Engineering Jobs a Money Maker for Newly-Minted Grads

New data shows U.S. graduates working in engineering, computers and IT, and transportation earning big bucks.

New data shows U.S. graduates working in engineering, computers and IT, and transportation earning big bucks.

Considering a career in engineering? New research shows the field is among the highest paying with the salary for new engineering graduates averaging $97,000 a year.

Compiled by QR code generator QRFY, the report analyzed figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with the median salary for the newly credentialed in each field. The figures, as of September 2023, showed engineering, computer and information technology, and transportation yielding the highest paying jobs for new graduates, coming in at $97,000, $90,000, and $82,000, respectively. Graduates specializing in engineering technologies came in at $80,000, the research found.

With the average median wage across all industries at $63,000 for new graduates, those pursuing an engineering path earn on average 54% more than their counterparts, according to QRFY estimates. The analysis also revealed that 42% of individuals working in the engineering sector have advanced degrees and 22% come out with an electrical engineering major, which was proven to be the most popular engineering discipline.

Graduates specializing in engineering technologies were another standout in the QRFY analysis. Those following this track earn about 27% more than the average degree holder post-graduation, and here again, favor getting an advanced degree—an accomplishment achieved by a quarter of that demographic, according to QRFY’s analysis. Electrical engineering was another popular focus for this group, with EE majors making up 27% of graduates in this category.

ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers) did a similar analysis of recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in June 2023, which confirmed engineering as a high-paying career track. Those results, which cataloged the median annual salary of an ME at $96,310, found mechanical engineers as a group are earning more even as senior MEs retire and are replaced by the newly-minted graduates.

According to the BLS, the engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing sector has the highest concentration of mechanical engineers. More specifically, slightly more than 4,200 MEs make up 4.78% of the that industry’s employment, earning an annual mean wage of $103,000.

With mathematics and other science and engineering fields also scoring high on the salary scales, a QRFY spokesperson underscored the importance—and demand—for advanced STEM curriculum and education paths.

“With the majority of the top 10 industries in the rankings being math-based and science-based, it shows how it is most profitable for students to major in these subjects,” the spokesperson said. “Since last year, university tuition rates have risen by up to 5%, so it will be interesting to see if demand for these well-paying degree fields rises in line with increasing tuition costs.” 



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Beth Stackpole's avatar
Beth Stackpole

Beth Stackpole is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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