Engineering Salary Statistics

The Globe & Mail, a newspaper published in Toronto, has posted an interesting graphic that allows you to determine the average early career earnings (ages 26 to 35) of various university majors, including several engineering disciplines.  This is based on StatsCan data, and so is presumably reasonably good.  After a quick look, some comments.

First, Chemical Engineering (my discipline!) seems to have the highest median income (over $71,000) among the engineering fields.  I suspect it’s skewed by the people working in northern Alberta (Fort McMurray, etc.) where the salaries tend to be high, but I can’t say for sure.  Most other engineering disciplines are in the low to mid $60,000 range for the median salary.  Not bad for someone in their mid 20s to mid 30s, and higher than pretty well any other major (except Pharmacy, as far as I could determine).  For comparison, in 2010 the median lone-parent family income in Canada was $37,050 according to StatsCan.

The other thing I notice is that female median salaries are consistently lower than male.  This seems to be the case for all majors.  I doubt that it is systemic salary gender discrimination, but probably reflects the fact that these are the prime child-bearing years for females, with time off work and lower income.

Overall, some interesting info, and it confirms that with engineering you can mix science, math, problem solving, and a decent standard of living too.


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