• Top-Paid Class of 2017 Engineering Bachelor’s, Master’s Grads

    February 22, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Compensation
    Engineering tools sit on a table.

    TAGS: salaries, spotlight

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Chemical engineers are projected to be the top-paid engineering majors at the bachelor’s-degree level this year, while software engineers are expected to be highest paid among master’s degree graduates.

    Employers responding to NACE’s Winter 2017 Salary Survey expect to pay Class of 2017 chemical engineering majors earning bachelor’s degrees starting salaries that average $68,445. Following closely are computer engineering ($68,191), biomedical engineering ($67,250), and materials engineering/science ($66,970) majors.

    Among Class of 2017 master’s degree graduates, software engineering majors are expected to earn $80,238. (See Figure 2.) Other projected top-earning engineering majors at the master’s level include systems engineering ($78,917) and computer engineering ($78,101) majors.

    Data contained in NACE’s Winter 2017 Salary Survey report are annual salary projections for Class of 2017 college graduates and were obtained by surveying NACE employer members from August 5, 2016, through November 30, 2016. The figures reported are for base salaries only and do not include bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits, or overtime rates. Final starting salary data for the Class of 2016 will be available in the Spring 2017 Salary Survey. The Winter 2017 Salary Survey is available to members in MyNACE. An executive summary of the Winter 2017 Salary Survey report is also available.

    Figure 1: Projected Highest Paid Engineering Majors, Bachelor’s Degree Level

    Major Average Starting Salary
    Chemical Engineering $68,445
    Computer Engineering $68,191
    Biomedical Engineering $67,250
    Materials Engineering/Science $66,970
    Electrical Engineering $66,920
    Software Engineering $66,847
    Systems Engineering $66,224
    Mechanical Engineering $65,557
    Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering $64,967
    Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering $64,280
    Note: Only engineering majors with 10 or more responses are included.
    Source: Winter 2017 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Projected Highest Paid Engineering Majors, Master’s Degree Level

    Major Average Starting Salary
    Software Engineering $80,238
    Systems Engineering $78,917
    Computer Engineering $78,101
    Engineering Technology $76,773
    Electrical Engineering $75,317
    Note: Only engineering majors with 10 or more responses are included.
    Source: Winter 2017 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers