The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Best Jobs in Engineering 2018

Best Jobs in IT


Career motivation varies from person-to-person. Some seek monetarily lucrative careers; others want industry stability. For others, making a positive impact on the community might be their primary motivator.

Careers in engineering can check all three categories and more.

Engineering jobs rank among some of the highest paying the Jobs Rated reports track – in fact, Petroleum Engineer scored among the top 10 highest-paid jobs of 2017. The average salary for all nine of our best jobs in engineering is $75,433 – and pare that down to the seven jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, and the average median salary is $82,331.

Indeed, engineering careers can be lucrative. Opportunities are also promising.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found that among all college majors, two of the three with the highest rate of employment are engineering disciplines: Nuclear, industrial and biological technologies with an unemployment rate below 0.1%; and architectural engineering, with unemployment of just 0.4%.

Yes, engineering jobs are among some of the more stable for college graduates, but not every great job in the industry requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Two of the best jobs in engineer – Industrial Machine Repairer and Architectural Drafter – have recommended minimum education of a high school diploma and associate’s degree, respectively.

Embarking on an Industrial Machine Repairer career requires training in certain vocational skills rather than a college degree. Familiarity with welding or hydraulics might be required, depending on the type of work a prospective job seeker wants.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s 2017 study on Good Jobs that Pay without a BA noted the more broadly defined Engineering Technician as one of the careers most likely to pay upwards of $60,000 without a bachelor’s degree.

Industrial Machine Repairers fall in this category, earning $61,800 at the 75th percentile, and $76,100 at the 90th percentile.

Getting into architectural drafting requires familiarity with computer-aided design software. A background with CAD software can lead to other opportunities within engineering, however. The jobs database features more than 1,500 titles seeking candidates with CAD software experience.

Architectural Drafters often work closely with Civil Engineers, another title that appears in our best engineering jobs. With growth outlook at 11%, it’s among the most in-demand of the Jobs Rated’s engineering careers.

The No. 1 best job in engineering also has the most promising forecast for hiring: Petroleum Engineer at 15%. It’s followed by Mechanical Engineer at 9%, and Environmental Engineer at 8%.

Environmental engineering presents exciting prospects for those job seekers hoping to make a positive impact on the world. Shifts toward green technology both in the private and public sectors in the years to come make this an important career.

The following are’s nine best engineering jobs, per Jobs Rated report rankings. Salary and growth outlook numbers are compiled via the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.


Data Scientist thumbnail image
  •  $128,230
  •  15%
  •  1


Information Security thumbnail image
  •  $83,540
  •  11%
  •  3


Software Engineeer thumbnail image
  •  $84,890
  •  8%
  •  7


Mechanical Engineer thumbnail image
  •  $84,190
  •  9%
  •  8


Network Administrator thumbnail image
  •  $49,100
  •  7%
  •  17


Petroleum Engineer thumbnail image
  •  $109,650
  •  6%
  •  20


Web Developer thumbnail image
  •  $53,480
  •  7%
  •  26


Environmental Engineer thumbnail image
  •  $102,220
  •  4%
  •  37


Civil Engineer thumbnail image
  •  $67,790
  •  5%
  •  38

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