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Highest Paying Engineering Jobs in the US: Average to Highest

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2nd Jan, 2022
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Highest Paying Engineering Jobs in the US: Average to Highest

Engineers are professionals trained in the innovative process of inventing, designing, analyzing, and testing machines or complex systems/gadgets. They fulfill every functional objective of a system while keeping regulations and restrictions like cost viability, safety, practicality, etc., in mind. 

Engineering requires extensive use of science and mathematical skills, which have a significant role to play when finding solutions for technical problems and challenges. 

One of the core responsibilities of engineers is to be part of the building process so that the maximum efficiency level of the concerned product can be achieved for their customers. 

Right after graduation, aspirants start looking for entry-level engineering jobs, especially IT roles. It is considered as one of the most stable and sustainable jobs today, one that saw steady interest and demand despite the COVID pandemic. Not just this, engineering is also one such field that offers hefty salary packages and coveted benefits to employees at all levels. 

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If you’re job hunting, here’s listing the highest-paying engineering jobs in the US.

Nuclear Engineer

Average Base Salary: $90,422 per annum 

This branch of engineering mainly requires its employees to work on breaking down nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. In addition, nuclear engineers research and develop systems that are capable of harnessing energy from nuclear radiation. A big hazard for the professionals working in this field is the possible long-term or short-term after-effects that might occur due to accidental exposure to radiation from volatile chemicals. So, chemical engineers conduct their testing in simulated environments and carefully dispose of the radioactive waste in ways that don’t affect the environment.

Environmental Engineer 

Average Base Salary: $88.860 per annum

This branch of engineering deals with applying all the possible knowledge of science and engineering principles gained by the practitioners to better the environment. Their main goal is to provide healthier air, water, land, and other essential resources that ensure a healthy and safe habitat for human beings and other living beings. They focus on rehabilitating areas that have already been immensely polluted. They try to enhance all our existing recycling processes to get a more effective outcome. Their jobs entail researching these problems, issuing reports on them, and establishing permits to ensure that they reach all the concerned establishments located in the area in question. This is required so that environmental engineers can enforce and inspect periodically to check if all the decided guidelines or protocols are being followed and implemented appropriately. 

Materials Engineer 

Average Base Salary: $78,640 per annum

The engineers who work with different materials like metals, cement, ceramic, etc., to further create varied and more refined products are known as materials engineers. They test and build materials for a wide range of products, ranging from airplane supplies to biomedical devices. One of their primary goals is to make cost-effective products that are durable and sustainable. The process of going about it is studying the existing properties of concerned materials and trying to determine areas that could become more durable. Materials engineers primarily work in industrial laboratories, basically trying to manipulate the atomic structure of existing materials to produce a stronger and more enduring substance. 

Structural Engineer

Average Base Salary: $84,885 per annum

This branch of engineering majorly deals with the structural integrity and core strength of any building or structure. Structural engineers draw designs, make accurate calculations accordingly, and review the work of other engineers to write reviews and reports regarding construction sites. Along with other engineers, they must collaborate with architects and builders to build structures that can be used regularly in the real world. These structures may include buildings or other public properties like bridges and dams, for example. Some of the key responsibilities of a structural engineer are to design models of structures using suitable software programs, evaluate the reaction of different structures to high pressure, finalize the materials that are appropriate for specific construction structures, use technology systems aided by computers for simulation purposes, and determine the overall budget of the project.

Metallurgical Engineer

Average Base Salary: $74,748 per annum

This branch of engineering deals explicitly with the study of metals and how they can be safely transformed and used in various forms to make an array of products that ultimately will benefit humanity. Their job entails studying various alloys and their properties. This knowledge is in the constant requirement for planning different methods to purify the metals, ultimately creating more durable products. Every time a new metal or alloy is discovered, metallurgical engineers must research and document the possible health risks.

Marine Engineer

Average Base Salary: $80,169

This branch of engineering deals with matters related to designing, innovating, constructing, and maintaining vessels specifically made for the sea and other navigation equipment. They primarily focus on the development and production of internal systems of boats, ships, etc. A marine engineer is required to study the water conditions, which helps them identify potential threats and prepare for ways to manage such situations. These engineers conduct tests on various marine equipment in controlled environments before using them in real-world situations.

