The Highest Paying Engineering Jobs in the USA 2024

An engineer working on a tech project on a computer


It’s worth fighting for your dreams. People, I know that for a fact. After many years of fascination with engineering, I took the plunge and went to college to get my degree. First of all, it will allow me to master my specialty better. Secondly, and no less importantly, I will be able to earn more money. While studying at a school for mechanical engineers, I started to think about the highest paying engineering jobs. The salary issue is one of the most interesting, isn’t it?

So, if you are interested, jump aboard. I’ll introduce you to the information I’ve found on this matter.

What Is Engineering, and Why Pursue an Engineer Career?

If you ask me what engineering is, I will answer that it is a way of thinking and a certain lifestyle. It is my favorite thing that I want to do every day. The best engineering field? In my opinion, it has always been mechanical engineering.

I’ve been in love with mechanical engineering since I was a kid. Even when I was very young, I would always help my father fix broken appliances, whether it was a toaster, my mother’s hair dryer, a vacuum cleaner, or our car engine. I was always by my father’s side when he was working and got excited when he let me replace or repair some of their parts. The older I got, the more I wanted to learn not only how to repair but also how to create something new. I realized that this is the best engineering career for me and that this is what I want to devote my life to. I chose the path of a mechanical engineer as a young kid.

However, engineering is about more than just working with different machines. This field has a breathtakingly wide range of career possibilities. Skilled engineers are involved in developing solutions to climate change, constructing infrastructure, improving healthcare, and even designing spacecraft. That is, the choice of specialty is enormous. I may be saying a trite thing you already know, but without engineers, our world would look completely different.

Now for some information about the aspect that interests everyone: how much do engineers make? Engineers can decently provide for their families, pay the bills, and put food on the table. For example, the salary of an aerospace engineer is almost $120,000. An engineering profession means financial stability. Highly skilled professionals are valued in any industry, but in engineering, it also translates into good money.

Why is a career in engineering a forward-thinking choice?

  • High salaries. Of course, the specific amounts vary depending on the specialty, but all engineering professions are relatively highly valued.
  • Job security. Engineers are in demand. As a highly qualified specialist, you will be able to find a decent job.
  • Versatility. Engineering includes a variety of different specializations. If you have a sharp mind and a desire to develop constantly, there is sure to be a field that matches your passions.
  • Problem solving. An engineer makes important decisions in many areas that affect the lives of ordinary people. If you want to give back to society, this is your chance to make a difference.
  • Innovation hub. Engineering is a supportive environment for innovation. It will allow you to push the boundaries of what is possible. You can leave your mark in an industry that is important to you.

If you’re looking for a meaningful and financially rewarding career, engineering offers a plethora of opportunities to choose from.

What Types of Engineering Degrees Are There?

If you are planning to become an engineer and have a successful career, you can’t do without an engineering degree. It opens that cherished door to a successful start and provides opportunities to move up the steep career ladder. There are different types of engineering degrees, depending on the industry where you want to improve your knowledge. Each is tailored to specific areas of engineering and has its particular engineering major.

Some of the most common examples include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. This degree provides the knowledge and skills needed to work with mechanical systems. It will help you get into machine design and thermal systems analysis, for example.
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering prepares future specialists for careers in the design and construction of infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, and buildings.
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. With this degree, you will gain in-depth knowledge of electrical systems and electronics. In the future, this will allow you to design electrical circuits and devices.
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. If you are passionate about computer science and electrical engineering and becoming a highly paid professional in this field, this is the right choice for you.

I didn’t name all of the engineering degrees because there are enough of them for a whole, separate article. However, whatever type of engineer you’d like to become, you can’t do without a diploma if you want to succeed. I realized this and decided to go to college. This way, I could get the deep knowledge I need, apply for a higher salary, and ask for a better position.

The Highest Paid Engineers in the USA

Now, I will introduce you to the highest paying jobs in engineering in the United States. I won’t tell you that I traveled around the country collecting information. No, I did a little research on platforms like Indeed.com, Zippia.com, Engineering.com, and Engineers.com. If you didn’t know, these sites can ease your job search as an engineer. In addition, they also publish interesting materials on various fields of engineering. In a nutshell, these websites are treasure troves of useful information.

