25 Highest Paid Engineering Jobs in 2022
The best Engineering jobs have annual salaries up to $167,000.
If you’re looking for a challenging job that can help you earn a high salary, consider exploring engineering careers. As an engineer, you may work in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to medicine to agriculture. Moreover, engineering jobs are some of the highest-paying jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that engineers earn a median annual wage double that of the national median in the United States.
Before you can start your career in engineering, you’ll need to meet some qualifications. First, engineers must have a bachelor’s degree related to the field they want to specialize in. During your undergraduate education, you can focus your study on a particular area of engineering or keep things general. Either way, you’ll gain robust skills in math, science, and technology. In order to specialize even further, and to qualify for some of the highest-paying jobs, you may need to pursue an advanced degree in engineering where you can focus your studies and acquire high-level skills an employer wants to see.
Finding the best jobs in engineering for you depends on your interests. There are different types of jobs in this field. In aerospace engineering, for example, you’ll focus on designing, developing, and testing aircraft and spacecraft. If you love solving problems when it comes to process design, a career in industrial engineering might be right for you. The biggest engineering field, civil engineering, allows you to design, build, and supervise infrastructure projects. No matter which field of engineering you’re interested in pursuing, you’ll enjoy excellent employment growth over the next few years.
Highest Paid Engineering Jobs
Salary range: $72,500-$167,000 per year
Petroleum engineers design ways to extract materials from Earth to boost energy production. They utilize a variety of methods and technologies to devise ways to gather petroleum, oil, and gas.
Salary range: $105,500-$145,500 per year
As a big data software engineer, your primary responsibilities are to collect, store, process, and analyze large amounts of data. You then build what the software architects design. Your duties are to develop software and choose solutions to maintain, implement, and continue monitoring the data. You also need to integrate your code with the current company architecture. You may handle high scale distributed systems, build and interact with algorithms, and work in cloud computing environments.
Salary range: $96,000-$142,500 per year
The job duties of a data engineer involve helping with the development of systems, software, and infrastructure used to process, store and analyze data. Your responsibilities in this career include working to install data management software. Your employer may expect you to perform maintenance and install updates to all software and systems that they use for data acquisition, management, and analysis. Data engineers also analyze existing data systems to find ways to improve efficiency and accessibility. You then suggest upgrades or changes based on your assessment.
Salary range: $85,000-$130,000 per year
An aeronautical engineer works with aircraft and their propulsion systems. As an aeronautical engineer, your job is to design, develop, and implement new procedures and technologies for the creation and maintenance of aircraft components. Specific duties involve testing new designs and materials, assessing parts that were damaged or malfunctioned during flight, and collaborating with designers, pilots, and other engineers. You play an essential role in the aircraft manufacturing process. Aeronautical engineer positions are typically available with aircraft and aerospace manufacturers, government agencies, defense contractors, and aerospace engineering firms.
Salary range: $61,000-$124,000 per year
As a geological engineer, you find mineral deposits and other natural resources to extract. Your job duties include designing structures like mines and tunnels. You also inspect the geological conditions of mining sites to ensure safety. You’re responsible for implementing action plans to minimize the negative environmental impact of mining and exploration activities and leading proper erosion control, water maintenance, and waste disposal efforts.
Salary range: $79,000-$121,000 per year
Aerospace engineers manufacture and design aircraft, satellites, missiles, aeronautical and astronautical products and technologies for development, research, defense, and commercial use. They document and evaluate the production of aircraft and aircraft technologies, including commercial and military airplanes, propulsion systems, navigation systems, instrumentation, communication, and thermodynamic and aerodynamic materials used in flight. Aerospace engineers use highly complex computer systems and software to model, design, evaluate, and simulate parts, products, and vehicles in order to determine if proposals are financially feasible and whether designs will meet regulatory and safety standards. They confer with each other on large-scale projects that require group input, completing a multitude of tasks on a single project through the shared duties of many engineers.
Salary range: $80,000-$116,500 per year
Software engineers design, build, and maintain software systems for electronic devices. A software engineer may operate alone, but typically they spend their time collaborating with other engineers, scientists, and various specialists to come up with creative solutions.
On a day-to-day basis, software engineers operate as the creative brain behind electronic devices. They ensure active programs run smoothly and may recommend software updates for product optimization. In some cases, a software engineer may write or program code. Software engineers may also spend time troubleshooting and explaining programs to clients.