Software Engineer

Average Base Salary: $115,294 per annum

Software engineers systematically apply different engineering approaches to the development of software. They apply the principles of software engineering to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate different kinds of computer software, including business applications, network controls, games, or operating systems. When a particular software is invented, engineers must document the details of the system they have built, then test and launch it. Maintaining a regular quality check and upgrading the software when necessary is a crucial part of the job. This job requires heavy usage of software configuration management. This consists of systematically controlling changes to a configuration. It is of utmost importance to maintain the integrity and traceability of the configuration and code throughout the system’s entire life cycle.

Software engineering offers a broad spectrum of job opportunities, including backend engineers, frontend engineers, full-stack developers, cyber security analysts, data engineers, etc. 

Electrical Engineer

Average Base Salary: $90,935 per annum

This engineering field essentially deals with studying, designing, and applying equipment, devices, and systems that require electricity to run or have anything to do with electronics and electromagnetism. These engineers work in various industries. It may include developing electronic motors, radar, or navigation systems. Electrical engineers may also be involved in building and developing broadcasting systems, power generation equipment, or communication systems. Moreover, they are required to build the electrical systems of vehicles and aircraft. Electrical engineering can be divided into various small tributaries like radio-frequency engineering, electrochemistry, signal processing, etc.

Chemical Engineer

Average Base Salary: $82,008per annum

This is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering. It requires the combined usage of both the natural and chemical sciences like chemistry and physics. It also requires the basic knowledge of the life sciences or biology, economics, and mathematics. This helps design, produce, transform, transport, operate and manage the industrial processes that convert raw materials into usable and valuable products. Their job primarily entails the manufacturing and operating plants and machinery for performing large-scale industrial, chemical, biochemical, or other related processes. 

Biomedical Engineer

Average Base Salary: $83,627per annum

This branch of engineering deals with studying and applying engineering principles and methods to solve medical or biological problems. They are required to utilize the principles of engineering in developing tools for medical professionals that help them diagnose diseases faster and more effectively, ultimately advancing the field of medical science. Biomedical engineering focuses on improving human health and includes mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science. Their responsibilities entail furthering the known general research to lead to the more effective production of medical instruments while keeping up with the latest advancements in medical science. 


Engineering is a field with numerous tributaries. Given the suitable skill set and educational qualifications required for a particular engineering specialization, finding a job as an engineer in the United States of America is not difficult. The career options and average yearly salary enlisted above are among the most sought-after highest-paying engineering positions in the United States of America. 

Budding engineers that are looking for an excellent transitioning opportunity to transform their careers in the US, engineering is the field for them. Use this article to make your research more detailed and thorough. It will ultimately guide you in making smarter and more effective decisions regarding your career. 

If you are looking to pursue a high-end cyber security role in the engineering field, we recommend you to join the Advanced Certificate Program in Cyber Security from IIIT-B that is powered by upGrad and offers industry-relevant projects to help you build practical experience in the. 

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Karan Raturi

Blog Author
Karan Raturi is the General Manager of upGrad North America. He has also led various finance, strategy, and operations teams at Wayfair, Kurt Salmon, and IBM.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What should be expected in an engineering interview?

Interviews usually address where and how potential employees apply their engineering knowledge and skills. Engineers are evaluated based on their ability to solve hypothetical situations ranging from a degree project, ethics during the process of a particular project, or even extra-curricular activities.

2What are interviewers looking for in potential engineers?

It is of utmost importance for potential employees to convince their employer that their work can deliver exceptional results, that’s fundamental to the company’s improvement and benefit. They should carry the necessary technical skills, theoretical knowledge, and practical experience required for a job. Candidates should know how to showcase the skills and abilities that set them aside from the array of applicants.

3What is the average salary of an engineer in the US?

As per Indeed, the average engineer in the US earns a salary of $60,447 per annum.

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