Highest Paid Engineer Jobs in the USA: Where Chemical Engineers Make the Best Salaries
© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin
As the highest paid of all engineering specialties, chemical engineers use chemical principles to solve practical problems such as in the production of household products, electronics, food and clothing. Because chemistry applies to a range of manufacturing, these engineers can work in such industries as healthcare, biotechnology and energy production. Their wages vary by employer and location, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The 28,720 chemical engineers in the country make a mean $45.48 per hour or $94,590 per year.
- The lowest earners make $27.17 per hour or $56,520 per year, while the highest paid receive $67.15 per hour or $139,670 per year.
- This is over a quarter more than the average $36.32 per hour or $75,550 per year made by all engineers, engineering technicians, architects and drafters.
- This is also over double the $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year made by the average worker in the country.
The industries with most jobs for chemical engineers are the following:
- Architectural, engineering and related services employs 17 percent of the total at a mean $46.91 per hour or $97,580 per year.
- Scientific research and development services has almost 13 percent of the jobs at an average $48.16 per hour or $100,180 per year.
- Basic chemical manufacturing has 12 percent of the employment at a mean $45.25 per hour or $94,130 per year.
The highest paying industries are the following:
- Natural gas distribution has means of $67.97 per hour or $141,380 per year.
- Oil and gas extraction averages $55.02 per hour or $114,450 per year.
- Motor vehicle parts manufacturers pay a mean $54.74 per hour or $113,850 per year.
The following states have high populations and the best employment for chemical engineers.
- Texas, the second most populous state, boasts 5,030 positions at a mean $50.58 per hour or $105,200 per year.
- California, the most populous states, has 1,970 jobs averaging $51.28 per hour or $106,670 per year.
- Ohio, with 1,700 engineers, has means of $42.20 per hour or $87,780 per year.
States with far fewer people have the best pay.
- Alaska has a high cost of living that pushes wages to a mean $61.08 per hour or $127,040 per year.
- Wisconsin has mean at $56.94 per hour or $118,430 per year.
- Delaware’s engineers average $56.17 per hour or $116,840 per year.
The urban areas with the most jobs for chemical engineers are the following:
- Houston, Texas, contains 2,710 jobs at a mean $52.95 per hour or $110,140 per year.
- Chicago, Illinois, has 780 positions averaging $42.40 per hour or $88,4180 per year.
- Newark, New Jersey, has 730 engineers earning a mean $48.66 per hour or $101,200 per year.
As for best pay, these cities top the list.
- Madison, Wisconsin, averages $65.97 per hour or $137,220 per year.
- San Antonio, Texas, has means at $61.05 per hour or $126,990 per year.
- Charleston, South Carolina, averages $59.03 per hour or $122,790 per year.
- Highest Paid Engineer Jobs in the USA
Even among the high-paying world of engineering, some jobs earn more than others.