Career Salary Overview

Aerospace Engineer $110K
Biological Engineer $80K
Biomedical Engineer $100K
Chemical Engineer $110K
Civil Engineer $90K
Computer Software Engineer $100K
Electrical Engineer $90K
Engineering Manager $140K
Environmental Engineer $90K
Industrial Engineer $90K
Materials Engineer $100K
Mechanical Engineer $90K
Nuclear Engineer $110K
Petroleum Engineer $150K
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Career Opportunities

Engineering careers are frequently listed among the most in-demand careers. Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) graduates enter their field with specialized skill-sets, prepared to work in a variety of environments.

Due to the breadth of the field, it can be tricky determining which area is right for you. We’ve detailed each specialization in engineering below. Using this guide, you can trace your career from educational program to professional certification.


Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineering has two main and overlapping subfields: aeronautical and astronautical. Though master’s degrees are usually under the main aerospace title, students have the ability to focus their programs on one area or the other through their elective classes. Aerospace professionals work for airlines, aircraft manufacturers and space programs. They design and develop aircraft and aerospace processes and products such as airplanes, drones, spacecraft and satellites. They also evaluate and monitor performance and create quality standards for building materials, systems software and finished products. They may also work with the Department of Defense on the development of missiles and rockets.


$107,000 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Design, fabricate and test aeronautical and astronautical systems such as aircraft, satellites and rockets
  • Study, analyze and evaluate every aspect of aeronautical or astronautical aircraft
  • Ensure the quality of materials and software used to build aviation vehicles
  • Determine if projects are feasible based on available finances and technology
  • Create and enforce safety and quality standards

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Virginia$126,320
  2. Washington D.C.$123,770
  3. Colorado$123,010
  4. Maryland$120,460
  5. California$112,810

Job Numbers by State

  1. California15,140
  2. Washington8,540
  3. Texas6,990
  4. Ohio4,640
  5. Alabama3,550

Work Environment

  • Product and parts manufacturing
  • Research and development
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Federal agencies

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement, however, many aerospace engineers pursue master’s degrees in order to work in advanced roles.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering (MEng) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Aerospace Engineering (MAE)
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering Master of Science (ASE MS)


Biological Engineer

Biological and agricultural engineers work in a variety of industries and organizations, ranging from engineering firms and food manufacturing companies to federal government agencies and research universities. They may design farm irrigation systems or develop new biofuels, testing and applying technologies to solve agricultural problems. Specialty areas in the field include animal science, horticulture, food engineering and power systems.


$75,440 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) methods to design machines and equipment parts
  • Design and construct efficient environments for growing and processing food
  • Develop methods and technologies to address environmental and conservation efforts
  • Recommend solutions for water and land use challenges

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. North Carolina$92,550
  2. California$86,640
  3. Ohio$79,870
  4. Iowa$78,620
  5. Wisconsin$77,560

Job Numbers by State

  1. Iowa320
  2. California250
  3. Florida160
  4. Virginia150
  5. Georgia140

Work Environment

  • Architectural and related services
  • Federal agencies
  • Food manufacturing
  • Agriculture, construction and mining machinery manufacturing
  • Colleges and universities
  • Education-related services and agencies

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree is generally required for entry-level employment. A master's degree prepares students for advanced positions, managerial responsibilities and research opportunities.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Agricultural/Biological Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering/Biological Engineering (M.S.)
  • Master of Agriculture (M.Ag.)


Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers design technology-based solutions to health problems. Cardiovascular, aural and orthopedic technology all stem from biomedical engineering. Because so many areas within medicine benefit from this work, there are a variety of careers to choose from. We’ve provided a basic breakdown of the career of a biomedical engineer below.


