Engineering Graduates Make Top 10 Highest Starting Salaries List

By IChemE

May 15, 2013

Engineering graduates in the U.S. continue to dominate the list of starting salaries, according to a survey published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Engineers took seven of the top 10 spots in NACE's April survey, which is based on data from 400,000 U.S. employers. According to the survey, petroleum engineers earn the most with an average starting salary of $93,500. Chemical engineering graduates are ranked third, after computer engineers, with a starting salary of $67,600.

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Engineering starting salaries in the U.S. increased by 4% ($62,535). Leading non-engineering disciplines included computer science, earning an average of $64,800 and finance, earning an average of $57,400.

In the U.K., chemical engineering graduates hold similarly high starting salaries. The Institution of Chemical Engineers' (IChemE) annual salary survey, published in July 2012, indicated graduates typically could expect to earn $43,400 in their first year.

"This latest data shows the high regard and status of engineering and chemical engineering in the U.S.," said David Brown, chief executive for IChemE. "This appeal is reflected in the U.K. as well. Record numbers of students are enrolling on IChemE degree courses. Over the past decade, student intake numbers have grown by 134%, driven by the remuneration and job satisfaction of a discipline that brings huge benefits to everyday life."

Top 10 Majors Starting Salaries in the U.S.:

  1. Petroleum Engineering: $93,500
  2. Computer Engineering: $71,700
  3. Chemical Engineering: $67,600
  4. Computer Science: $64,800
  5. Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: $64,400
  6. Mechanical Engineering: $64,000
  7. Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering: $63,400
  8. Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100
  9. Engineering Technology: $62,200
  10. Finance: $57,400