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10 Best STEM Jobs for Engineers

10 Best STEM Jobs for Engineers

engineering student pensively looking at her desktop screen

“Engineer” may be one of the most diverse job titles in the world. Virtually every technical discipline has at least one engineering job connected with it. This is because, simply put, engineers solve problems. Further, the tools they use as they conceive and implement solutions often involve specific technical expertise. As you earn an engineering degree, you learn how to solve problems like an engineer, as well as specific skills that tend to pertain to a few different jobs. Here are the ten best STEM jobs for engineers.

1. Computer Network Architect

A computer network architect earns a base salary of $122,495 a year designing and building computer networks.1 These may include wide area networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs), Intranets and subsets of these such as cloud and hybrid computing architectures. Network architects may also manage the IT team, especially those charged with defending the network against cyber threats. A computer network architect also discovers ways of fine-tuning the network to help business-critical systems work more efficiently.

2. Civil Engineer

A civil engineer has a starting salary of around $67,159 and they earn their income by designing, managing and executing private and public infrastructure projects.2 The work often includes roads, tunnels, bridges and buildings. A civil engineer may work for a town or city or a private company. They need to know how to read, interpret and apply building codes, as well as how codes impact the safety of what they build and the people who use them.

3. Software Developer

Software developers have a base salary of about $71,979 and their job is to write and develop computer programs that make it easier for people to live and work.3 A company often employs software developers to design software to help the company accomplish its objectives. This may involve writing an application that employees can run on their workstations. On the other hand, a software developer may design and code an app that runs a system, such as one used in manufacturing, quality control or to control Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

4. Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst may start off making approximately $70,000 a year and they earn their money by helping companies get the most out of their computer technology.4 A computer systems analyst has to engineer solutions to fit a wide variety of companies. They may work as an independent contractor, consulting for companies that need to improve their systems. They may also be hired as full-time employees, constantly tweaking current systems and creating new solutions that enable the company to run more efficiently or with less overhead.

5. Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers figure out solutions to medical and biological challenges, making a base salary of $67,488.5 Often, doctors come up with ways to help people heal or improve their health but don’t have the technology or tools they need to make it happen. A biomedical engineer uses knowledge of biological or medical principles to help doctors solve these kinds of problems. They need to understand how human and animal biology works, particularly because they often intersect as biomedical engineers design solutions.

6. Web Developer

Web developers earn around $73,760 a year designing websites for individuals and companies.6 However, a web developer typically does more than simply choose attractive templates and fill in the blanks. They gain an in-depth understanding of a company’s business model and goals and then engineer a website designed to help the company reach its objectives. Web developers have to be able to work with different kinds of web coding as well as development platforms. They also need to apply business principles as they engineer their solutions.

7. Postsecondary Engineering Professor

Postsecondary engineering professors teach engineering to college students and they make about $98,360 a year.7 You need at least a master’s degree to teach at a community college and a Ph.D. to be an undergraduate or graduate professor. College engineering professors teach the basics of engineering to their students, often focusing on a specific discipline, such as civil, mechanical or computer engineering. They can also use their engineering expertise to augment their salary during the summers when they’re not teaching.

8. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers earn a base pay of about $71,456 and they focus on designing and building mechanical systems and devices.8 This may include heating and cooling systems for industrial or office buildings, electrical energy generators, engines and motors or sensors used to collect data to support other systems. Mechanical engineers may also work with robotics, designing robots to work on assembly lines, in retail spaces or people’s homes. Mechanical engineers apply knowledge of the principles of physics, electricity, thermodynamics and other scientific concepts to design effective solutions for clients and employers.

9. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers start out making about $101,302 as they discover ways to get fossil fuels like oil and gas from the earth’s crust.9 This involves engineering solutions for drilling, piping and storing oil, as well as ways it can be processed to make fuel and other products. Petroleum engineers have to take into account several factors such as the geology, weather conditions and ecology of the area. The demand for petroleum engineers can also fluctuate, depending on the specific discipline and the demand for petroleum-based products. As a petroleum engineer, you can work full-time for an organization or do contract jobs for specific periods of time. For example, petroleum engineers are typically needed for off-shore drilling projects that may take several months to complete.

10. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers start off making about $66,138 to find solutions for environmental issues.10 They may be called on to engineer solutions for providing energy to a town or city that’s based on renewable resources. Environmental engineers may also discover novel ways of processing waste to alleviate the pressure on the water system or local ecology. Environmental engineers must work within the confines of state and federal regulations designed to protect the environment. They help businesses work within the boundaries of these regulations without sacrificing profitability.

Launch Your Engineering Career with Case Western Reserve University

The Case School of Engineering powers the research arm of the university while training tomorrow’s leaders. Case Western Reserve University students gain a foundational understanding of engineering principles, as well as discipline-specific skills to help them choose—and thrive—within an engineering specialty. If you’re ready to jump-start your career as an engineer, earn your Master of Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Systems and Control Engineering or Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering entirely online from a renowned research institution.


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