The Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary

These engineering schools are turning out the highest paid bachelor’s-degree grads.
  • engineering schools, salaries

    How does your university rank? Take a look the top 15 engineering schools by mid-career salary.

    The 2017-2018 report from PayScale shows which school are turning out the highest paid grads with a bachelor’s degree. Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, is almost always on this list, as is the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. When PayScale shows the rankings of grads with advanced degrees, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also does well.

    PayScale defines engineering schools as those public or private institutions that grant more than 50 percent of their undergraduate degrees in math, sciences, computer science, engineering, or engineering technology majors. The degrees from the top engineering schools usually lead to high-paying jobs, even right after college.

    PayScale obtained the data for this study be surveying graduates from each of the schools.

    Check out the list and let us know how you feel about the balance of education costs to engineering career compensation in the comments field below.

  • engineering salaries, engineering schools

    #15: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Mid-career pay: $125,800

    Early-career pay: $71,600

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 98%

    Rose–Hulman Institute of Technology, formerly Rose Polytechnic Institute, is a small private college specializing in teaching engineering, mathematics and science. Its 200-acre campus is located in Terre Haute, Ind.

    As of 2016, the institute has been ranked #1 among engineering colleges that do not offer a doctorate degree by U.S. News & World Report for 18 consecutive years.

    RHIT concentrates on engineering and the natural sciences. The school's primary focus is undergraduate education, though there is a small graduate program for master's degree students. There are no doctoral programs. In 2005, Rose–Hulman had 161 faculty members, 99% of whom held a PhD. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1.

    Admission to the institute remains competitive due to its self-selecting admissions class and applicant sharing with Purdue, and other top universities. In 2015, 547 freshman students enrolled out of 4,331 applicants. The school currently operates on three academic quarters plus an optional summer session.

    Image courtesy of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

  • engineering, engineering schools, salaries

    #14: Carnegie Mellon University

    Mid-career pay: $126,400

    Early-career pay: $70,900

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 64%

    Carnegie Mellon University, a school in Pittsburgh, Pa., has roughly 6,000 undergrads. 

    The College of Engineering includes seven engineering departments: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering.

    The College of Engineering is the school’s largest student body with 406 students set to graduate in 2020. The school enrolls students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 15.6% of the students are citizens of countries other than the United States, representing more than 40 countries. Undergraduate tuition is $49,610 and room and board is $12,830. Carnegie Mellon graduates 62% of its undergraduate students in STEM fields, the 13th highest percentage in the United States among national research universities.

    Image courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University.

  • engineering schools, engineering salaries

    #13: Clarkson University

    Mid-career pay: $126,700

    Early-career pay: $64,200

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 52%

    Clarkson University is a private research university with its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y. It was founded in 1896 and has an enrollment of about 4,300 students studying toward bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in each of its schools or institutes: The Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business and the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering.

    Clarkson's 15 Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) teams allow students across all majors to participate in hands-on, extracurricular engineering projects.

    Clarkson University ranks #8 among "Top Salary-Boosting Colleges" nationwide. The Carnegie foundation classifies Clarkson University as a “High Research Activity institution.

    Image courtesy of Clarkson University

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #12: Georgia Institute of Technology

    Mid-career pay: $128,700

    Early-career pay: $68,100

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 78%

    Nestled away in Atlanta, Ga., the Georgia Institute of Technology has a student population of roughly 15,000. 

    Georgia Tech is organized into six colleges with an emphasis on science and technology. The school is well recognized for its degree programs in engineering, computing, business administration, the sciences, design, and liberal arts. Georgia Tech is ranked 7th among all public national universities in the United States and 34th among all colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report rankings.

    Georgia Tech is highly regarded internationally for its engineering and business programs, and has been ranked as the "smartest" public college in America (based on average standardized test scores).

    Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

  • #11: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Mid-career pay: $129,400

    Early-career pay: $69,200

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 87%

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private university located in Worcester, Mass. Founded in 1865 in Worcester, WPI was one of the first engineering and technology universities in the US.

    WPI offers a variety of majors in engineering, science, management, liberal arts, and social science at the undergraduate and graduate level. It is most well known for its engineering disciplines and is one of the top-ranked schools to attend for engineering in North America and the world over. WPI consistently ranks as a tier-one (top 25%) university according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Image courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #10: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Mid-career pay: $129,500

    Early-career pay: $67,500

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 76%

    Nestled away in Troy, N.Y., the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a student population of roughly 5,000.

    Rensselaer is consistently ranked among the best universities in the United States and the world. For over a decade, Rensselaer has remained in the top fifty national universities in the United States, and is currently listed among the top six universities for highest median earnings. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rensselaer 42nd among all colleges and universities and 31st for "Best Value" in undergraduate education. As of 2017, Rensselaer's undergraduate engineering program is ranked 30th and its graduate program is ranked 39th by U.S. News & World Report.

    Image courtesy of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #9: Lehigh University

    Mid-career pay: $133,900

    Early-career pay: $65,400

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 52%

    Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., has roughly 5,000 undergrads. The school has four colleges, including the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked Lehigh tied for 44th among national universities in its 2017 edition of "Best Colleges.” The Economist ranked Lehigh 7th among national universities in its 2015 ranking of non-vocational U.S. colleges ranked by alumni earnings above expectation.

