10 High-Paying Engineering Jobs in the US

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about the highest paying engineering jobs in the US, what is required, duties and responsibilities, salary information, and job outlook.

[Featured image] Two engineers in blue hard hats and neon vests work together on a construction site while looking at blueprints.

The engineering field is vast, covering disciplines from electrical engineering to construction to software engineering. This article will examine the highest-paying engineering jobs in the US and what qualifications are needed. You'll also discover job responsibilities, salaries, and job outlook for each position listed.

What is engineering?

The engineering field solves problems by using science and math principles and applying them to real-world issues. Engineers are responsible for defining a problem and using their technical skills to provide a solution. Common engineering fields include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and electrical engineering. However, this list is by no means exhaustive.

Read more: 6 Types of Engineering Degrees

10 high-paying engineering jobs

Engineers tend to be paid well compared to the average US employee, largely based on their technical expertise and required qualifications. Let's look at ten of the highest-paying jobs within the engineering field.

* All salary data was collected from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of October 2023, and job outlooks represent projected growth from 2022 to 2032 unless otherwise stated [1].

1. Computer hardware engineer

Median salary in the US: $132,260

Job outlook: 5 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer and information technology, or a related field; strong understanding of math, science, and computer programming

Computer engineering combines electrical engineering and computer science to design and build computer systems and hardware. While most of the work is related to engineering hardware, a computer hardware engineer must still be able to code to ensure their hardware works with the latest software. Many computer hardware engineers work for companies specializing in computer systems design, engineering firms' research and development (R&D) departments, and manufacturing companies specializing in semiconductors and other electronic components.

2. Software engineer

Average salary in the US: $124,200

Job outlook: 25 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer and information technology, engineering, mathematics, or a related field; a solid background in computer programming

Software engineers design and develop computer programs and applications. This could involve writing software to perform certain tasks. A software engineer should master at least one programming language, such as Java, Python, or C++. Many software engineers work for computer systems design firms, software publishers, manufacturing companies, or financial firms.

3. Chemical engineer

Average salary in the US: $106,260

Job outlook: 8 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering or a related field; practical experience through an internship or other program

Chemical engineers apply their knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, and math to solve problems and create new and economical products in a variety of industries. Common industries a chemical engineer may work in are food, fuel, pharmaceutical, petroleum, electronic, environmental, and consumer products. Most chemical engineers work in an office or laboratory setting.

4. Biomedical engineer

Average salary in the US:$99,550

Job outlook: 5 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, or a related engineering field

Biomedical engineers work to design equipment, devices, and computer systems and software. A biomedical engineer may work on prosthetic implants, artificial organs, and medical machines and equipment. Many biomedical engineers work in research and development, while others work in health care, manufacturing, or academia.

5. Petroleum engineer

Average salary in the US: $131,800

Job outlook: 2 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, or a related field

Petroleum engineers are responsible for designing and developing ways to extract oil and gas from offshore, below the earth’s surface. This could include designing drill equipment or determining the technique for extracting the oil. Petroleum engineers often work in an office setting or at a drilling site.

6. Electrical engineer

Average salary in the US: $104,610

Job outlook: 5 percent

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related engineering field, and practical experience from an internship or cooperative engineering programs

Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing electrical equipment. Many electrical engineers work in the communication, automotive, or aircraft industries. Electrical engineers could work in an office environment or at manufacturing sites. Common workplaces include research and development facilities, manufacturing, and engineering services.

7. Data engineer

Average salary in the US: $112,120

Job outlook: 8 percent

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, math, statistics, or similar field, and knowledge of programming languages

Data engineers are responsible for creating databases and organizing large sets of data in order to analyze them. They can work in any industry, as data analytics is essential to running any business. Data engineers typically work in an office setting, remotely, or in a hybrid situation.

8. Materials engineer

Average salary in the US: $100,140

Job outlook: 5 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field of study

Materials engineers develop and test materials to be used for products in a wide range of industries. They research the properties of different elements, such as metals and nanomaterials. Materials engineers must also ensure the materials they work with align with industry requirements for safety.

9. Industrial engineer

Average salary in the US: $96,350

Job outlook: 12 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, industrial engineering technologies, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, or a related field of study

Industrial engineers work to optimize processes related to the production of goods or materials. They oversee entire systems made up of machines, workers, processes, energy, and information.

10. Aerospace engineer

Average salary in the US: $126,880

Job outlook: 6 percent

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field

Aerospace engineers design, test, and develop prototypes for aerial machines like aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. They ensure that products are aligned with engineering principles, safety requirements, and environmental regulations.

How to obtain a high-paying engineering job

In order to become an engineer, you'll typically need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program in the respective engineering field. Many engineering students also complete at least one internship or cooperative experience in their field. These additional work experiences tend to set students apart when applying for their first engineering job. Some engineering jobs also require a master’s degree or a passing score on an additional exam, such as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

Advance your engineering career with Coursera

Degrees and certificate programs are an excellent way to gain knowledge and demonstrate your expertise. If you're unsure whether engineering is the right career path for you, you can try enrolling in a free online course like Introduction to Engineering Mechanics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Or, supplement your existing experience and start building your resume with a specialized certificate program like IBM's AI Engineering Professional Certificate.

Article sources

  1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/." Accessed October 11, 2023.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.