NACE Logo NACE Center Logo
National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition
mobile menu
  • Petroleum Engineering Projected as Top-Paid Class of 2016 Engineering Major

    March 23, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Compensation
    A female petroleum engineer on the job.

    TAGS: salaries, trends and predictions, surveys, spotlight

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Petroleum engineering majors are expected to be the top-paid Class of 2016 engineering graduates at the bachelor’s degree level, according to results of NACE’s Winter 2016 Salary Survey.

    Petroleum engineering majors are projected to earn an average starting salary of $89,563. (See Figure 1.) This is up from last year, when projected salaries for petroleum engineering majors reported in NACE’s Winter 2015 Salary Survey averaged $80,600.

    Also expected to surpass the $65,000 mark among this year’s graduates are chemical engineering ($69,196), electrical engineering ($66,269), computer engineering ($65,606), and mechanical engineering ($65,593) majors. In all cases, these projected salaries are up from those reported in the Winter 2015 Salary Survey.

    Data contained in NACE's Winter 2016 Salary Survey were obtained from August 5, 2015, through November 6, 2015. The Winter 2016 Salary Survey is available to members in MyNACE. An executive summary report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-resources/salary-survey.aspx.

    Final starting salary data for the Class of 2015 will be available in the Spring 2016 Salary Survey.

    Figure 1: Projected salaries for Class of 2016 engineering majors, bachelor's degrees

    Academic Major Mean 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile
    Petroleum engineering $89,563 $81,500 $98,250 $103,500
    Chemical engineering $69,196 $64,000 $68,000 $73,000
    Electrical engineering $66,269 $63,000 $65,000 $70,000
    Computer engineering $65,606 $61,500 $65,000 $69,500
    Mechanical engineering $65,593 $61,000 $65,000 $68,500
    Software engineering $63,850 $58,000 $65,000 $69,000
    Materials engineering/science $63,478 $60,000 $65,000 $68,000
    Systems engineering $63,378 $60,000 $65,000 $68,000
    Aerospace/aeronautical engineering $63,117 $62,000 $64,000 $68,000
    Engineering technology $62,814 $58,000 $62,500 $67,000
    Source: Winter 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers