Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs & Careers 2024 (Inc Salaries) 

Mark Talmage-Rostron
February 19, 2024 · 15 min read

Explore the best-paying engineering jobs. From Aeronautical to Nuclear Engineering, explore lucrative paths shaping innovation and technology.

Engineering is essential for shaping the world we live in by providing innovative solutions to complex challenges. It serves as the backbone of technological advancements across various industries, improving the quality of life for people globally. 

From developing sustainable energy solutions and designing life-saving medical technologies to constructing resilient infrastructure and pushing the boundaries of exploration into space, engineering is fundamental in addressing societal needs, fostering economic growth, and paving the way for a brighter, more interconnected future. Its impact extends far beyond technical achievements, influencing every aspect of human existence and ensuring continual innovation and progress for generations to come.

That said, engineering needs engineers and these highly skilled individuals such as a Computer Hardware Engineer, Industrial Engineer, and Computer Engineer, Materials Engineers, amongst others, are able to apply scientific knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills to design, create, and maintain infrastructure, devices, systems, and processes that drive progress. According to the bureau of labor statistics, all degreed engineers earn an extremely competitive median salary with great prospects for job growth. 

With that being said, let's dive into the highest-paying engineering jobs in 2024 and beyond.

Best Paying Engineering Jobs & Careers 2024 (Inc Salaries) - Top 10

1. Aeronautical Engineer

An Aeronautical Engineer is a professional who specializes in the design, development, testing, and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, and related systems. They apply principles of science, mathematics, and engineering to create and improve various flying machines, including airplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites, and spacecraft. Typically, Aeronautical Engineers work on different aspects of aircraft design, such as aerodynamics, propulsion systems, materials, structures, avionics, and control systems, and aim to optimize performance, enhance safety, reduce environmental impact, and ensure the reliability and efficiency of aerospace vehicles. Their work often involves research, analysis, computer-aided design (CAD), and testing to develop innovative solutions that advance aviation and space exploration technologies.

Becoming an Aeronautical Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering or a related field such as mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace. Some universities offer specialized programs in aeronautical engineering that cover aerodynamics, aircraft structures, propulsion systems, control systems, and more. A strong foundation in mathematics, physics, and engineering principles. Gain proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, programming languages, and relevant analytical tools used in aerospace engineering. Or, obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in aerospace engineering or a specialized field within aeronautics, which can enhance career prospects, especially for research or higher-level positions.

The average annual salary for an Aeronautical Engineer in the US is $101,705 and it is one of the high paying engineering jobs in 2024. 

2. Chemical Engineer 

A Chemical Engineer is a professional who applies principles of chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics to solve problems related to the production and use of chemicals, materials, energy, and various processes. They work in chemical engineering or a related field across a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, energy production, environmental conservation, materials science, and more, and their work is crucial in advancing technology, improving products, and addressing global challenges related to energy, environment, health, and materials.

Becoming a Chemical Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from an accredited university or college. The curriculum usually includes courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering principles. Developing a proficiency in scientific principles, laboratory techniques, and computer skills, including modeling and simulation software. Obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in chemical engineering or a specialized field within chemical engineering, which can enhance career prospects, especially for research, advanced development, or teaching positions. Or, obtaining professional certifications or licenses that may be beneficial or even required for certain roles in chemical engineering.

The average annual salary for a Chemical Engineer in the US is $95,807 and is in the top ten list of highest paying engineering jobs in 2024.

3. Mechanical Engineer 

A Mechanical Engineer is a professional who applies principles of physics, mathematics, and materials science to design, analyze, develop, and maintain mechanical systems and devices for amongst others, manufacturing companies. They work across a wide range of industries, contributing to the creation and improvement of various machines, tools, and mechanical systems used in almost every aspect of modern life, and their expertise is fundamental in designing, creating, and maintaining the physical systems and machinery that power industries and drive technological advancements in society.

Becoming a Mechanical Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited university or college. The curriculum usually covers mathematics, physics, engineering principles, mechanics, thermodynamics, materials science, and design. Developing a proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, mathematics, and understanding of mechanical systems and principles. Or, obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, which can provide more specialized knowledge and open opportunities for advanced research, teaching, or higher-level positions. Additionally, obtaining certifications in specialized areas of mechanical engineering can enhance career prospects. 

The average annual salary for a Mechanical Engineer in the US is $91,889. and is in the top list of the highest paying engineering jobs. 

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4. Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers are professionals who apply principles of engineering, biology, and medicine to develop solutions that improve healthcare, medical treatments, and diagnostic technologies. They work at the intersection of engineering and the life sciences, using their expertise to design, create, and improve medical devices, equipment, and systems, and their work contributes to the development of innovative solutions that positively impact the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients.

Becoming a Biomedical Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from an accredited university or college. Alternatively, you can major in a related field like bioengineering, biological sciences, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering with a focus on biomedical applications. Developing strong analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. Gaining proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD), programming languages, laboratory techniques, and familiarity with medical equipment and technology. Obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in biomedical engineering or a specialized field within biomedical engineering, which can provide more in-depth knowledge, research opportunities, and open doors for advanced positions or academia. Or, consider obtaining certifications relevant to specific areas within biomedical engineering to enhance career prospects.

The average annual salary for a Biomedical Engineer in the US is $82,993.

highest paying electric engineering jobs and careers

5. Electrical Engineer

An Electrical Engineer is a professional who specializes in the study, design, development, and maintenance of electrical systems and devices. They work with electrical equipment and systems across various industries, contributing to the generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization of electrical power, and their work contributes significantly to various fields, including power generation, transportation, telecommunications, healthcare, consumer electronics, and many more, shaping the modern world with technological advancements.

Becoming an Electrical Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from an accredited university or college. The program typically includes courses in mathematics, physics, circuits, electronics, electromagnetism, signal processing, and other core electrical engineering subjects. Gaining proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD), programming languages (such as C++, Python), and familiarity with electrical engineering software and tools. Obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in electrical engineering, which can provide more specialized knowledge, research opportunities, and open doors for advanced positions or academia. Or, consider obtaining certifications relevant to specific areas within electrical engineering to enhance career prospects.

The average annual salary for an Electrical Engineer in the US is $97,188 and is one of the engineering jobs with the highest pay.

6. Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are professionals responsible for designing, constructing, maintaining, and managing infrastructure projects that benefit society. They play a crucial role in planning, designing, and overseeing the construction of various structures and systems that people rely on daily, and their work significantly impacts communities by improving living standards, providing essential services, and contributing to economic development and environmental sustainability.

Becoming a Civil Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in civil engineering from an accredited university or college. The curriculum usually covers mathematics, physics, engineering principles, structural analysis, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, and construction management. Gaining a proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, engineering software, and familiarity with relevant codes and regulations. Obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in civil engineering or a specialized field within civil engineering, which can provide more specialized knowledge and open opportunities for advanced positions or research roles. Or, considering obtaining certifications relevant to specific areas within civil engineering to enhance career prospects. 

The average annual salary for a Civil Engineer in the US is $89,447

7. Petroleum Engineer

A Petroleum Engineer is a professional involved in the exploration, extraction, production, and management of oil and gas resources from underground reservoirs. They apply engineering principles and specialized knowledge to optimize the extraction of oil and natural gas from beneath the Earth's surface, and their work is crucial in the oil and gas industry, playing a significant role in meeting global energy demands and ensuring the efficient extraction of hydrocarbon resources.

Becoming a Petroleum Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from an accredited university or college. The curriculum typically includes courses in mathematics, physics, geology, reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, production engineering, and other petroleum engineering-specific subjects. Gaining proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD), reservoir simulation software, and other engineering tools used in the oil and gas industry. Obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in petroleum engineering or a related field can provide more specialized knowledge and open doors for advanced positions or research roles. Or, considering obtaining certifications relevant to the oil and gas industry to enhance career prospects.

