Engineering tops the list of highest paid jobs for recent grads


Aug 11, 2009

According to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), engineers earn the best starting salaries. NACE’s Summer 2009 Salary Survey shows that four of the five highest starting salaries went to occupations involving engineering. Around the world, the oil and gas producers complain that petroleum engineers are in high demand, often being poached for salaries up to seven times what they are earning in their home countries. As reported in the Digest of Education Statistics 2008 from the National Center for Education Statistics, out of the more than 1,524,000 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2007 (the latest data available), just 450 were in petroleum engineering and only 4,492 were in chemical engineering.

The NACE study reported the average starting salaries: Petroleum engineers are the highest paid graduates at $83,121, followed by chemical engineers at $64,902 and mining engineers at $64,404. Coming in fourth and fifth are computer engineers at $61,738 and computer science graduates (in general) at $61,407.

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