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Which engineering course abroad leads to a highest-paying job?
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


06 Sep 2018 3.3K Book icon 5 mins Share

Which engineering course abroad leads to a highest-paying job?

Some of the highly paid engineering courses abroad that Indian students wish they had known before...

06 Sep 2018 3.3K Book icon 5 mins Share
Which engineering course abroad leads to a highest-paying job?

Indian students who want to study engineering abroad mostly decide on a course based on following things: Is the course job-oriented? Will they get an opportunity to work in the country they study in or any country abroad after graduating? Will they be able to repay their education loan [if they avail one] and support themselves financially and become independent after finishing their studies? Also, most importantly, is the course worth studying in a country far away from the native country?

There are students who not only think of being financially independent but also think of earning better pay checks, possibly in six-figures, after graduating from a reputable institution where they heavily invest for a secured future.

So here we tell you some of the engineering courses abroad that are often regarded highly for their excellent return on investments, which mean these courses lead to jobs that not only pay better but, some of which, are possibly highest-paid engineering courses.

Petroleum engineering

With the increasing demand for oil almost in every country, the demand for petroleum engineers has soared. These engineers look for natural petroleum resources; therefore, the job of a petroleum engineer involves great risks sometimes. They get paid highly by companies and industrialists and also get many benefits.

On average, the starting salary of a petroleum engineer is around $74,000 and with experience, these engineers can make around $186,000 or more. The salary could vary based on the region these engineers get their jobs.

An important point to note here is, there have been countless disputes over oil and in fact countries have raged war over this versatile natural resource. Yet people still want to study this domain and get employed, with lucrative benefits. When you start working as a petroleum engineer, at times you might be dragged into political and legal conflicts. Hence, you must be wary of the pros and cons of studying this subject.

Universities abroad to study petroleum engineering

Nuclear engineering

Our world is moving into an age where everything is getting automated by robots and machines. Likewise, nuclear energy has slowly overtaken our lives. One nation lives in fear of another nation bombarding it with its nuclear missiles on any occasion of minor disagreement between the countries.

But there’s a positive side to it. Nuclear engineers are constantly looking for ways nuclear energy can be used for the good of mankind, say in medicine and research. Nuclear engineers play an important role in many ways to improve economies. However, there’s always some risk involved in the job wherein an engineer can face many health hazards from several hours of working with radiation and nuclear tools and techniques.

A typical nuclear engineer earns around $60,000 as a starting salary. The pay increases with experience and with the engineer’s ability to deal with several nuclear resources.

Universities abroad to study nuclear engineering

  • University of Leeds
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of New South Wales

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineering has been a favourite engineering course for many students since many years. It involves designing, planning and executing the chemical structure of compounds and molecules. With a degree in chemical engineering, students can work in several sectors like pharmaceuticals, FMCG, oil and gas, cosmetics, etc.

On average, chemical engineers can earn a starting salary of $90,000 and it could move up based on experience of employees. 

Universities abroad to study chemical engineering

Computer Science engineering

Ever since the IT industry has seen a massive spike, there has been an increase in the number of computer science graduates all over the world. Every one in four engineering graduate turns out to be a computer science student.

It’s a lucrative profession that always pays better, and there are many graduates who look forward to working with software and data.

The minimum average salary of computer science graduates in the USA is around $76,000 per year. But the salary varies from one job to another and from one company to another. Computer engineers working in organisations like the NASA can earn around $95,000 per year whereas graduates who work in the Department of Homeland Security in the USA might earn around $113,000 per year [source: indeed.com].

Universities abroad to study computer science

  • Murdoch University
  • The University of Queensland
  • La Trobe University
  • The University of Sydney
  • Massey University

Aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineering is one branch of aeronautical engineering. This branch of engineering deals with objects like spacecraft and missile. Students who are interested in exploring space applications and aerodynamics are often found to study this course. Aerospace engineers are trained not just in one domain, but they are also required to understand and have a fair knowledge about systems engineering and design.

The average salary earned by an aerospace engineer abroad could be between $72,000 and &103,000 per year, depending on the job role and years of experience they might have.

Universities abroad to study aerospace engineering

  • The University of Queensland
  • Centennial College
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Central Lancashire

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineers are easily hired almost in most companies worldwide. The occasional mistakes that you make while experimenting in your practical classes with wires and tools might send a sudden thrill down your spine, but the end results are beautiful. It’s an exciting subject with scores of exciting moments and outcomes.

An electrical engineer studies other core subjects, such as microelectronics, signal processing, control systems, power engineering and telecommunications.

The average salary of an electrical engineer abroad is around $82,000 per year, but it can vary as per the location where an engineer gets to work [source: Indeed.com].

Universities abroad to study electrical engineering

  • Flinders University
  • The University of Queensland
  • Centennial College
  • University of Southern Queensland

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineers are always in high demand as much as electrical engineers are. Mechanical engineering is a branch of study wherein students learn the basics of handling all types of tools and devices.

A mechanical engineer can earn a minimum average salary of $78,000 per year in the USA. The salary can go up to $138,000 per year based on the job role and types of companies the mechanical engineer works with [source: Indeed.com].

Universities abroad to study mechanical engineering

Civil engineering

Civil engineers are responsible for all things civilian, from building bridges, railways, to planning cities and other infrastructure. This branch needs expert civil engineers who can survive under strenuous workplace conditions and are also wary of the environmental factors that will affect their designs and plans. 

As per Indeed.com, the minimum average salary of a civil engineer in the USA is around $78,000 per year. It keeps increasing with years of experience, and go up to $115,800 per year.

Universities abroad to study civil engineering

  • University of Adelaide
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney
  • Flinders University

Biomedical engineering

Biomedical engineering bridges the gap between the science of engineering and medicine. These types of engineers get to work in hospitals, industries or engineering firms.

A biomedical engineering graduate’s salary varies from one industry to another. Typically, the minimum average salary for a biomedical engineer in the USA is $84,000 per year. Also, it has been reported that the highest-paying US states for biomedical engineers are Minnesota, California and Arizona.

Universities abroad to study biomedical engineering

  • Flinders University
  • Centennial College
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Liverpool
  • The University of Sydney

Architectural engineering

Architectural engineers are responsible for designing the construction of buildings and structures. Their job is to ensure that proper planning goes around in creating something new that should be durable and of benefit for people.

These engineers need to be aware of the environmental science factors that can make or break their creation. In addition, architectures need sound communicative skills and also the ability to sustain harsh workplace conditions in terms of climate or weather.

The average salary of an architectural engineer in the US dollars is $63,000 per year. The salary can go up to $98,000 with experience and, of course, with designations.

Universities abroad to study architectural engineering

  • The University of Canterbury
  • University of Liverpool
  • Victoria University
  • Cardiff University
  • Northumbria University

The above list gives you a fair idea of which engineering course to choose abroad, if you’re worried too much about getting a well-paid job later. However, it doesn’t mean that any course that you choose outside the list will not give you the desired outcome. 

Unless you put effort and work towards the career that you’ve chosen, it’s difficult to predict where you’re going to be 6 months after graduating. If you’re a student who has always been a hard worker, then it’s highly unlikely that you can’t find a job when you start searching for one.

Other courses that can give you equally good career opportunities include actuarial science, marine engineering, economics, mathematics and geophysics.

Please speak to our counsellors to understand which engineering course is your true calling. They will tell you about the possible career options you can have from the course that you choose to study. Right now, you might find yourself a bit confused. Speaking to them could give you some clarity. You can call or chat with us or write to us for a quick assistance.

Need help choosing a course?

Shahnaz Khan Shahnaz Khan,
IDP Expert
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