Salary range: $72,500-$108,000 per year
The role of a systems engineer varies based on the company they work for, but in every industry systems engineers use computerized systems to keep track of all the moving parts within their organizations. The term systems engineer usually refers to a computer systems engineer, which combines several disciplines to create, purchase, and install a computer system that suits the needs of each particular client. They will also work in a hands-on manner during the installation, acquisition, testing, and implementation phases of the project. Duties typically include making recommendations for scalability, troubleshooting any problems that arise during the use of the system, reviewing a company’s security requirements, and recommending security measures to allow the company to avoid compromising any sensitive data.
Salary range: $44,500-$107,500 per year
Industrial engineering is an engineering specialty that combines physical and social sciences with engineering principles. This field of engineering focuses on analyzing and optimizing manufacturing production processes to create more productive and profitable systems. Industrial engineers research a system’s current state, design improvement plans, and eliminate any waste of manpower, energy, money, and materials.
Salary range: $56,500-$103,000 per year
A biomedical engineer is an expert in the fields of medicine and biological sciences. They use their extensive knowledge base to develop different kinds of equipment and devices with the end goal of improving the effectiveness of patient care. Biomedical engineers are critical thinkers and analysts. Their time is spent brainstorming solutions to medical problems and designing new devices, such as diagnostic machinery and even equipment for artificial body part generation. It is the job of a biomedical engineer to maintain the equipment they develop and to train other clinicians on proper usage and upkeep. In addition to the hands-on aspect of this career, biomedical engineers also dedicate time to researching medical dilemmas, studying up on biological discoveries, and assisting in the development of new scientific advances. They collaborate with other engineers, chemists, and medical scientists to develop biomedical formulas and solutions to health-related issues. As discoveries are made, a biomedical engineer is responsible for documenting all research and findings, publishing reports, and presenting theories and solutions to the scientific community.
Salary range: $39,000-$102,000 per year
Computer hardware engineers design and test new computer hardware components, such as screens, motherboards, and memory. They may also work with products that include a computer system, such as cars, home entertainment components, and appliances that connect to the internet. Your responsibilities include creating design drawings and collaborating with manufacturers to ensure the devices are produced to specifications. You may also work with software developers to ensure compatibility. You must be able to read and design technical drawings and be able to communicate effectively with all participants in the project.
Salary range: $59,500-$99,500 per year
A computer engineer designs, researches, tests, and develops computer equipment and software such as circuit boards, chips, routers, and application programs. Computer engineers analyze complex equipment and systems to understand the best way to improve it. They create new types of information technology devices and use logic and reasoning to hone in on goals, test assumptions, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems. Engineers often work in teams and have to be able to communicate with other types of engineers, including non-technical team members. Computer engineers make sure that components fit together properly and function according to the latest software developments.
Salary range: $71,000-$99,000 per year
Electrical engineers design, test, and fix devices relating to electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. An electrical engineer builds virtually every tool in the world that produces, conducts, or operates by way of electricity. Electrical engineers handle the research, design, installation, and handover of new electrical equipment. They also run tests on new devices and solve problems on malfunctioning systems and components. Electrical engineers work with a wide range of electronic equipment, from tiny microchips to supercomputers up to massive power station generators. They have their hands on a myriad of electrical components during their work, including conductors, batteries, capacitors, coils, magnets, transistors, and switches.
Salary range: $72,000-$98,500 per year
As a materials engineer, you develop, test, and process new materials. You may create new types of plastic, metal, or ceramic materials for use in various applications. You work with nanomaterials and other unusual substances to create products that meet specific chemical, electrical, or mechanical requirements. Depending on the company's needs and the status of a material's development, you typically work in a laboratory or an office setting. Many potential materials are modeled on computers before attempting manufacture, so familiarity with design software is paramount.
Salary range: $46,500-$95,000 per year
Agricultural engineering is the design of equipment, structures, and farming systems for agricultural industries. As an agricultural engineer, your responsibilities may include the design of everything, from new harvesting tools, to grain storage facilities, to aquaculture systems. These duties include extensive use of CAD design software. You are also expected to manage agriculture projects. In some cases, agricultural engineers work with a team to ensure they complete projects on time. In addition, you must be able to resolve problems related to food production or equipment failure.
Salary range: $63,000-$94,000 per year
Chemical engineers design and develop manufacturing processes for various chemicals. They can work in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, food processing, environmental health, health care, and design and construction. In this job, you can expect to research new methods for manufacturing chemicals, create these processes, estimate the cost of production, and draft and implement related safety procedures to ensure the well-being of employees who will work with those chemicals.
Salary range: $62,500-$93,000 per year
Environmental engineers research and develop systems and solutions to environmental problems. They have backgrounds in soil science, chemistry, biology, and engineering, which they apply to the production of architectural systems that address air pollution, water conservation, recycling, sustainability, and public health.
