If you are an engineer looking to earn the most dollars for that degree, move to the West Coast. Engineers in San Jose earn the highest median compensation in the United States at $92,600 annually, according to the National Society of Professional Engineers' (NSPE) 1998 income and salary survey. The next best location is Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., where the median is $87,500. The results are based on more than 18,000 survey responses.
The national median for all engineers was $70,000 as of Jan. 1, and the highest paid engineers are in the petroleum and natural gas products field. Engineers there earn a median of $92,805 annually.
Other figures of note:
- Engineers in state government earn the lowest median, at $55,950.
- Engineers with less than one year of experience earn a median of $40,940.
- More than 14,000 of the survey respondents say they never have lost a job due to downsizing.