Among the top-paying entry-level jobs with a bachelor’s degree, there is one area that stands out. According to CNBC, a 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey showed that all 10 of the top-paying jobs for graduates with a bachelor’s degree are in engineering, with a couple of exceptions – computer and information science. To land a job with a large paycheck when you get your degree, consider petroleum engineering, which offers the top salary for a bachelor’s degree, or another engineering field like electrical engineering, chemical engineering or mechanical engineering.
Entry-Level Starting Salaries With a Bachelor’s Degree
According to the NACE survey, the overall average salary for 2010 college graduates was $48,351, down 2 percent from the previous year. However, college graduates with a bachelor’s degree who got jobs in petroleum engineering earned a whopping $86,220 on average. The lowest-paying job in the top 10 was in information sciences and systems, where the average starting salary was $54,038. A professional certified engineer has training that goes well beyond a four-year bachelor’s degree. However, technical engineers can obtain a bachelor’s degree in an engineering specialty like mechanical engineering or electrical engineering.
Petroleum and Mining Engineering
Petroleum engineers create methods to extract oil and gas from the earth. They team up with geologists to understand the geological properties of the area in order to figure out which drilling methods are appropriate. To recover the oil and gas below the surface, methods such as injecting water or chemicals may be required. Petroleum engineers seek to improve drilling methods and make them more efficient. Mining engineers find and extract metals and minerals used in industry. A major responsibility is overseeing the safe operation of mines. Some locate ore deposits, and others work to protect the environment by studying air and water pollution along with land reclamation.
Chemical, Electrical and Aerospace Engineering
Chemical engineers use physics, math and chemistry, as well as engineering techniques, to produce design equipment and processes used by the chemical manufacturing industry. They may also be employed in other manufacturing industries like energy producers and electronics manufacturing. Electrical engineers design and test electrical equipment like lighting, wiring, motors, navigational systems and communications systems. Aeorspace engineers design and test aircraft, spacecraft and missiles.
Computer Scientists and Computer Engineers
It should come as no surprise that the increasing use of computers has led to a demand for trained computer scientists. People in this field invent and design technology to solve business, scientific and general computing problems. They may work with electrical and mechanical engineers. Computer scientists deal with hardware like robots and video games. Computer software engineers design software for business, operating systems, network systems and computer games. They create algorithms or instructions to tell the computer what to do, and they may convert the instructions to a computer language, although a computer programmer typically performs this task.