By Goutam Chatterjee
Often, engineering students mull over the question of what can be the best or top or the highest paying engineering branch. Many experts advise these students to follow their interests or liking but without realizing that just after schooling, it is not possible to gauge interest in an unknown field.
It is also a myth that mere selection of branch on the basis of current popularity can be categorised as the highest paying engineering branch. The two most important factors for success in career ahead are: Students own potential & hard work and the category & reputation of the institution, which students go for. In making this statement, I am excluding the top 2 lakh students, each year who are aware of this fact.
Take a look at some (in chronological order), of the top (read that as highest paying) engineering branches along with the reasoning of it being the best.
List of highest paying engineering branches
Highest Paying Engineering Branches
Computer Science Engineering
Expected salary: Rs. 2.4 Lakh to Rs. 1 Crore per annum
Expected salary: Rs. 1.8 Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh per annum
Expected salary: Rs. 3 Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh per annum
Expected salary: Rs. 1.8 Lakh to Rs. 4.5 Lakh per annum
Electronics & Communication Engineering
Expected salary: Rs. 1.5 to Rs. 3.5 Lakh per annum
Computer Science Engineering
In India R&D, innovation and electronics manufacturing sectors are very weak and do not provide enough opportunities to engineers of electronics, chemical, textile, instrumentation, bio-medical and aeronautical branches. However, the service sector is the strongest as per job opportunities and commercial gains. Be it banking, airlines, insurance, railways, hospitals, hospitality or the IT field; everywhere there is a requirement of the software solution. The billions of devices produced in every sector from automobile to aerospace need microprocessor control, which is software-driven. It is not only the development or coding of these services and devices but also testing and lifetime support, which needs professionals from Computer Science Engineering. This demand is not going to go away ever, albeit may slow down for limited periods. The major chunk of jobs offered in India, every year, is for CS engineers.
Expected salary: The expected salary for freshers is Rs. 2.4 LPA to Rs. 8.5 LPA for jobs in India by the major MNCs. However, this goes up to Rs. 1 Crore PA for jobs offered to IITians by IT giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter. The top-notch financial sector giants like Moody’s, Meryl & Lynch, Poor & Standard, HSBC, City Bank etc offer Rs. 10-30 Lakh PA to the graduates of IITs, NITs, VIT, BITS and Manipal. The middle range MNCs like Mu-Sigma and Samsung easily offer Rs. 6.5 Lakh to Rs. 8.5 Lakh PA to the graduates of government and better private engineering colleges.
India always had robust heavy-manufacturing industries like steel, metal, forging, automobile and mining. All these industries require a steady inflow of fresh engineering graduates. With the advent of automation, more & more engineers are required to monitor, supervise and fault-diagnose these systems. Mechanical engineers are also required in the IT sector to design & develop ERP solutions as they are supposed to have a better understanding of manufacturing and production processes. Sectors like Railways, heavy-engineering, shipyards, ports, mining, defence forces, National highways, metro rail corporation etc are the top employers for Mechanical Engineering professionals.
Expected salary: The starting salaries for mechanical engineers range from Rs. 1.8 Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh.
In the early 20th century, civil engineers were the best-recognized engineers in India through their contributions in building huge dams, bridges, ports, airports and railways. During the decades of the 70s to 90s, due to the non-availability of many infrastructure-related developments, the popularity and demand of this branch nose-dived and except for government colleges, the majority of private engineering colleges did not offer this branch. This created a vacuum when infrastructure development boomed in the country during the late nineties and early 2000. All construction projects required site engineers, supervisors and architects; fuelling the demand for civil engineers. All of sudden, there was a rush among the private engineering colleges to open civil engineering branches. It is also simpler to study Civil Engineering compared to other branches as it has minimal mathematics and no software learning except in the first year.
Expected salary: The minimum salary for fresher civil engineers is the highest in the education sector where faculties are required to teach such a large number of students. Besides, in construction companies, the salary ranges from Rs. 3 Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh PA.
One of the oldest and core engineering branches, Electrical Engineering which always had steady demand in terms of employability. All electricity boards, power sector organizations like NTPC, PSUs, railways, defence forces, manufacturing sector etc require electrical, electrical & electronic and electrical & instrumentation engineers. They have also been hired by the IT sector for ERP solutions and for even software development.
Expected salary: The starting salaries for electrical engineer freshers range from Rs. 1.8 Lakh PA to Rs. 4.5 Lakh PA.
Electronics & Communication Engineering
Once second most popular branch, Electronics & Communication Engineering has taken a heavy beating in recent years due to the following reasons
- EC engineers are not proving to be good software developers due to the very low content of IT concepts in the syllabus.