The top 10 highest paying engineering jobs:

1. Data engineer

Average salary: $134,694

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 16%

Unemployment ratio: 1.88%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 13,652

A data engineer is the highest paid engineering job in the USA. They process and analyze information. In this era of widespread digitalization, such specialists are in high demand and receive excellent salaries. There’s a fairly low unemployment rate among them. Data engineering is a progressive field. It will continue to provide data engineers with sufficient workplaces in the next ten years.

2. Computer engineer

Average salary: $128,170

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 2%

Unemployment ratio: 1.59%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 5200

Computer engineers are on good terms with computer systems and technologies. These professionals work on creating new computer systems and improving the algorithms of existing ones. Their work is of extremely high responsibility and requires deep technical knowledge. This is one of the most high-paid engineering jobs.

3. Petroleum engineer

Average salary: $124,247

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 8%

Unemployment ratio: 1.77%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 2500

These engineers deal with oil and gas production. Of course, they do not actually extract it themselves. However, they are often present at the production sites. Their responsibilities cover inventing effective ways, including the necessary equipment, to extract these natural resources. They also keep records of the extracted materials.

4. Aerospace engineer

Average aerospace engineering salary: $122,270

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 8%

Unemployment ratio: 0.78%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 4500

An aerospace engineering job will give you the opportunity to design airplanes and spacecraft. As you may have guessed, this is a demanding profession that requires excellent knowledge of physics and aerodynamics. The good news is that the unemployment rate among aerospace engineers is less than 1%. Thus, if you’re dreaming about developing airplanes or spacecraft, you’re likely to find a workplace across the USA.

5. Nuclear engineer

Average nuclear engineer salary: $120,380

Projected workplace growth in ten years: -8%

Unemployment ratio: 1.77%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 1100

Nuclear scientists deal with extremely hazardous matter: nuclear energy. No wonder this is one of the highest paying engineering jobs in the US. They actively participate in the research and develop processes and tools for its use. Such specialists work to ensure that nuclear energy use is safe for people and the environment. Although this specialization promises high earnings, researchers do not predict a significant increase in jobs for nuclear engineers in the next ten years.

Infographic showing the US highest-paid engineering careers

6. Chemical engineer

Average salary: $105,550

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 1.57%

Unemployment ratio: 9%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 2400

A chemical engineering job requires in-depth knowledge of chemistry, physics, and biology. Such specialists improve existing methods of working with chemical compounds and develop new ones. They make sure that working with them is safe and efficient. Chemical engineers often monitor the production of chemical products on site, i.e., in factories and plants.

7. Electrical engineer

Average salary: $100,420

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 7%

Unemployment ratio: 1.23%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 13900

An electrical engineering job is related to devices and systems that use electricity or electromagnetic principles. Such work often involves being outdoors, which is a perk, don’t you think? This profession will give you good earnings and stable employment. The unemployment rate for these specialists is quite low.

8. Biomedical engineer

Average salary: $97,410

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 6%

Unemployment ratio: 2.14%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 1500

Biomedical engineers design and develop innovative medical devices, equipment, and systems. They work in close collaboration with medical professionals. The biomedical engineering job often involves researching and developing technologies to treat complex chronic diseases. If you are interested in working in a laboratory and the opportunity to influence the health of other people, you can become a biomedical engineer. In addition, it is a great opportunity to earn about $100,000 per year.

9. Mechanical engineer

Average salary: $95,300

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 7%

Unemployment ratio: 1.42%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 22900

A mechanical engineering job has been my dream job since childhood. What could be more exciting than designing new devices, figuring out how to improve existing ones, and watching the fruit of your labor literally come to life? Mechanical engineers are artists who make people’s lives easier and more comfortable for good pay. This is one of the highest paying engineering professions I like the most.

