Design Engineering

Engineering disciplines dominate list of top earning university degrees

By DE Staff   


Statcan report finds young engineers make two to three times that of graduates with degrees at the bottom of the list.

According to a new study by Statistics Canada, students who earn an engineering degree make substantially more than their counterparts with degrees in other fields. Out the top 10 most lucrative degrees, 6 of them are in various engineering disciplines for men and 7 for women.

For male grads, mining and mineral engineering took the top spot; five years after graduation, these degree holders received median earnings of $111,533, adjusted for age, institution and graduation cohort, the study found. Rounding out the top 5 were pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, petroleum engineering, nuclear engineering and chemical engineering ($89,637).

For women graduates, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences ranked first, with adjusted median earnings of $94,177 five years after graduation followed by four engineering degrees: mining, chemical, mechanical and industrial engineering.

In total, 23 different types of engineering disciplines ranked in the top 44 of the 118 disciplines studied for male graduates. For female graduates, only nine engineering disciplines appeared on the list, due to smaller samples Statcan says, but they were all in the top 15 based on median earnings.


In comparison, both men and women graduates with arts or humanities degrees fared far worse financially. Median earnings ranged from $42,298 to $35,935 for men and $33,765 to $19,892 for women. Among male graduates, Drama/theatre arts and stagecraft ranked the lowest ($35,935), while for women, it was Bilingual, multilingual and multicultural education ($19,892). Overall, median earnings of arts and humanities graduates were well below that of all bachelor’s degree graduates, whether male or female.

The study is based on students who graduated between 2010 and 2012 and their median paid earnings five years later (e.g. 2015 to 2017), including those who reported zero earnings.


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