The average annual salary for a Petroleum Engineer in the US is $128,275 and is one of the highest-paying engineering jobs.

highest paid robotics engineering jobs and careers

8. Robotics Engineer

A Robotics Engineer is a specialized professional involved in the design, development, programming, and maintenance of robots and robotic systems. They work at the intersection of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence to create intelligent machines capable of performing tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously, and their work is instrumental in advancing technology, automating processes, and creating innovative solutions to improve efficiency, safety, and productivity in various domains.

Becoming a Robotics Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as robotics engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or a related discipline. The curriculum should cover topics like robotics, control systems, computer programming, artificial intelligence, and mathematics. Developing strong programming skills in languages commonly used in robotics, such as Python, C++, or MATLAB. Acquire knowledge in areas like control theory, machine learning, computer vision, sensor integration, and mechatronics. Or. obtaining a master's or Ph.D. degree in robotics or a specialized area within robotics, as advanced degrees can provide deeper knowledge, research opportunities, and open doors to advanced positions or academia.

The average annual salary for a Robotics Engineer in the US is $107,629 and is one of the highest paying engineering jobs and these people are sought after across many engineering firms. 

9. Data Engineer

A Data Engineer is a professional responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining the architecture of data systems. They focus on the development and implementation of data pipelines, databases, and large-scale processing systems to collect, store, process, and manage data efficiently and effectively. Their work plays a crucial role in the data lifecycle, facilitating the collection, processing, and storage of data that forms the foundation for analytics, business intelligence, machine learning, and other data-driven applications across various industries.

Becoming a Data Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as computer science, information technology, software engineering, mathematics, or a related discipline. Coursework in databases, programming, data structures, and algorithms is beneficial. Developing strong programming skills in languages commonly used in data engineering, such as Python, SQL, Java, or Scala. Gain proficiency in database technologies (e.g., SQL databases like PostgreSQL, NoSQL databases like MongoDB), big data technologies (e.g., Hadoop, Spark), and data processing frameworks. Obtaining a master's degree or certifications in data engineering, big data technologies, or related fields to deepen your knowledge and expertise. Or, gaining experience with data engineering tools and platforms such as Apache Kafka, Apache Airflow, AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, which are commonly used in data engineering environments.

The average annual salary for a Data Engineer in the US is $126,305. and is one of the most completive engineer salary.

10. Nuclear Engineer

A Nuclear Engineer is a specialized professional who works with nuclear energy and radiation. They are involved in the design, development, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors, and other systems related to nuclear energy, and their work is essential in advancing nuclear technology, ensuring safe and efficient power generation, and contributing to the exploration of alternative energy sources.

Becoming a Nuclear Engineer takes a combination of skills and education but typically you will require: A bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering or a related field such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or physics with a focus on nuclear applications. The curriculum should cover nuclear physics, reactor design, radiation protection, thermodynamics, and other nuclear engineering-specific subjects. Developing strong analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. Gaining proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD), nuclear reactor simulation software, and familiarity with nuclear engineering principles. Or, obtaining a master's or Ph.D. in nuclear engineering or a specialized field within nuclear engineering, which can provide more in-depth knowledge, research opportunities, and open doors for advanced positions or research roles.

The average annual salary for a Nuclear Engineer in the US is $255,394 and it is the highest paying engineering jobs of 2024.


Conclusion 

Getting a job in engineering offers a myriad of advantages and opportunities. It offers a diverse range of specializations across various industries, from designing innovative technologies to creating sustainable infrastructure.

Engineering is one of those industries where the roles often come with competitive salaries, potential for career growth, and job stability due to the continuous demand for technical expertise. Moreover, engineers play a pivotal role in shaping the future by developing cutting-edge technologies, contributing to advancements in science and technology, and making significant impacts on society's progress and well-being. Plus, the field offers a rewarding and fulfilling career path that allows individuals to make a tangible difference in the world.

If you are looking to make your mark in engineering and enjoy the trappings of a top annual wage, there are many ways to get there. To land one of the varied high paying jobs such as electrical engineering and computer science, it would be best to consider job outlook, on the job training, gaining certificates, or obtaining either a BBA or an MBA degree from an internationally-recognized university such as Nexford

To make sure that you get the soft skills and hard skills needed to start and build a lucrative career in Engineering, download our free skills report today!


