Top 15 Universities for Engineering Majors by Salary Potential

March 24, 2017

Don’t let the increase of computer science and developers interest make you forget about potentially majoring in engineer! There are still other major types of engineering you can study: mechanical, civil, chemical, and electrical!

PayScale, an online compensation information company, published their findings earlier this year and here’s a list of the top 15 university for engineering majors* by potential salary:

*Note, this list do not include the salaries of individuals who pursued another degree after their undergraduate degree in engineering.

1. Stanford University

0-5 years experience: $74,200

10+ experience: $153,00

Aside from Stanford University’s CS program, they also offer majors in:

- Aeronautics and Astronautics

- Bioengineering

- Chemical Engineering

- Civil and Environmental Engineering

- Electrical Engineering

- Management Science and Engineering

- Materials Science and Engineering

- Mechanical Engineering

With one of the best Engineering programs in the country, it’s no surprise that Stanford ranks on this list. The School of Engineering has the resources and facilities to give students a foundation and applicable knowledge for their careers in engineering.

2. Princeton University

0-5 years experience: $73,200

10+ experience: $144,000

No less than Stanford’s School of Engineering, Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science also offer strong engineering undergraduate programs with a focus on high-impact research. There are 6 departments, specifically Chemical & Biological Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and Operations Research & Financial Engineering. 

3. (tie) Duke University

0-5 years experience: $75,100

10+ experience: $143,000

Duke isn’t just a sports school. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering is in the top 20 for undergraduate engineering programs. Duke’s programs stands out because they offer certificates in architectural engineering, aerospace engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship, etc. They are available to students who may have additional interests. 

3. (tie) SUNY - Maritime College

0-5 years experience: $65,000

10+ experience: $143,000

SUNY Maritime College is third on this list because of a 120% increase in earning potential in 5 years. Students at SUNY Maritime College can choose one of the 5 B.E. degree programs they offer. Marine engineering and naval architecture are more unique to the college. The former focuses on the design and design of marine and industrial power plants, while the latter focuses on ship design. 

See what students interested in engineering did in high school. Unlock to see full application!

5. Columbia University

0-5 years experience: $74,000

10+ experience: $142,000

Because of Columbia University’s core curriculum, engineering students are able to develop technical skills through their studies in the Engineering School, but also have a well rounded knowledge in the humanities. The undergraduate also offers co-curricular programs students can participate in, like competing in the Columbia Venture Competition and the Engineering Fast Pitch Competition.


6. University of Virginia

0-5 years experience: $67,500

10+ experience: $140,000

University of Virginia is ranked number 32 with the best undergraduate engineering program in the US. While the entry-level pay may not be as highly ranked as other universities on this list, it quickly doubles in 5 years. UVA offers 9 different degree programs

7. United States Naval Academy

0-5 years experience: $82,700

10+ experience: $139,000

Surprised to see the United States Naval Academy on this list? The Naval Academy has a strong engineering program called the Division of Engineering and Weapons. Because it is a Naval Academy, the studies address the technical needs more so than other universities. They offer 5 degree programs:

- Aerospace Engineering

- Electrical and Computer Engineering

- Mechanical Engineering

- Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering

- Weapons and Systems Engineering.

8. Boston University

0-5 years experience: $65,400

10+ experience: $138,000

Located in the middle of the best college town, Boston University gives aspiring engineering students a lot of opportunity to explore and grow. They offer 5 degree programs and have the resources to help students develop and prototype their ideas in the Engineering Product Innovation Center and the Singh Imagineering Lab.

9. University of California - Santa Barbara

0-5 years experience: $70,800

10+ experience: $137,000

Again, don’t dismiss UC Santa Barbara just because they’re known to be a party school. If you want to study Engineering and enjoy the beach, you can! UCSB has 4 different undergraduate engineering degree programs and 2 additional ones for the graduate degree programs, from which you can earn certificates from.

10. University of California - Berkeley

0-5 years experience: $77,800

10+ experience: $135,000

Being in the Bay Area, UC Berkeley is a great location for students who are interested in computer science and engineering. It has one of the largest Engineering departments on this list, including Nuclear Engineering which is not often offered.

11. Bucknell University

0-5 years experience: $63,900

10+ experience: $132,000

Located in Pennsylvania, Bucknell University also has a large Engineering department so students can study any of the major types of engineering. They also offer two 5-year dual degree programs, specifically Engineering and Management, as well as Liberal Arts and Engineering.

Unlock this package to see how others wrote about their interest in engineering!

12. (tie) Manhattan College

0-5 years experience: $63,600

10+ experience: $131,000

The Manhattan College offers the 4 traditional types of engineering: Chemical, Civil & Environment, Electrical & Computer and Mechanical. If you’re excited about research as well, make sure you look into the research opportunities they offer.

12. (tie) University of California - San Diego

0-5 years experience: $68,000

10+ experience: $131,000

UC San Diego is the third UC school on this list. UC San Diego has 6 undergraduate degree programs. Apart from the traditional degrees, they also have Nano Engineering and Structural Engineering. Like many other universities, they also offer an integrated B.S./M.S. degrees.

14. (tie) Carnegie Mellon University

0-5 years experience: $71,400

10+ experience: $130,000

Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering offers 4 different engineering departments. If you’re up-to-date with recent technological developments, you’ll know that there are many companies and startups developing new technology by CMU’s campus in Pittsburgh. Explore the internship opportunities that may be available to you through your 4 years.

14. (tie) Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art

0-5 years experience: $69,500

10+ experience: $130,000

Cooper Union’s Albert Nerken School of Engineering has 5 undergraduate degree programs: general, civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical. Not sure if you’re interested? They offer a Summer STEM Program for high school sophomore and juniors. It is a 6-week intensive that allows students to get design and hands-on engineering skills. 

14. (tie) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

0-5 years experience: $77,500

10+ experience: $130,000

It’s no surprise that MIT’s on this list. They have a large undergraduate engineering program with a lot of opportunity for research and idea development. Among the degree programs, they specifically offer nuclear engineering and the study of data & society. These engineering programs are not often offered, so do your research if it’s a field you interested in.

14. (tie) Tufts University

0-5 years experience: $67,700

10+ experience: $130,000

Tufts University has 5 engineering departments, excluding computer science. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers degrees in architectural studies and environmental health. It ranks number 58 in top undergraduate engineering programs.

14. (tie) University of Hartford

0-5 years experience: $61,900

10+ experience: $130,000

Located in CT, University of Hartford has an interesting engineering program with a focus in music and acoustic. They offer a degree in Acoustical Engineering and Music, which focuses on the design of speakers, instruments, stages and more. The Mechanical Engineering program also offers interesting concentrations in acoustics, turbo-machinery, energy engineering, and manufacturing.


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About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


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