R-Squared Energy Blog

Pure Energy

Engineering Rules

Average Starting Salaries for This Year’s Graduates

From a CNN story this week, that graphic represents a landslide. To the person who asked in the recent Q&A (OK, the “A” is still pending) what they should study in school, might I suggest you put a lot of effort into your math classes, and consider engineering of some sort? The caveat of course is that the job market has tightened up significantly this year – even for engineers who were in such great demand a year ago.


July 28, 2009 - Posted by | employment, jobs


  1. Nice to see Computer Science still near the top. Those other trades look like you have to actually know how to make stuff, while those of us in the IT industry often still get paid even when 70% of what we sell never works.:^o

    Comment by PeteS | July 28, 2009

  2. Perhaps a more effective long term stimulus plan would be be to provide free education for scientists,engineers,biologists, mechanics,welders and beef up the math and science programs at every level of education. I'm suprised not to see Nursing (RN programs) here.

    Comment by takchess | July 28, 2009

  3. I don't know. Do we want dumb people attempting engineering when they'd be better off doing something else?Seriously, without knowing someone you can't help them pick a field.I don't know if free education for people in hard fields is the way to go. It might just result in a glut of people in those fields. Also, beefing up math and science education might mean cutting back on reading, writing and history. The humanities may be softer but they aren't all bunk. Reading The Federalist Papers or the Constitution has definite value. If people don't know our culture, do we still have one.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 28, 2009

  4. It is interesting that nuclear engineering is not on the list. Aptitude has little to do with getting an education. It does help to enjoy what you are doing. There is no reason that hard work can not be fun. Beer is the main problem.I would also take issue with the idea engineers are not well rounded.

    Comment by Kit P | July 28, 2009

  5. Actually, I think many engineers are well rounded. I just think forcing everybody to focus hard on math and science might not be helpful.If you provide free education for welders you might just end up with many unemployed welders. Actually I'm pretty socialistic in some ways. I think the top 5% should have free education in the field of their choice.Though it's far from perfect, whose in the top 5% should be determined by examination. Hard multiday exam in many subjects. At least that would be my ideal. I think welders' unions and employers who need stuff welded might be better suited to train welders. After all hospitals have often trained their own techs. The HMO has a program for rad techs where you get tuition re-embursement if you work for them for a certain number of years after graduation

    Comment by Anonymous | July 28, 2009

  6. Here in the UK, true engineers are spectacularly badly paid.Its not uncommon for starting salaries to be in the range of $37 – $40 US and thats before you start taking into account higher rents and gas at $6.50 a US gallon.Its a bloody miracle that anyone bothers to study it. Not only that, but unlike our continental cousins we don't have any legal protection on the title "engineer".Any halfwit can call himself an engineer with no requirement to have any qualifications to prove it.On the continent you have to have the relevant degree plus be chartered with the appropriate engineering bodies.Andy

    Comment by Andy | July 29, 2009

  7. On the continent you have to have the relevant degree plus be chartered with the appropriate engineering bodies.Not necessarily. Companies are free to hire whomever they wish as engineers, regardless of education. I work for an aerospace company and many of the older engineers do not have degrees. When I graduated from university a couple of years ago, I interviewed for a number of engineering positions, despite my lack of a degree in an engineering discipline. My degree is in physics, but my title is an electrical engineer.

    Comment by The Mad Scientist | July 30, 2009

  8. what about doctors and lawyers? dont they make as much as engineers?

    Comment by cta | July 30, 2009

  9. The survey was for undergraduate degrees. Doctors and lawyers need a higher degree than that, so they don't show up in this survey.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 30, 2009

  10. This was the first semester that we have seen more than one student go out with a starting salary over $100k (undergraduate) and if you don't think that affected our enrollment . . . . (my class size has doubled in one case).

    Comment by Heading Out | July 31, 2009

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: