Top Paid Engineering Majors

Top-Paid Engineering Majors at the Bachelor's and Master's Levels

March 18, 2015

Petroleum engineers are expected to receive the highest average starting salary among Class of 2015 bachelor's degree engineering majors, and chemical engineering majors are projected to be the top engineering earners at the master's level, according to results of NACE's January 2015 Salary Survey.

Among the bachelor's graduates, petroleum engineers are projected to earn starting salaries that average more than $80,000. (See Figure 1.) Chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and systems engineering majors also are expected to receive top average salaries among engineering majors.

At the master's degree level, chemical engineering majors are expected to earn an average of $72,000. (See Figure 2.) Other top earners are projected to be majors in industrial/manufacturing engineering, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering.

Data contained in the report were obtained by surveying NACE employer members from August 11, 2014, through November 24, 2014. A total of 316 surveys were returned for a 30.4 percent response rate. An executive summary of the January 2015 Salary Survey report-the first salary report for the Class of 2015-is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-resources/salary-survey.aspx.
 

Figure 1: Top-paid engineering majors at the bachelor's level
Major
Average Starting Salary
Petroleum Engineering
$80,000
Chemical Engineering
$67,814
Electrical Engineering
$64,081
Systems Engineering
$63,604
Mechanical Engineering
$63,501
Materials Engineering/Science
$63,017
Computer Engineering
$62,553
Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering
$62,184
Nuclear Engineering
$61,778
Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering
$60,805

source: January 2015 Salary Survey National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Top-paid engineering majors at the master's level
Major
Average Starting Salary
Chemical Engineering
$72,362
Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering
$71,909
Electrical Engineering
$71,747
Biomedical Engineering
$71,600
Computer Engineering
$70,650
Mechanical Engineering
$70,161
Materials Engineering/Science
$70,128
Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering
$69,282
Engineering Technology
$67,255
Civil Engineering
$62,837

source: January 2015 Salary Survey National Association of Colleges and Employers