$91,760 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Conduct research and using the principles of engineering and bio-behavioral sciences to solve clinical problems
  • Design medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation such as imaging equipment, implants or bionics
  • Manage use of clinical equipment in hospitals and other medical facilities
  • Develop models to understand human behavior or parts of the human body using computer simulations

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Minnesota$112,740
  2. New Jersey$104,150
  3. California$102,880
  4. New Mexico$96,770
  5. Texas$96,290

Job Numbers by State

  1. California5,390
  2. Massachusetts2,090
  3. Indiana1,070
  4. Pennsylvania970
  5. Minnesota950

Work Environment

  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement for biomedical engineers. Professionals in this field may pursue master’s degrees to take on advanced work roles or to move into the biomedical specialization from another engineering field.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Chemical Engineer

Professionals engineers use their knowledge of chemical processes and manufacturing to earn a living in a variety of fields. Some chemical engineers choose to specialize in specific chemical processes (oxidation), subfields (nano-materials) or product types (electronics, drugs, food).


$103,590 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Synthesize principles of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics
  • Solve problems related to the use of chemicals in a variety of contexts
  • Design and develop new products and manufacturing processes
  • Test and evaluate consumer products, including fuel, drugs and food

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Delaware$128,060
  2. Texas$120,990
  3. Alaska$117,830
  4. New Mexico$115,640
  5. Virginia$115,500

Job Numbers by State

  1. Texas6,990
  2. California2,320
  3. Louisiana2,190
  4. New Jersey1,730
  5. Pennsylvania1,630

Work Environment

  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing Resin, synthetic rubber, fiber and filaments manufacturing
  • Pesticide, fertilizer and agricultural manufacturing

Education Required

Chemical engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, though many positions require further certification and education. Training includes advanced math and science courses, as well as practical experience through internships and cooperative work programs.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (M.S.)


Civil Engineer

Civil engineers work on design and construction projects, ranging from private buildings to public infrastructure. Entry-level engineers often work as designers; many eventually move into managerial positions, which require them to coordinate with architects and regulatory bodies. Civil engineers commonly specialize in construction, geotechnical, structural and transportation projects.


$87,130 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Collect and analyze data related to geographical surveys and maps
  • Design large construction projects and systems, including roads and airports
  • Test and evaluate building materials and methods
  • Recommend project development based on cost estimates, risk management analysis, government regulations and environmental concerns

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Alaska$107,600
  2. Texas$100,330
  3. California$99,580
  4. Washington D.C.$99,460
  5. Rhode Island$95,720

Job Numbers by State

  1. California38,060
  2. Texas23,730
  3. New York13,620
  4. Florida12,720
  5. Pennsylvania12,650

Work Environment

  • Collect and analyze data related to geographical surveys and maps
  • Design large construction projects and systems, including roads and airports
  • Test and evaluate building materials and methods
  • Recommend project development based on cost estimates, risk management analysis, government regulations and environmental concerns

Education Required

Civil engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the profession. Many advanced positions require a master’s degree or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE), especially those related to public construction projects.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.)


Computer Software Engineer

Computer software engineers focus on the design, development and testing of computer systems and applications. They work in close collaboration with hardware engineers and computer programmers to create new technology. Software developers and engineers also have basic skills in programming and information technology.


$96,620 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Computer systems design services
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • Finance and insurance
  • Software publishers
  • IT departments

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. California$109,240
  2. Virginia$107,100
  3. New Hampshire$101,820
  4. Massachusetts$101,670
  5. New Jersey$100,150

Job Numbers by State

  1. Virginia28,830
  2. Massachusetts27,150
  3. Washington17,920
  4. Colorado16,400
  5. Maryland13,510

Work Environment

  • Computer systems design services
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • Finance and insurance
  • Software publishers
  • IT departments

Education Required

Entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or computer science. Completing a master’s degree can lead to advanced technical and managerial positions.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Software Engineering (M.S.E.)
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Computer Software Engineering (M.S.)


Electrical Engineer

Newly minted electrical engineers have no trouble finding work. The master’s program prepares students to earn their PHD or, if they choose, to teach community college, but plenty of graduates choose to leave academia altogether. Electrical engineers can apply their knowledge to a number of fields, including software and hardware design, electrical and power systems, security systems and information management. Ultimately, electrical engineers are in demand throughout the world and degree holders leave school with a broad base of skills and the flexibility to work in diverse industries.


