on October 19th, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

As engineers and technicians we tend to focus on the technical issues in the job and salaries are left behind.

Best Paying Engineering Degrees
Maria in our US office located an interesting document on engineering salaries in the USA in 2011 – produced by the respectable US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Admittedly, if you live in another country or Outer West Waziristan, this would probably be of minimal interest but there are some interesting comments which do apply to you wherever you are.

Engineering Technicians and Overtime
Although this presentation is focussed on engineering degree programs; presumably you can get an equivalent figure by discounting these numbers by 20% to get that for engineering technicians (unless overtime is involved in which case, the remuneration should be increased to be 20% more !). Civil engineers have been left out; but I would suggest they would be similar to mechanical engineers in terms of remuneration.

Top of the Wozza
Electrical, chemical and computer engineering are probably top spots.

In Summary

  • As you already know – Overall, engineering degrees are a good investment.
  • The devil is in the geographical detail. Jobs for particular engineering occupations change significantly from one town to another.
  • I would be dubious about whether achieving a higher degree such as a doctorate is going to suddenly jump start your salary.
  • As indicated in previous blogs – computer engineering show the greatest promise – esp. hooked into an existing area such as civil engineering or chemical engineering.
  • One has to be careful about outsourcing of jobs to China and India for example, as this can have an impact on salaries in specific areas – for example – mass produced goods and textiles.
  • Environmental engineering can only grow because of the vast amount of water use and waste produced.
  • Aerospace engineering can be somewhat challenging as most jobs are in large companies or government. However, there are some interesting growth areas with space exploration going private and construction of cheap remote-controlled aircraft for civilian use such as drones.

In the early 1700's, Benjamin Franklin wryly remarked: Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

Yours in engineering learning


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