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While there are a plethora of different types of engineers, they all have a few things in common: other than typically being really, really smart, they share the practice of applying economic, mathematical, scientific and social knowledge in order to design, build, or maintains things. Often, the things being designed, built and maintained are engines, machines, structures, devices, systems or processes.
Like practically any industry, there are a wide range of salaries handed out to a wide range of positions. Still, the engineering industry as a whole does tend to be quite lucrative to its employees, and there are plenty of different roles that annually approach or even surpass six-figure payouts. Following are five such positions:
1) Aerospace engineer
What they do: Aerospace engineers design, construct and test aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missiles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some do so for commercial purposes, while others work for the military or other specialty businesses. Some specialize in the development of specific structural components, such as wings, landing gear or operational control systems.
What they earn: The average salary for an aerospace engineer is $98,397, according to CBsalary.com. The 25th and 75th percentiles of salaries fall between $67,410 and $130,446, respectively.
2) Chemical engineer
What they do: Chemical engineers produce chemicals needed to make products such as detergents, medicines, plastics and fuels, according to the American Chemical Society. They can be utilized in many different industries, such as food, environmental and aerospace, just to name a few. Responsibilities can range between research, design, production, sales and management.
What they earn: The average salary for a chemical engineer is $99,133, according to CBsalary.com. The 25th and 75th percentiles of salaries fall between $76,517 and $126,988, respectively.
3) Petroleum engineer
What they do: Petroleum engineers search the world for oil and natural gas reservoirs, according to the BLS. Once a reservoir is discovered, they must analyze the source, determine the best way to extract the materials, and design the equipment and processes to do so.
What they earn: The average salary for a petroleum engineer is $113,587, according to CBsalary.com. The 25th and 75th percentiles of salaries fall between $83,041 and $150,238, respectively.
4) Computer hardware engineer
What they do: Computer hardware engineers design, construct and develop the physical parts of computers and computer systems, according to the BLS. As is the case for many engineers, all materials must be manufactured and installed exactly as planned, as one small mistake could disrupt an entire system.
What they earn: The average salary for a computer hardware engineer is $91,282, according to CBsalary.com. The 25th and 75th percentiles of salaries fall between $65,007 and $114,767, respectively.
5) Nuclear engineer
What they do: Nuclear engineers come up with the processes and tools that are used to gain value from nuclear energy and radiation, according to the American Nuclear Society. Some work on finding medical uses for radioactive materials, while others might design, develop and operate a nuclear power plant.
What they earn: The average salary for a nuclear engineer is $99,131, according to CBsalary.com. The 25th and 75th percentiles of salaries fall between $71,118 and $128,926, respectively.
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