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  • Electrical Engineering Grads Nab Major’s Top Salary

    December 07, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    An electrical engineer works on a circuit board.

    TAGS: salaries, nace insights

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    Electrical engineering is the highest paid Class of 2016 engineering major at the bachelor’s degree level, according to results of NACE’s Fall 2016 Salary Survey.

    Electrical engineering graduates earned salaries that averaged $73,078, nearly $5,500 more than their Class of 2015 counterparts averaged at this time last year ($67,603). (See Figure 1.)

    Likewise, Class of 2016 computer engineering majors ($69,480) are seeing a sizable gain in their average starting salary over last year’s graduates ($64,155).

    Other top-earning engineering majors from the Class of 2016 include chemical engineering ($68,393) and petroleum engineering ($67,500), both of which are down from the average salaries reported for these graduates from the Class of 2015.

    It is important to understand that these preliminary salaries are early indicators, and are based on the early results of NACE’s Class of 2016 First-Destination Survey.

    The data contained in NACE's Fall 2016 Salary Survey report were collected from July 25, 2016, through September 12, 2016, and were provided by 38 colleges and universities nationwide that are participants of NACE’s national First-Destination Survey. The data represent actual starting salary data for Class of 2016 graduates (those who graduated July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016). Final starting salary data for the Class of 2016 will be available in the Spring 2017 Salary Survey. Salary projections for the Class of 2017 will be available in the Winter 2017 Salary Survey. An executive summary of the Fall 2016 Salary Survey report is available at

    Figure 1: Top-Paid Class of 2016 Bachelor’s Degree Engineering Majors

    Major Fall 2016 Average
    Starting Salary
    Fall 2015 Average
    Starting Salary
    Electrical engineering $73,078 $67,603
    Computer engineering $69,480 $64,155
    Chemical engineering $68,393 $69,778
    Petroleum engineering $67,500 $72,063
    Mechanical engineering $64,890 $63,532
    Industrial engineering $63,061 $63,104
    Aerospace engineering $61,180 $57,988
    Biomedical/medical engineering $59,057 $59,160
    Civil engineering $55,635 $55,063
    Source: Fall 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. All data are for bachelor’s degree graduates and represent preliminary results.
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