The demand for various engineering professionals is expected to grow through 2025. That includes mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers as well as engineering managers. For engineering professionals, this is all good news. But you might also want to know how to maximize your earning potential as an engineering professional.
Not everyone likes to take a hardline approach to salary negotiation. But there are tips you can follow no matter how you feel about negotiating for higher pay.
Knowing where to seek employment (if you're able to relocate) can also help you get a higher paying job. In Canada, many of the top paying engineering roles are found out west, particularly in Alberta in cities such as Calgary and Edmonton. That's due to the demand for engineers in the strong oil and gas sector in this province.
But you can also find high-paying engineering jobs elsewhere in the nation — even outside of the oil and gas field. Picking your specialty with an eye toward fields that pay the most will increase your chance of eventually moving into senior roles that are high paying.
Check out these nine engineering positions that pay on average more than $100,000 per year. Most of these roles do require experience and are considered senior-level positions.
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Project engineers are the project managers of the engineering world. They have to have the engineering chops to do the work themselves while also bringing organizational, leadership and analytical skills to the table to manage project processes and teams.
To be hired as a project manager, you need education and experience as an engineer in the sector related to the employer or job at hand. For example, chemical project engineers tend to be chemical engineers. That experience pays off, as project engineers can make $100,000 per year. And those with five to 10 years experience managing engineering projects can make an average of $120,000 to $160,000 annually.
Plant managers oversee the people, equipment and processes in manufacturing and industrial facilities. Many of these jobs require engineering experience, with people often working their way up to these roles by working as plant or manufacturing engineers.
Starting salary for qualified candidates can be $90,000 to $100,000 in most Canadian markets. Someone with plant management experience can expect to make as much as $130,000 to $160,000 annually.
This position shows up on this list as it relates to engineering and manufacturing fields. Small business and office purchasing managers — and even retail purchasing managers — are not the type of position being discussed here.
Purchasing managers in manufacturing or industrial fields may require engineering or operations knowledge and experience to buy the right materials and oversee supply chains appropriately. Candidates with the right background can make as much as $90,000 to $100,000 in most markets, and in larger cities such as Calgary, you might even make a bit more. Those with purchasing manager experience can command salaries ranging from $130,000 to $160,000 per year.
Again, this is specific to engineering and relevant fields and is not addressing salaries for ops managers in other types of businesses. Engineering operations managers oversee a variety of processes in industries such as manufacturing, industrial, aerospace and oil and gas.
Starting pay is usually around $90,000 to $120,000, depending on the type of employer, size of the company and location of the position. Those with specific experience as operations managers can make as much as $120,000 to $170,000 per year, with compensation at the top of that range most likely in Alberta or in jobs in the oil, gas and energy sectors.
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Engineering projects come with very specific contracts, often requiring the contracts manager to be someone who understands the significance of all the numbers and engineering speak. These positions are found throughout the sector, often going to someone with engineering experience in a niche that's relevant to the employer.
Contracts managers participate in bidding, including overseas bidding, to secure contracts for their employers. They also typically oversee the process of moving that contract through to execution.
The highest pay for these types of positions tends to be in energy, oil and gas or construction sectors. Average starting pay is around $100,000 per year, and those with five to 10 years of experience can earn as much as $130,000 or more per year.
Leadership and management roles aren't the only way to earn a higher salary as an engineer. Specializing can also help. Electrical engineers, for example, start around $80,000 to $100,000 a year and can earn as much as $115,000 with five to 10 years experience. The highest paying positions tend to be in the energy sector in Calgary, in the manufacturing sector in Ontario and throughout British Columbia.
Engineers in Edmonton and Calgary can make great money in the gas and oil sectors as pipeline engineers. Starting salaries in this sector and geographical location average $90,000 to $120,000 per year, and those with five to 10 years of experience can make as much as $115,000 to $150,000.
Mechanical engineers are in a similar boat with starting salaries averaging $80,000 to $120,000 annually. Five to 10 years of experience can net you a salary of $120,000 to $160,000 per year, but it does matter where you work. The highest paying positions tend to be in the oil and gas sector or for roles in locations such as Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.
supply chain manager
Supply chain managers in sectors that require knowledge of manufacturing, specific materials requirements and even special handling processes may call for engineers with certain skill sets. These jobs pay on average $90,000 to $120,000, with five to 10 years of experience bumping the range to $125,000 to $160,000 per year. Many of the highest paying roles are in Ontario, where there are strong construction and manufacturing sectors.