How Much Do Engineers Typically Make?

Typical salaries for engineers vary by specialty, such as electrical, mechanical or environmental engineering. In addition, experience plays a role in earnings. Read on to learn about the salaries that various types of engineers typically earn. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

If you become an engineer, you'll use advanced mathematics and science to meet the needs of citizens and consumers. Through computer layouts and sketches, you could come up with the design plans needed to create machines, structures, technological devices or other products. You can choose from numerous specialties, including aerospace, chemical, biomedical, electrical, civil, environmental and mechanical engineering. How much you'll earn as an engineer depends on many factors, including your specialty and experience.

Important Facts About Engineers

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Strong mathematical foundation, ingenuity, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, clear communication, close listening
Work Environment Predominately full-time; but additional hours may be required
Similar Occupations Mathematicians; drafters; natural science managers; physicists; astronomers; landscape architects; surveyors; urban and regional planners; architects; electricians; biochemists; biophysicists; occupational health and safety specialists

Salary by Specialty

Your salary as an engineer can depend upon your chosen specialization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aerospace engineers earned one of the highest annual wages, taking in a median salary of $105,380 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Chemical engineers made a slightly lower median yearly income of $96,940, while civil engineers earned a median annual income of $82,050.

Biomedical engineers earned a median yearly income of $86,950, while electrical engineers made a median salary of $92,260 annually. Environmental engineers earned a median income of $83,360, while the median income for mechanical engineers was $83,060 per year, reported the BLS in May 2014.

Salary by Experience

PayScale.com listed entry-level engineering salaries by specialty in September 2014. Entry-level biomedical engineers earned a median wage of $60,836, while entry-level electrical engineers earned a median wage of $64,562. Entry-level median salaries were $62,019 for mechanical engineers, $55,595 for civil engineers, $66,819 for chemical engineers and $69,272 for aerospace engineers. While entry-level environmental engineers earned a median wage of $55,315, entry-level electrical engineers earned a median wage of $64,562.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that engineers overall are expected to experience job growth of 4% from 2014-2024. If you're looking for an expanding engineering field, you might want to consider environmental or biomedical engineering. Environmental engineering jobs are projected to increase by 12% from 2014-2024, while biomedical engineering positions are expected to undergo even faster growth of 23% during the same decade.

Civil engineers are expected to see faster-than-average job growth of 8% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Job growth for other types of engineers is expected to be slower than average. From 2014-2024, employment growth will be -2% for aerospace engineers, 2% for chemical engineers, 0% for electrical and electronics engineers and 5% for mechanical engineers.

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