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No surprise: Engineering graduates continue to reign supreme

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 1:44am
Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog

If you want a high-paying job upon graduation, choosing to major in engineering is a great choice -- for those that enjoy it and are able to meet the challenge. This data is for the USA. My guess is that similar results would show up in most locations, but I am just guessing. I don’t have any specific data.

The top average starting salary paid USA under-graduates by major:

major   2012 salary  
computer engineering   $70,400
chemical engineering   $66,400
computer science   $64,400
aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering   $64,000
mechanical engineering   $62,900
electrical/electronics and communications engineering   $62,300
civil engineering   $57,600
finance   $57,300
construction science/management   $56,600
information sciences and systems   $56,100

NACE salary survey

This continues a long term trend of engineering major being rewarded: Engineering Majors Hold 8 of Top 10 Highest Paid MajorsEngineering Again Dominates The Highest Paying College Degree ProgramsS&P 500 CEO’s: Engineers Stay at the TopCareer Prospect for Engineers Continues to Look Positive.

Overall starting salaries were up 3.4% to $44,455. Engineering major starting salaries increased 3.9%, to $61,913. Computer science is the 2nd highest paid broad major category at $59,221 (up 3.8%). Next is business at $53,900 (up 4.2%). At the bottom of both average pay and increase was humanities and social sciences with $36,988, up 2%.

The highest-paying industry for Class of 2012 graduates in this report is mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; employers in this industry offered starting salaries that averaged $59,400.

The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry also has the top-paying occupations for Class of 2012 graduates. Mechanical engineering graduates hired as petroleum, mining, and geological engineers received starting salaries that averaged $77,500.

As I have said before, I believe it is foolish to pursue a career in a field that doesn’t interest you. Pay doesn’t make up for doing something you don’t enjoy. But if you enjoy several things somewhat equally pay is worth paying attention to.

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