These engineering fields have plenty of fresh graduates who get rich quick

get rich quick
Mukesh Ambani's engineering degree gave him the skills to succeed. Source: AFP

If you aim to get rich quick by becoming an engineer, you’re on the right track. Engineering is a discipline that has secured many successful careers, allowing many to lead comfortable lifestyles and pay off student loans. 

While aiming to earn big is natural, focusing on long-term growth and your career progression will bring you more financial stability and success over time. 

Thankfully, an engineer can do both as starting salaries are among the highest for any college degree.

A typical starting salary for an engineer fresh out of school with a bachelor’s degree is around US$59,281 annually. 

That’s the average. Some engineering fields, due to greater demand and other factors, can lead to even higher pay.

Engineering is a vast field

Known for being an extensive subject, there are many fields to choose from. Each promises many opportunities for professional growth, personal development, and various other prospects.

And if you look at the wealthiest people in the world, many hold engineering degrees, notably:

  • Bernard Arnault, holder of US$211 billion in fortune, oversees the LVMH empire of 75 fashion and cosmetics brands
  • Jeff Bezos, who has US$155.9 billion in net worth, is the chairman and founder of e-commerce giant Amazon
  • Mukesh Ambani, with US$94.7 billion in networth, is one of the richest Indian billionaires today and founder and chairman of Reliance Industries.
get rich quick

Get rich quick like Bernard Arnault by pursuing an engineering degree. Source: AFP

According to projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of engineering is projected to see a 4% increase in job growth from 2021 to 2031, resulting in the opening of over 146,000 new positions in the next decade.

As per the BLS, recent data indicates that the median annual salary for engineering was US$79,840, surpassing the median wage for all occupations by 74%.

This income can vary among engineering roles. How do you narrow down which one is for you and which brings you the most income?

6 engineering fields for fresh graduates to get rich quick

get rich quick

Working as an electrical engineer will put you on the path to get rich quick. Source: AFP

1. Electrical Engineer

If you pursued a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, you are in luck. Electrical engineers are among the highest paid in the field.  

Being an electrical engineer offers opportunities across diverse industries such as telecommunications, life sciences, aerospace, and the development, testing, and production of electrical systems and equipment.

The top 10% in this field earn upwards of US$160,000 annually, while even the bottom 10% make significantly more than the average worker in all professions. 

In today’s technological landscape, electrical engineers are almost guaranteed a promising income. 

They are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining various electronic systems, devices, and technologies that power our lives. This covers communication networks and consumer electronics to renewable energy systems and automation processes.

As we become more dependent on electronics and digital systems, the need for electrical engineers continues to grow, making them indispensable in innovating products and systems that enhance efficiency, productivity, and convenience.

get rich quick

A career in chemical engineering can lead to a high-paying job for fresh grads. Source: AFP

2. Chemical Engineer

Looking to get rich quick? Choose a career in chemical engineering.

Those in this field earn up to US$105,550 a year. This is even higher for professionals who make it into the top 10% of earners, earning around US$187,000 or more

According to BLS, chemical engineering positions may grow by 14% between 2021 and 2031.

Studying chemical engineering offers a lucrative career path as almost every industry requires experts who can use chemistry, physics, and mathematics to design, develop, and optimise processes to transform raw materials into valuable products.

These products can span from pharmaceuticals and food to petrochemicals and materials used in manufacturing. 

This versatile skill set allows chemical engineers to contribute to diverse sectors. Their expertise is highly sought after by industries seeking to improve their production efficiency, product quality, and sustainability.

get rich quick

Professionals in aerospace engineering are sought after and are amongst the highest paid. Source: AFP

3. Aerospace Engineer

If you have always been interested in how rockets and planes work, then aerospace engineering is the path for you.

Missiles, satellites, aircraft and spacecraft are all in the realm of the world’s aerospace engineers. 

In this field, you will not only be able to explore your interests but also earn big. The median salary for an aerospace engineer is around US$122,270.

The highest-earning 10% in the field can expect to take home salaries as high as US$168,370.

Those entering this field can expect to see a growth of about 6% by 2031, according to BLS.  

Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing, testing, and maintaining aircraft, spacecraft, and related systems.

That’s not all. They’re in charge of various other applications as well, including commercial and military aircraft, satellites, space exploration vehicles, and even cutting-edge technologies like drones and supersonic travel. 

As aerospace engineering is very intricate, professionals in this field are expected to have a deep understanding of physics, materials science, and advanced mathematics. 

get rich quick

A computer hardware engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and testing computer hardware components. Source: AFP

4. Computer Hardware Engineer

The highest-earning when it comes to engineering fields is computer hardware engineers. With a median salary of US$128,170 and those in the top 10% making more than US$208,000 a year, this is the way to go if you want to get rich quick. 

A large percentage of computer engineers, more than one in five, work in the field of computer systems design and related services — although many more are employed in the production of semiconductors and other electrical components.

Computer hardware engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing the physical components of computers and electronic devices, including processors and memory systems. 

This dynamic field requires a strong foundation in electrical engineering, digital design, and computer architecture, making it a challenging yet rewarding choice for those aspiring for a lucrative career.

Those in this field earn big due to the massive demand for experts who can create cutting-edge hardware systems. From smartphones and laptops to servers and embedded systems, the demand for optimised and energy-efficient hardware is needed across industries. 

The BLS projects computer hardware engineer jobs will increase by 5% from 2021 to 2031

get rich quick

Petroleum engineers help find oil and gas for the country’s energy needs — and get rich quick along the way.. Source: AFP

5. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers work in the oil and gas industry, focusing on extracting oil and natural gas. This field has been known to offer high salaries due to the global demand for energy resources. 

These engineers often travel worldwide to far-off locations where oil is or might be located — and they earn big bucks along the way.

On top of that, the job often involves working in challenging environments, from offshore platforms to remote drilling sites, 

As a result, graduates with a degree in petroleum engineering are highly sought after and are in a position to ask for competitive salaries.

Those in this field can expect a high salary of US$130,850

Petroleum engineers are responsible for designing and implementing methods to extract oil and gas beneath the surface of the earth. 

With no slowing down in demand for energy resources to power life as we know it, from our cars to our smartphones and homes, and coupled with the complex methods of extracting them, the world is set to need petroleum engineers for the foreseeable future.

6. Nuclear Engineering 

Nuclear engineers are at the forefront of harnessing the power of nuclear reactions for various applications, including energy production, medical imaging, and even space exploration. 

These professionals are pivotal in designing and maintaining nuclear reactors, ensuring their safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. 

Given the intricate nature of nuclear technologies, nuclear engineering demands a strong foundation in physics, mathematics, and engineering principles.

The energy sector, in particular, relies on nuclear power as a clean and efficient source of electricity, and nuclear engineers are integral to optimising reactor design, safety protocols, and waste management systems. 

If you choose to pursue a career as a nuclear engineer, your responsibilities will include the design, construction, and operation of nuclear power plants, along with contributing to research on atomic energy generation.

You will also be tasked with maintaining nuclear systems and devising strategies for enhancing the sustainability, efficiency, and stability of nuclear power plants.

To secure a position as a nuclear engineer, obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nuclear engineering is necessary.

Nuclear engineers earn the most in the scientific research and development services industry, where the nuclear engineer earns a median annual salary of US$120,380.

The federal government employs the largest percentage of nuclear engineers, with scientific research and development services not far behind. It is, however, an occupation on the decline. Job growth is projected to decline by 11% by 2031.