Top Five Engineering Degrees and Engineering Jobs

September 20, 2019 Student Life

Engineering is all around us. But did you ever stop to think about the extent to which engineering plays a role in our daily lives, and how important engineering jobs are? If there were no engineers, we wouldn’t have working navigation systems, electric generators, motors, elevators or air conditioning systems. You’d be amazed at how almost everything around us is designed, built and maintained by engineers.

Vaughn College remains a leading institution for students who choose to pursue careers in engineering and technology. Did you know today’s engineering and technology jobs are so much more than designing things to sustain us? It’s true. Today’s engineers are creating and inventing innovative designs to help advance society and solve some of humanity’s greatest problems to keep us on the planet longer. Your college major can play a crucial role in how much money you earn after graduation. With technology advancing and engineering demands increasing, there’s never been a better time to pursue a career in these fields. With an impressive curriculum that encompasses all aspects of engineering, it’s no wonder Vaughn engineering graduates are succeeding in their fields. Want proof? Check out the recent success stories of Thomas Dekenipp ’18, Emily German ’18 and Jefferson Maldonado ’16.

We have narrowed down the top five most valuable engineering degrees and matched them with engineering jobs that have the highest salaries in the industry today. Discover all the opportunities available to you with an engineering degree from Vaughn College.

Aerospace Engineer

Annual Salary: $115,220*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineers top our list as the highest paid professionals with engineering degrees. Without sounding cliché, working as an aerospace engineer is literally “rocket science.” Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites and missiles. They also work with new inventions and technologies, creating and testing prototypes to ensure they function according to their design. Although many of these professionals choose to pursue a career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), most work primarily for large aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing, for example. They specialize in areas that include manufacturing, analysis and design, and research and development, and are frequently employed by the federal government. (Aerospace engineers who work on projects related to national defense may need a security clearance.)

Computer Hardware Engineer

Annual Salary: $114,600*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering

The job of a computer hardware engineer comes in at a close second as one of today’s top engineering jobs. Not to be confused with software engineers, hardware engineers build components that are used in computers, network systems and other commercial products. Computer hardware engineering combines electrical engineering and computer science, which goes hand in hand with the task of planning the manufacture of computer chips, circuit boards, printers, PCs and modems. These professionals typically work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models.

Electrical Engineer

Annual Salary: $96,640*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering

Electrical engineers design, install, test and maintain large-scale electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communication systems and power generation equipment. Basically, if a device has an alternating current (AC), an electrical engineer is most likely involved in creating it. Nearly every industry needs electrical engineers, which makes this an appealing profession. Electrical engineers work in a variety of industries that include research and development, engineering services, manufacturing and telecommunications. These professionals are frequently employed by the federal government. While they mostly work indoors in offices, some jobs may require them to visit sites to address a problem or observe equipment.

Mechanical Engineer

Annual Salary: $87,370*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is the most common area of engineering and the broadest discipline in the industry―and for good reason. Basically, mechanical engineers are experts when it comes to designing and maintaining anything that is composed of moving parts. Wow! That includes so many things! These professionals require a strong understanding and comprehension of many areas such as dynamics and thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis and electricity. Generally, they work in offices primarily for engineering services, research and development and manufacturing. Occasionally, their jobs may take them off-site to assess problems or equipment which may need attention. Since mechanical engineering is applicable across all industries and fields, these professionals are highly employable.

Mechatronic Engineer

Annual Salary: $96,980**

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechatronic engineering

Mechatronic engineers have a competitive edge in the industry. That’s because these professionals have a multidisciplinary knowledge of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Their knowledge of robotics, electronics, computers, telecommunications, aerospace, systems control, and product engineering make them standout candidates in high-tech industries. A broad knowledge in engineering will position mechatronic engineers to work in all aspects of product development―from design and testing to manufacturing. With technology advancing at lightning speed, mechatronic engineers are a valuable asset and will be in high demand for many years to come.

Are you interested in pursuing an engineering job with a bright future? Vaughn’s career services department is there to offer engineering enthusiasts a wide range of options where they can find the perfect engineering job with a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. Our engineering degrees prepare students to succeed in their career of choice.

*Salaries reported by The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and based on 2018 median pay.

**Salary for mechatronic engineers is reported by The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) which is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The salary is based on 2018 median pay.