- The top wireless service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircell etc do not hire many engineers as they have ready-made installation manuals & fault location systems which can be operated by technicians. Secondly, mostly they do hire through campus placements. Once a top employer for EC engineers, BSNL, has lost the market share.
- The absence of a genuine electronics industry in India is another big reason that EC engineers do not have takers in industry. All TVs, mobiles, computers, instruments, PDAs are only assembled in India, not manufactured from chip level.
- Repairing & fault diagnoses of all electronics items are done by technicians after they receive a few months of training.
Expected salary: The salary range for EC freshers range from Rs. 1.5 to Rs. 3.5 Lakh PA.
Nowadays more and more graduates are looking for education, defence, marine and banking sector jobs but they are not many in number.
Other Engineering Branches
There are branches like Chemical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and Mechatronics Engineering which have limited applicability and hence, fewer jobs. Majority of organizations, who require engineers from these branches, do not conduct campus placement drives thus, students of these branches have to be dependent on government jobs or specific industry demand.
The popularity and ranking of engineering branches have been driven by the demand-supply situation and it changes in a cyclic fashion. However, each engineering aspirant has to have a long term vision on this aspect rather than to be myopic, keeping the only a recent trend in the picture. Most importantly, developing engineering concept of the chosen branch through the study of standard academic text-books, developing English communication skill and learning of aptitude & logical reasoning beside academics are some key factors for grabbing the most satisfying career in terms of salary and job satisfaction.
About the author:
Dr Goutam Chatterjee is an ex-IAF officer of the aeronautical engineering branch and has worked in several organisations at high posts like DGM of AEM Pvt Ltd, Noida, Vice Principal of GRK Institute of Science & Technology, Head of ECE department of GLA Engineering college, Director of very prestigious Oriental group etc. He is currently the Director of Trinity Institute of Technology & Research.
FAQs related to the Highest-paying engineering branches
Q. Which branch in engineering is highly paid?
A. Computer Science and Engineering branch is one of the highest-paid in the engineering field. Expected salary ranges from Rs. 2.4 Lakh to Rs. 1 Crore per annum.
Q. Which are the top highest paid branches in engineering?
A. Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering.
Q. Which are the top recruiters in India which recruit CSE students?
A. IT giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter offer jobs to the IITians across India. The top-notch financial sector giants like Moody’s, Meryl & Lynch, Poor & Standard, HSBC, City Bank etc offer Rs. 10-30 Lakh PA to the graduates of IITs, NITs, VIT, BITS and Manipal.
Q. Which Engineering branches have fewer jobs in the country?
A. Chemical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and Mechatronics Engineering which have limited applicability and hence fewer jobs.
Q. What are the best jobs for science stream which are highly paid?
A. Geoscientists, Atmospheric Scientists, Biochemists and biophysicists, Medical Scientists, Hydrologist, Materials Scientist, Chemist, Nuclear Technicians etc. are some of the science stream jobs which are highly paid.
Q. I hold a Mechanical Engineering degree. In which companies will I get a job?
A. Mechanical engineers in the IT sector have huge demand. Sectors like Railways, heavy-engineering, shipyards, ports, mining, defence forces, National highways, metro rail corporation etc are the top employers for the mechanical engineers.
Q. Which are the top companies recruiting civil engineers in India?
A. Hindustan Construction Company, L & T, DLF, Tata Projects, Gammon India, Sobha Developers Ltd, Shapoorji Pallonji & Company, Unitech, Nagarjun Construction Company, Punj Lloyd etc are the top companies in India recruiting Civil Engineers.
Q. What are the various job opportunities for Electrical Engineers?
A. BHARAT SANCHAR LIGAM LIMITED - BSNL, BHARAT HEAVY ELECTRICALS LIMITED - BHEL, BHARAT ELECTRONICS LIMITED - BEL, INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANIZATION - ISRO, DRDO, NATIONAL THERMAL POWER PLANT - NTPC, Central Railway jobs, SAIL, Bajaj Electricals, HAVELLS INDIA LIMITED etc are the opportunities open for Electrical Engineers.
Q. What is the salary range of Electrical and Communication Engineering degree freshers?
Q. An EC fresher is expected to get Rs. 1.5 to Rs. 3.5 Lakh per annum.
Q. Which are the top colleges for Civil Engineering which have good placements?
A. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, College of Engineering, Pune, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore and SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai are some of the top colleges to pursue Civil Engineering.
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