How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Science and Engineering?

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Science and engineering jobs aren’t just interesting and challenging – they also pay very well, compared to many other types of occupations.

There are a few reasons for that. For one, many careers in Science and Engineering require specific skills, training and expertise. And workers in these fields can design, invent and discover things that have a lot of commercial value.

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High Paying Jobs

The highest paying jobs in Science and Engineering don’t necessarily require advanced degrees. Two of the top jobs, salary-wise, are even available to graduates who hold bachelor’s degrees.


The field of physics is concerned with matter and energy. In this career, you might study atoms and molecules, or the motion of distant galaxies. And in some jobs, you could use cool equipment like lasers and particle accelerators.

Many physicists work in research and academia, and if that’s your goal you will need a doctoral degree. But for other types of jobs, like working for the federal government, you can get started with a bachelor’s degree in physics.

So, how much do physicists earn? Their median wage is around $115,870 per year, with the highest earners taking home annual salaries of more than $189,560.

Petroleum Engineers

With the continued high demand for oil and natural gas, it’s no wonder that petroleum engineers are among the highest paid workers in Science and Engineering. These engineers are in charge of finding and designing ways to extract oil and natural gas from the Earth.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in engineering to work as a petroleum engineer. You might attend a college that offers a degree specifically for petroleum engineering, but a degree in another engineering field – like mechanical engineering, for example – might be enough to land you a job in this field.

And that bachelor’s degree will pay off big time. The median salary for petroleum engineers is a whopping $128,230 per year.

Fastest Growing Jobs

It’s encouraging for people who want to quickly get started in Science and Engineering that some of the fastest growing jobs only require an undergraduate degree. That means you may be able to enter the workforce in just two to four years. And these jobs pay well, too!



gather and analyze geographic data, and use that information to create and update maps and charts.

The maps that these workers produce may be used for purposes like education or emergency responses, or for government planning. To enter this field, you should get a bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, or a related field.

The projected demand for cartographers is expected to grow 19 percent by 2026, increasing much faster than most other occupations. And you can expect to earn around the median annual salary of $62,750.

Geological and Petroleum Technicians

Another rapidly growing area is that of geological and petroleum technicians. They work with engineers and scientists to extract natural resources like minerals or natural gas.

While a bachelor’s degree may be required for some jobs, an associate degree is more likely to be the level of education you’ll need to get hired.

And the job outlook for geological and petroleum technicians is strong, thanks to the continued demand for oil, natural gas and minerals. The median salary is $56,470 per year, and employment in this field is projected to grow 16 percent by 2026.

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