Here’s how much engineering students make in the middle of their careers

Here’s how much engineering students make in the middle of their careers
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The mid-career median wages for 10 kinds of engineering majors were largely at or over $100,000.

  • Mid-career median wages of bachelor’s degree graduates who majored in engineering are robust.
  • The median mid-career wage for four types of engineering majors was $100,000.
  • Five types of engineering majors had a median wage above $100,000, including electrical and chemical.

While some people are second-guessing whether college is worth the cost of attending, those interested in studying engineering may find that it is a good financial investment.

According to a New York Fed analysis of 2022 American Community Survey data, college graduates with a bachelor’s degree who majored in one of 14 areas of study had a median mid-career wage of at least $100,000 a year. Mid-career wages in this analysis means full-time workers between the ages of 35 and 45.

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Majors related to engineering accounted for nine of the 14 highest mid-career median wages.

Engineering majors made up the top five highest-earning majors, with each boasting a median mid-career wage of at least $111,000 a year: chemical engineering, computer engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

When looking at the 10 engineering majors that were part of the New York Fed analysis, mid-career median wages ranged from $95,000 for engineering technologies majors to $133,000 for chemical engineering majors. Additionally, chemical engineering majors who are early in their careers had a median wage of $79,000, which was higher than the overall early-career median of $50,000. Engineering-technologies majors had the lowest early-career median wage among the 10 various kinds of engineering majors, at $60,000.

The high wages of engineering majors aren't a new phenomenon. A Georgetown University analysis of American Community Survey data between 2009 and 2013 found that nine of the 10 majors with the highest median annual wages were related to engineering.

But in recent years, strong demand for engineering roles has incentivized some employers to raise pay in order to attract candidates. The US will need roughly 400,000 new engineers a year between now and 2030, per a December Boston Consulting Group analysis, in partnership with SAE International. The authors said that nearly one-third of these roles are at risk of going unfilled unless the labor supply increases.

Companies in the emerging AI, semiconductor, and renewables industries are among the businesses in need of engineering talent. Some of these companies have partnered with community colleges and universities across the country in an effort to boost labor supply.

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While attending college can get expensive without financial aid or other means, the New York Fed's analysis suggests that some majors, particularly those in the engineering field, may be able to provide a strong return on investment for some students.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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