+ service, would do it again in a heartbeat!! Thank you!!
Josh M.
18:07 22 Jun 18
BizInsure was a great find! I did not have to fill out applications, and Tricia was able to quote and bind business insurance for me within half an hour.
Allison Y.
17:28 21 Jun 18
Started doing business again and needed a policy fast. Ramez was reasonable, helpful and the rates are OK. Buyer beware? Sure, for me it turned out OK this time. Worth a call.
Mark W.
23:42 13 Nov 17
Great customer service. I've been very inpressed with my dedicated representative that had helped me navegate my insurence needs. Thanks so much!
Graham B.
22:12 23 Jun 17

Popular Searches

Google Rating
Based on 68 reviews