Salary range: $72,000-$91,000 per year
A marine engineer works to ensure the smooth operation of a ship or other water vessel like a ferry, submarine, or cargo ship, by inspecting and performing maintenance on propulsion systems, engines, and other systems powering the vessel. You may also design and build these systems. You can choose to specialize in one area such as boat engines. In this job, your duties may include performing maintenance work on boats or designing propulsion systems with CAD software on a computer. Communication skills are crucial, as you are constantly discussing needs and expectations with your clients. Additional responsibilities include keeping a timeline and budget, ensuring that your projects stay on track.
Salary range: $63,000-$90,500 per year
Architects are licensed professionals who design buildings. It is the job of an architect to oversee the development of a project from its initial vision to completed construction. They must adhere to building codes and safety regulations, while simultaneously satisfying the expectations of the clients who contract them. Architects touch every aspect of a building. They meet with clients to assess all fundamental requirements and restrictions for the project, and afterward create and draw up the initial concept and design. These proposed plans will include every detail of the building, from structural design to electrical systems to exterior aesthetics. There may be several iterations between an architect and a client before the final design is solidified.Once the plan is set, an architect often assists the client with acquiring a construction crew, and may even frequent the building site of that project to ensure that timelines and quality standards are being met. Throughout a project, an architect is instrumental in the selection of the building site, cost analysis prep and budgeting plans, and mediation between the construction crew and the client. It is the responsibility of the architect to make sure that everything runs smoothly and the vision is carried out correctly and efficiently.
Salary range: $64,000-$90,000 per year
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest genres in the engineering industry. Specific job duties vary, depending on the kind of company and assigned project. In general, mechanical engineers spend their time researching, designing, developing, building, testing, and inspecting mechanical devices. These devices may include engines, tools, thermal sensors, and large machinery apparatus. On a daily basis, a mechanical engineer may spend time analyzing mechanical and thermal devices, troubleshooting problems, determining solutions, and completing repairs. They also develop and test technical and mechanical prototypes of new designs and devices. A mechanical engineer may work on moving devices such as escalators, elevators, conveyor systems, and automated transfer stations.
Salary range: $65,000-$89,500 per year
Civil engineers design and plan massive infrastructure projects, including roadways and airports. Other large-scale construction projects that they may oversee, include buildings, tunnels, bridges, dams, and sewage treatment and water supply systems. They have to assess the feasibility of plans in regards to safety concerns and financial costs, and they often work directly with regional and urban planners. Ultimately, civil engineers are charged with managing the design and implementation of the infrastructure for a project. They lead construction managers, civil engineering technicians, surveyors, and other professionals to execute their plans and ensure that projects comply with regulations. As a subset of civil engineering, geotechnical engineers investigate and analyze what lies beneath the earth’s surface.
Salary range: $47,000-$85,000 per year
Cartographers gather and analyze geographical data to produce maps. Utilizing remote sensing systems, cartographers work in the office and out in the field to examine aerial and satellite images to verify the accuracy of current mapping and create new maps for educational, business, or other purposes. Cartographers may also measure and analyze population density and weather patterns of various regions. Government agencies, engineering firms, and architectural companies typically utilize cartographers in a variety of projects.
Salary range: $56,500-$80,000 per year
As a nuclear engineer, you work in a nuclear power facility or research facility to design instruments and processes that make it easier to draw energy from nuclear material. You may also come up with new reactor designs that use different types of materials. A nuclear engineer does not always work on equipment for power plants; sometimes you work to create technology like new medical measuring devices. A nuclear engineer can also work on propulsion systems like those in nuclear-powered military vessels.
Salary range: $39,000-$77,000 per year
An environmental engineering technician works to implement the technology created by environmental engineers. Whereas the engineer designs the plans of equipment used for assessing pollution, an environmental engineering technician tests how well the instruments work. In this role, your job duties include using equipment to clean up environmental pollution, performing air quality inspections, and collecting soil, air, and water samples for lab analysis. The preferred qualifications to begin a career as an environmental engineering technician include a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or science, experience working with a variety of field instruments, specific industry certifications, and excellent communication skills.
Salary range: $59,500-$73,000 per year
Automotive engineers design, develop, and test the mechanical components and subsystems of vehicles. As an automotive engineer, you may be asked to create engineering specifications, conduct design reviews, provide technical direction to other staff, modify existing parts in a lab, or perform various analyses. In some cases, automotive engineers perform emergency tests and checks to search for manufacturing defects and decide whether or not a recall should be ordered.
3,157+ Engineering Jobs in the Ashburn, VA area
Get new jobs emailed to you daily