    For the Class of 2020, Lehigh received 13,403 applications and accepted 3,499 (26%).

    Image courtesy of Lehigh University

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #8: United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Mid-career pay: $135,900

    Early-career pay: $73,400

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 54%

    Around 1,000 people attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, an institution based in Kings Point, N.Y. The school is charged with training officers for the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, and the transportation industry. Midshipmen (as students at the Academy are called) are trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.

    Midshipmen focus on one of two ship transport areas of education: marine transportation or marine engineering. Marine engineering students learn about the function of the ship's engines and its supporting systems.

    Image courtesy of United States Merchant Marine Academy

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #7: Colorado School of Mines

    Mid-career pay: $136,100

    Early-career pay: $71,900

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 94%

    Colorado School of Mines, also referred to as "Mines,” is a public teaching and research university in Golden, Colo., devoted to engineering and applied science, with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth's natural resources.

    Mines placed 82nd in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report "Best National Universities" ranking. In the 2016–17 World University Rankings by subject, the university was ranked as the top institution in the world for mineral and mining engineering.

    For freshmen entering Fall 2014, the school received 12,340 applications, accepted 4,501 (36.5%) and enrolled 999 (22.2% of those accepted).

    Image courtesy of Colorado School of Mines

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #6: Stevens Institute of Technology

    Mid-career pay: $136,900

    Early-career pay: $70,800

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 80%

    The Stevens Institute of Technology, a school in Hoboken, N.J., has roughly 3,000 undergrads.

    Stevens is composed of four academic schools, including the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science and the School of Systems and Enterprises. There are 29 undergraduate majors and a 7:1 student to faculty ratio.

    Stevens offers the Bachelor of Engineering degree in biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical, naval and software engineering, as well as in engineering management. The school also offers a Master of Engineering and Master of Technology Management degrees.

    Stevens Ranked 7th as a leading university granting STEM degrees conferred according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Image courtesy of Stevens Institute of Technology

  • engineering salaries, engineering schools

    #5: Webb Institute

    Mid-career pay: $138,200

    Early-career pay: $70,800

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 100%

    Webb Institute is a private undergraduate engineering college in Glen Cove, N.Y., on Long Island. Each graduate of Webb Institute earns a Bachelor of Science degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Successful candidates for admission receive full tuition for four years. Webb Institute is noted in the marine industry for its unique emphasis on ship design, systems engineering, and practical work experience.

    The student body of Webb Institute typically numbers around 90, with 12% female. Webb currently has 10 full-time faculty members and no teaching assistants. Students have high access to professors, who routinely make themselves available at most hours. Adjunct faculty from local colleges teach some humanities courses at Webb such as Political Philosophy and Japanese.

    Image courtesy of Webb Institute

  • engineering salaries, engineering schools

    #4: California Institute of Technology

    Mid-career pay: $142,500

    Early-career pay: $78,000

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 97%

    The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering.

    Caltech is frequently cited as one of the world's best universities. Caltech alumni and faculty include 34 Nobel Prizes, 1 Fields Medalist, 6 Turing Award winners, 4 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force, and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. There are 112 faculty members who have been elected to the United States National Academies. In addition, numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as NASA. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, Caltech ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

    Image courtesy of the California Institute of Technology

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #3: United States Naval Academy

    Mid-career pay: $143,800

    Early-career pay: $75,000

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 60%

    The United States Naval Academy (also known as USNA, Annapolis, or Navy) is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Md. Established in 1845 under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, it is the second-oldest of the United States' five service academies.

    Candidates for admission generally must apply directly to the academy and also receive a nomination, usually from a member of Congress. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as midshipmen. Tuition for midshipmen is fully funded by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,200 students enter the Academy each summer for the rigorous “Plebe Summer,” training, but only about 1,000 midshipmen graduate. 

    Image courtesy of United States Naval Academy

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Mid-career pay: $147,000

    Early-career pay: $81,500

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 69%

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as MIT, is a private research university located in Cambridge, Mass. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.

    The Institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences and engineering. For several years, MIT's School of Engineering has been ranked first in various international and national university rankings, while also ranked among the world's top universities overall.

    MIT has helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture.

    Image courtesy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • engineering schools, salaries

    #1: Harvey Mudd College

    Mid-career pay: $155,800

    Early-career pay: $81,000

    Percentage of STEM degrees: 85%

    Harvey Mudd College is a university based in Claremont, Calif., that is home to around 1,000 undergraduates. When not focused on STEM, students at the school often study in the liberal arts and sciences.

    The school’s mission is "to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well versed in all of these areas and in the humanities and the social sciences so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society.” In keeping with this mission, HMC offers four-year degrees in chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in mathematical biology, and a joint major in either computer science and mathematics; or biology and chemistry. 

    Harvey Mudd maintains the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among all undergraduate colleges and second highest (Caltech ranks first and MIT third) compared to all universities and colleges, according to a 2008 report by the National Science Foundation.

    Image courtesy of Harvey Mudd College





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Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News . Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

September 20, 2017

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