10. Civil engineer

Average salary: $88,050

Projected workplace growth in ten years: 8%

Unemployment ratio: 1.25%

Estimated number of job openings per year: 28300

A civil engineer designs, plans, and supervises the construction of roads, bridges, buildings, and water systems. A civil engineering job requires a strong knowledge of math and physics because they are responsible for the safety and efficiency of vital infrastructure. You will be glad to learn that this profession is extremely common, and it will be relatively easy to find a job with this specialization.

Top 5 Engineering Careers in Louisiana

I am devoted to the place where I was born. I’m one of those people who are very attached to their native land. Although I am considering moving elsewhere to get a job, I would still like to stay in my home state. Therefore, I searched for information about the highest paying engineering jobs in my state separately. I must admit that they are quite different from the national average. So, here is what I would like to share with you.

The top 5 high-paid engineering jobs in Louisiana include:

  1. Equipment engineer
  2. Facility engineer
  3. Tool engineer
  4. System design engineer
  5. Research and development engineer

Infographic shows the average engineer salary in Louisiana

The highest paying engineering job: Equipment engineer

Average salary in Louisiana: $135,465

Typical pay per hour in Louisiana: $65.13

The first position on our list is very much to my liking and is the highest paying engineer position in Louisiana. From the name, it is clear that they deal with various types of equipment. They make sure that all the gears and bearings are well maintained and serve their purpose. Such professionals often work in plants and factories, sometimes also in offices. The work of an equipment engineer is extremely important. They are responsible for using, repairing, and maintaining the machinery entrusted to them. Equipment engineers also make sure that machines are used in accordance with the safety standards and inspected on time.

Facility engineer

Average salary in Louisiana: $97,112

Typical pay per hour in Louisiana: $46.69

A facility engineer is one of the highest paying engineering professions in Louisiana. They are responsible for the smooth operation of various systems inside buildings. They make sure that heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and other systems function correctly and reliably. To do this, they oversee their condition, schedule maintenance, coordinate repairs, and develop ways to improve their overall performance. Facility engineers are also responsible for creating contingency plans for building systems during natural disasters and emergencies.

Tool engineer

Average salary in Louisiana: $93,325

Typical pay per hour in Louisiana: $44.87

One of the highest paid engineers in Louisiana is a tool engineer. The main part of their job is to create detailed technical drawings of various devices, vehicles, heavy equipment, or their parts. I believe they used to sit beside huge drafting boards with giant whatmans back in the day. Nowadays, they work at a computer and use special Computer-Aided (CAD) software. When planning a particular creation, they naturally take into account its ergonomics, efficiency, resistance to wear and tear, and, of course, safety. Therefore, in addition to creating blueprints, tool engineers also do profound research and many calculations.

System design engineer

Average salary in Louisiana: $92,661

Typical pay per hour in Louisiana: $44.55

The job of a system design engineer requires such hard skills as mastery of the latest computer technologies, critical thinking, and knowledge of important engineering principles. System design engineers develop detailed digital models of various systems. These specialists ensure that they are efficient, interoperable, and safe to use. The engineer’s work involves monitoring the systems they create and improving existing ones.

The highest paid engineering job: Research and development engineer

Average salary in Louisiana: $88,891

Typical pay per hour in Louisiana: $42.74

Engineering professionals who create and optimize new products and solutions for their company are called research and development engineers. They work tirelessly to keep their company ahead of the competition. R&D engineers are involved in a wide variety of fields, but everywhere they work, they make sure that the organization’s new products and services are adapted to market conditions and not only meet quality standards but also try to exceed them.

The Highest Paying Engineering Jobs: Bottom Line

As you may have already seen, engineering is an endless field for self-realization. Professional engineers are involved in almost all prominent industries imaginable, from manufacturing to medicine, building roads and bridges, and designing spacecraft. An equally important aspect of engineering careers is decent salaries and a wide range of jobs to suit every taste. So, follow your dreams, guys. I hope you’ll find an engineering job that you love!

*Disclaimer: All information is taken from open sources and may change over time. The site administration is not responsible for its reliability and relevance.

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Andy Andersson
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Andy is a Production Associate from Lafayette, Louisiana. Their hobbies include fishing and hunting. Their other passion belongs to mechanical engineering. He doesn’t have much to say about himself, since he prefers actions to small talk.
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