$87,920 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Design, develop and test commercial and private electrical products and equipment
  • Design new methods to develop or improve products
  • Make calculations to establish manufacturing, construction and installation standards/li>
  • Inspect electronic instruments and equipment to ensure compliance
  • Troubleshoot electronic products and equipment

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. California$114,730
  2. Alaska$111,540
  3. Massachusetts$103,660
  4. Washington D.C.$103,260
  5. Washington$102,750

Job Numbers by State

  1. California23,600
  2. Texas14,740
  3. New York11,110
  4. Michigan8,580
  5. Massachusetts7,630

Work Environment

  • Engineering services
  • Electric power generation
  • Electrical instrument manufacturing
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Machinery manufacturing

Education Required

Bachelor’s degree required for entry-level positions, and Master’s degrees are useful for more specialized positions in the field

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Engineering Manager

Engineering managers plan and supervise projects and designs. Managers create budgets, oversee engineering personnel and handle business responsibilities. The position requires exemplary project management and problem solving skills.


$138,720 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Coordinate engineering projects and related activities
  • Create project plans and budget estimates
  • Establish and secure needed project resources and personnel
  • Supervise engineering project staff members
  • Oversee production processes and systems

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. California$164,200
  2. Colorado$156,970
  3. Texas$156,450
  4. Alaska$153,540
  5. New York$146,700

Job Numbers by State

  1. California31,320
  2. Texas13,510
  3. Michigan10,280
  4. Florida7,350
  5. Ohio7,180

Work Environment

  • Manufacturing
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Government agencies
  • Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction services
  • Scientific research and development services

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree and some form of professional certification are almost always prerequisites for managerial work. Most managers have plenty of field experience and many hold a master’s degree in engineering, technology management or business.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering Management (M.E.M.)
  • Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management (M.S.)


Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers implement solutions to problems with air and water quality, waste management, public health and related issues. They often work with urban and regional planners, legal experts and construction managers to complete projects. Their work ranges from creating sustainable resources to responding to environmental disasters.


$86,340 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Design solutions to environmental problems by using engineering, earth science science and life science principles
  • Collect and analyze data; possible projects include measuring water quality, air pollution, waste disposal and public health
  • Recommend procedures for addressing climate change, contaminated sites and sustainability initiatives

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New Mexico$107,680
  2. Alaska$103,060
  3. California$99,410
  4. Virginia$98,440
  5. Washington D.C.$97,630

Job Numbers by State

  1. California$99,410
  2. Massachusetts$83,680
  3. Pennsylvania$81,370
  4. New York$87,650
  5. Florida$69,690

Work Environment

  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting services
  • Government agencies at federal, state and local levels

Education Required

Environmental engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. Many also have practical work experience, licensure or a master’s degree.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.)


Industrial Engineer

Industrial and systems engineers improve organizational efficiency in a variety of sectors, from manufacturing and logistics to job performance and personal administration. Industrial engineers collaborate with other engineers, clients and managers as part of their job. They review internal data and conduct process surveys, ultimately providing their efficiency recommendations to organizational executives.


$85,110 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Provide structured analysis of a set of components that work together solve a problem
  • Manage system design, costs, quality standards and implementation to meet client needs
  • Make recommendations for improved processes and use of resources
  • Create models to guide system development

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Alaska$116,730
  2. Wyoming$105,920
  3. California$101.520
  4. Texas$99,860
  5. Washington$97,580

Job Numbers by State

  1. California24,450
  2. Michigan22,390
  3. Texas15,080
  4. Ohio12,220
  5. Illinois10,030

Work Environment

  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing
  • Machinery manufacturing
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturing
  • Businesses and corporations

Education Required

Entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering or general engineering. A master’s degree and experience can allow industrial engineers to move into administrative roles in research and management.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Industrial/Systems Engineering (M.S.)


