The career title "engineer" is a basic umbrella that covers a great many specialities, including civil, mechanical, industrial and marine engineering. Most entry-level positions demand at least a bachelor's degree in the specific field, and upper positions such as faculty require a graduate degree such as a Ph.D. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states the engineering field is one of the top-paying careers for college graduates and is expected to remain so through 2018.
Most Populated Fields
In 2008, the BLS discovered the engineering specialities with the most workers included civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical and electronics engineering. The top 75th and 90th percentile earnings -- which are the salary areas for a Ph.D. holder -- for these specialities that year were between £59,163 and £84,448 a year.
Computers and Aerospace
The next most-populated fields of engineering in 2008 included computer hardware, aerospace, environmental, chemical, and health and safety engineers. The average upper earnings in these engineering specialities ranged between £58,981 and £87,470 a year, notes the BLS.
Material and Nuclear
The fields of material, petroleum, nuclear and biomedical engineering had smaller numbers of professionals in 2008. The salaries for engineers holding a Ph.D. that year ranged from £64,239 to £108,160 a year, according to the BLS. Petroleum engineers earned the highest average salary of these fields.
In 2008, the fields of engineering with the fewest employees included marine and naval, mining and geological and agricultural engineering. Smaller sub-specialities, which include those that focus on one aspect of a broader field, such as turbine engines or motor vehicles, are categorised by the BLS as "all other." The salary ranges for Ph.D. holders in these fields are from £56,160 to £85,845 a year.
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