Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $130,280

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Surveyors

Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $56,230

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Surveying and mapping technicians assist surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists. Together, they collect data and make maps of the earth’s surface. Surveying technicians visit sites to take measurements of the land. Mapping technicians use geographic data to create maps.

Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent

2012 Median Pay: $39,670

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $104,270

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $80,580

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.

Entry-Level Education: Associates’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $51,980

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, and other substances to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $85,150

More Information: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Marine Engineers and Naval Architects

Marine engineers and naval architects design, build, and maintain ships from aircraft carriers to submarines, from sailboats to tankers. Marine engineers work on the mechanical systems, such as propulsion and steering. Naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $88,100

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient ways to use workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $78,860

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to effectively use personnel, materials, and machines in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

Entry-Level Education: Associate’s degree

2012 Median Pay: $50,980