Materials Engineer

Materials engineers examine materials from an atomic level. They often asses product failures and recommend modifications for improvement. Materials engineers collaborate with professionals in other fields, both in and outside of engineering, to consult on materials choices in a variety of contexts.


$91,150 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Create and test substances used to build various products
  • Evaluate material properties and performance to identify strengths and limitations
  • Make recommendations related to product design and development
  • Collaborate with other fields to complete projects

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. California$108,980
  2. Colorado$108,860
  3. New Mexico$106,180
  4. Maryland$105,420
  5. Louisiana$104,080

Job Numbers by State

  1. California2,310
  2. Texas2,000
  3. New York1,560
  4. Ohio1,490
  5. Michigan1,460

Work Environment

  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing
  • Federal government agencies

Education Required

Materials engineers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering or material science. Some positions may require a master's degree or licensure as a Professional Engineer.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Materials Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Materials Engineering (M.S.)


Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers work with complex documents, including blueprints and schematics, to design and evaluate materials, products and equipment. They work with computer systems, software applications and a wide variety of measurement tools to build the products and devices we use in everyday life.


$87,140 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Design and build devices
  • Evaluate industrial problems and recommend possible solutions
  • Use computer-aided design to create new tools and machines
  • Design common consumer goods

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Alaska$123,660
  2. New Mexico$100,970
  3. California$99,360
  4. Texas$99,080
  5. Louisiana$98,390

Job Numbers by State

  1. Michigan38,700
  2. California24,030
  3. Texas20,330
  4. Ohio12,200
  5. Illinois11,790

Work Environment

  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Machinery manufacturing
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • Fabricated metal product manufacturing

Education Required

Entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Work experience is valuable in this field, and mechanical engineers working with public projects must have a state license.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.)


Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear engineers direct, operate and maintain facilities that produce nuclear energy and its by-products. They design specialized equipment, adhere to strict safety policies, comply with security regulations and investigate accidents. They often coordinate on project designs with electrical and mechanical engineers. Nuclear engineers may also research the medical use of nuclear materials.


$104,630 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Design and develop equipment and facilities used to generate nuclear energy
  • Adhere to safety standards and best practices while complying with all regulations
  • Develop and test uses for nuclear power in energy and medical industries

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New Mexico$153,720
  2. Washington D.C.$148,730
  3. California$130,480
  4. Maryland$127,100
  5. Tennessee$124,570

Job Numbers by State

  1. Virginia2,630
  2. Pennsylvania1,690
  3. California1,050
  4. Washington1,000
  5. Tennessee980

Work Environment

  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution facilities
  • Federal government agencies
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Architectural, engineering and related services

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree in the field is often a prerequisite for employment in nuclear engineering. Employers also value practical experience gained through internships and cooperative work initiatives. Those with a master’s degree may have additional employment opportunities, including positions in research and development.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (M.S.)


Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers extensively test their equipment and methods of extracting oil and gas, while also developing plans for drilling and maintaining wells. This work also requires them to assess their production rate and make recommendations for improving the drilling process. Petroleum engineers may choose to specialize in one of several subfields, including facility completion, drilling, production and reservoirs.


$147,520 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Develop methods for extracting, storing and refining the earth’s oil and gas deposits
  • Ensure drilling equipment is safely operated and maintained
  • Research techniques to improve efficiency and production
  • Work with geologists on project planning and execution

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Texas$158,770
  2. Virginia$156,390
  3. New Jersey$155,450
  4. Alaska$153,280
  5. Colorado$151,960

Job Numbers by State

  1. Texas17,910
  2. Oklahoma3,670
  3. California2,150
  4. Colorado1,850
  5. Louisiana1,590

Work Environment

  • Oil and gas extraction services
  • Support activities for mining
  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

Education Required

Petroleum engineers typically enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum, mechanical or chemical engineering. Engineers with a master’s degree are qualified for managerial positions.

Types of Degrees

  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Petroleum Engineering
  • Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (M.S.)