FAQs

What are the highest paying engineering jobs in demand for the future?

As of January 2024, several engineering occupations have shown high demand and potential for lucrative careers in the future due to technological advancements and societal needs and these include: Aeronautical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Petroleum Engineers, Robotics Engineers, Data Engineer, and Nuclear Engineer. 

What are the most in-demand skills needed to get into a high paying engineering career?

Several key skills are highly sought after in the engineering field to become an engineer and secure high-paying careers, but experts and job sites maintain that the top ones are: Mastering strong programming skills for software engineers, proficiency in CAD software for mechanical engineers, or developing expertise in specific tools for data engineers. The ability to analyze complex problems, thinking critically, and being able to develop innovative solutions. Adapting to new tools, technologies, and methodologies. Being able to effectively communicate, both written and verbal. Being able to collaborate, share ideas, and work effectively in a team environment. Have top-drawer analytical and data interpretation skills.

Proficiency in project management, including planning, organization, budgeting, and resource management. Acquiring domain-specific knowledge relevant to the industry. And last but not least, problem-solving, creativity, leadership, and adaptability to be able to cope in an ever changing landscape such as geological engineering and marine engineering.

What are some high-paying engineering jobs you can get without a degree?

In many cases, obtaining a degree is essential to access high-paying engineering jobs due to the specialized knowledge and skills required in these fields. However, there are some engineering-related roles or positions that may not explicitly require a traditional four-year engineering degree but might still offer competitive salaries, and they are: A certified Engineering Technician, Drafters and Designers, Construction Managers, Building Inspectors, and Sales Engineers. Additionally, hands-on experience, continuous learning, and specialization in certain niche areas within engineering-related fields can also lead to high-paying opportunities even without a formal degree.

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How can I improve my chances of getting a high-paying job in engineering?

Improving your chances of securing a high-paying job in engineering involves a combination of strategic planning, skill development, networking, continuous learning, and enrolling in engineering schools.

Here are some steps to enhance your prospects: Obtain a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution. Focus on acquiring specialized technical skills relevant to your field of interest. Stay updated with the latest tools, technologies, and methodologies through certifications, workshops, or additional coursework. Seek internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions to gain hands-on experience. Showcase your projects, internships, research work, or any relevant experience through a well-organized portfolio. Highlight achievements, technical skills, and problem-solving abilities. Build a professional network by attending industry events, career fairs, joining engineering associations, and connecting with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. Stay updated with industry trends, advancements, and emerging technologies. And, consider pursuing advanced degrees, certifications, or specialized training to broaden your skill set and stay competitive.

Is a degree really necessary to get the best paying engineering job?

In many cases, having a degree significantly improves your prospects of securing the best-paying engineering jobs. A bachelor's degree in an engineering or a related field provides a strong foundation in technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and theoretical understanding necessary for engineering roles. However, there might be exceptional cases where individuals without certain engineering degrees have secured high-paying engineering positions.

Some people have gained extensive experience, specialized skills, and certifications through alternative paths such as vocational training, self-study, or gaining hands-on experience in specific technical domains. These individuals might have proven their expertise through practical applications, projects, certifications, or portfolios, making them attractive to certain employers. Nevertheless, it's essential to note that while some roles might not explicitly require a degree, having one generally opens doors to a wider range of opportunities. Many employers prioritize candidates with formal education due to the comprehensive learning, structured curriculum, and the development of critical thinking skills offered by a degree program.

Ultimately, while a degree might not always be a strict requirement, it can significantly enhance your chances of landing the best-paying engineering jobs. It provides a structured learning environment, a comprehensive understanding of engineering principles, and credibility that can boost your career prospects in the competitive engineering field. It is one of these highest paying industries around provided you have a sound knowledge of engineering of course. 


To make sure that you get the soft skills and hard skills needed to start and build a lucrative career in Engineering, download our free skills report today!

About the author
Mark Talmage-Rostron
Mark Talmage-Rostron

Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.

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