Main image of article What Engineering Positions Really Pay

The term “engineer” encompasses multiple disciplines. It could refer to the mechanical and electrical engineers who put electronics together; or it could mean those tech pros who build, maintain, and protect corporate networks. Whatever their individual discipline, though, one thing is clear: engineers are valuable employees. But how valuable? The following analysis of Dice data shows that experienced engineers, whatever their specialization, can earn sizable paychecks—in addition to any other equity and benefits they may receive. Below, we’ve posted the median, mean, and max salary for some top-earning positions, as based on our database.

Network Engineer

Median Salary: $80,000 Mean Salary: $81,954 Max Salary: $700,000 Network engineers are just one of the many types of tech pros who keep businesses running. On the most fundamental level, these engineers design, build, and maintain the networks that unify a company’s tech stack. Skilled workers in this category have in-depth knowledge of different systems and how they interact with one another, and can troubleshoot a variety of problems. The term “network engineer” can also refer to those tech pros tasked with maintaining wireless and data networks, an equally vital job.

System Engineer

Median Salary: $90,603 Mean Salary: $94,675 Max Salary: $800,000 System engineers must necessarily take a holistic view on how a business operates, and figure out how to design systems to best fit the needs of internal and external customers. In virtually any industry, this represents a complex task, and much of the job revolves around optimizing as many processes and feedback loops as possible. Many system engineers have a “traditional” engineering degree (such as mechanical engineering) in addition to experience in management and interdisciplinary projects. There are also certifications that will formalize mastery.

QA Engineer

Median Salary: $80,000 Mean Salary: $80,731 Max Salary: $830,000 A QA engineer isn’t the same thing as a QA tester. Whereas the latter spends all day, every day testing software for bugs, the QA engineer oversees the minutiae of the quality-assurance process, making sure that the overall product is top quality. Depending on the company and industry, QA engineers may also decide which parts of the QA process to automate, develop unit-testing frameworks, and choose the appropriate bug-tracking system. Effective QA engineers have a solid grasp of the software lifecycle and testing best practices; they should also have an in-depth knowledge of QA tools. Next: Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers and more (click here or below)


Mechanical Engineer

Median Salary: $65,000 Mean Salary: $70,178 Max Salary: $170,000 Mechanical engineers design, build, and maintain mechanical platforms and systems. There’s a lot of overlap with other “physical” engineering disciplines such as electrical engineering and industrial engineering. In terms of day-to-day workflow, many mechanical engineers spend time drafting new designs (or improving old ones) using specialized drafting software, or using programs to analyze the results of their work. As the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics evolve as disciplines, mechanical engineers could find themselves learning additional software platforms, and even interacting more with data scientists. 

Electrical Engineer

Median Salary: $65,000 Mean Salary: $70,738 Max Salary: $765,000 Electrical engineers study the application of electricity; sub-disciplines include electronics, telecommunications, and power engineering. Any company that builds or designs hardware wants to figure out how to make their systems and products more energy-efficient, which is where these engineers come in. 

Design Engineer

Median Salary: $77,006 Mean Salary: $80,788 Max Salary: $175,000 “Design engineer” is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of disciplines and industries. At its most fundamental, design engineering is the creation and prototyping of new products. The design process often extends from initial conception all the way through last-minute troubleshooting.  Next: Security Engineers, Engineering Managers and more (click here or below)


Network Security Engineer

Median Salary: $85,000 Mean Salary: $86,419 Max Salary: $300,000 Network security engineers must figure out how to protect datacenters and other critical infrastructure from cyber-attack, often working in conjunction with other security-minded tech pros. 

Engineering Manager

Median Salary: $109,833 Mean Salary: $114,534 Max Salary: $300,000 Engineering managers help plan out the objectives and strategy for a company’s engineering core. They also oversee projects, and discuss the results with senior management. As with many manager jobs, this is a cross-disciplinary role, interacting on a regular basis with sales and marketing, product development, and other silos.

NOC Engineer

Median Salary: $56,500 Mean Salary: $59,351 Max Salary: $130,000 Network Operations Center (NOC) engineers monitor internal networks and ensure that everything remains stable. In a given week, they might have to handle anything from a DDoS attack to a network failure of indeterminate cause.