Engineering is known to be one of the toughest fields both academically and professionally. The blended application of science and math is used to design and build machines, structures, and systems. 

Individuals who want to make it big in this field are required to have analytical, tactical, critical, and problem-solving abilities – a prime reason why engineering jobs are highly paid. 

While Computer Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Civil Engineering are the most common specializations, students are gradually branching out and exploring newer but promising areas that fall under the umbrella of engineering. Some of which are Mechatronics, Genetic Engineering, and the Internet of Things.

Along with the rewarding pay, around 87 percent of professional engineers report “satisfied to very satisfied” with their job. So, it comes as no surprise when more and more students choose from the vast number of engineering fields available – in turn toughening the competition for those on the job hunt.

For someone who imagines their future as an engineer or simply a professional looking to switch specializations, here are some of the highest-paid engineering jobs in terms of potential growth and average income.

Petroleum Engineering:

Crude oil is one of the most sought-after substances that’s found in most sedimentary and some porous rocks. Petroleum and natural gas are substances that the world simply can’t live without. Its extraction and process of converting it to energy are highly useful – making this a desirable specialization area for many.

The average salary for the oil industry jobs is $80,940, with a projected growth of 8% – about as common as the average growth rate of all occupations.

Environmental Engineering:

The ever-growing concern of climate change has forced a lot of companies to work around solutions that are beneficial to both the environment and its people. Environmental engineers are often required to visit job sites, examine the earth’s materials and surrounding environment to develop efficient and lasting solutions to current problems. 

This career track is ideal for nature-loving and adventurous souls who don’t want to be tied down to a desk job.

Currently, the median salary for environmental engineers is $88,860, with job growth of 4% – slightly lower than average. Nevertheless, about 4,000 job openings are projected each year, making room for those truly invested in this area.

Electrical Engineering:

The average salary for an electrical engineer is reported at $92,000 per year. But, at the same time, those who are starting can easily find a job for just around $52,000, proving this to be one of the promising specializations of engineering. 

Electrical engineers are required to have clear-cut concepts about the physics and mathematics of electricity to apply them to create, design, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment that helps power the world.

However, the major and possibly only setback in these areas lies in their slow growth. With an estimated 7%, not many get a chance to utilize their skills in this area.

Chemical Engineering:

These areas of engineering make use of hard science in the design and operation of chemical plants and improve the production of compounds that are widely used in electronics, clothing, fuel, food, pharmaceuticals, and more. 

Chemical Engineers frequently work on large-scale projects that require a strong background in biology, chemistry, and physics. In addition, due to the intense research, it is common for a group of engineers to work towards a mutual objective or goal.

Chemical Engineers can expect to be paid around an average of $109,000, and although reports predict the market to be flat for the next few years, the job growth in related fields such as biomedical engineering and nanotechnology still have a rate of 9% – higher than the average growth rate.

Aerospace Engineering:

Aerospace Engineering overlaps two major branches: Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautical Engineering, which lead to the development of aircraft and spacecraft, allowing anyone with the technology and means to explore not only the world but space too.

The use of aerospace engineering in aircraft, spacecraft and missiles, requires precise designs, calculations, and successful test prototypes to avoid undesirable results, leaving no room for error.

Although listed as one of the highest-paid engineering jobs, pre-set designs and prototypes are usually enough to get the job done. Hence, this specific area of engineering is only expected to grow at a rate of 2% in the next few years. Still, the average starting pay is recorded to be around $60,000 or more for those interested. 

Computer Engineering:

This branch of areas has specializations within itself such as Computer and Information Systems Manager, Computer Hardware Engineers and Computer Network Architects. The highly technical field involves designing computer systems and the necessary components (circuits, boards, memory devices) and connections that keep them running. 

As the world continues to search for a convenient way to live, Computer Engineers are rewarded for making advancements and playing a huge part in this tech-savvy era.

With the average salaries lying between $112,000 – $146,300, this particular engineering field seems to be on the rise. 

Luckily for those interested in these areas, the current need and capacity to hire Computer Engineers are promising. 

Big Data Engineering:

Our technology-driven world relies on the constant processing and availability of data that are used in several – if not all – business sectors. From governmental and healthcare organizations to finance-related firms, big data provides significant business opportunities. 

Yet, all the amount of data in the world renders useless unless they’re structured in a comprehensible manner. A big data engineer is responsible for creating hardware and systems that interpret and utilize raw data to provide valuable information to the average user.

The annual median pay of big data engineers lies at $155,500, with an impressive job growth rate of nearly 50%. Listed as one of the fastest-growing jobs, big data is here to provide big opportunities for both fresh and experienced engineers.

As all good things come with a price, so does the field of engineering. To be considered for one of these high-paying jobs, you will need to build a strong portfolio consisting of the right credentials and experience. 

The occupation’s high-value and prestigious reputation transpires from years of studying and implementing difficult courses that prepare you for the technical skills, problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities required on-site. 

Yet, due to the dependency of hard science in every sector, a vast number of specializations, and opportunities available, the field of engineering ranks high in terms of popularity, job growth, and pay.