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Starting salaries for engineering graduates are substantially higher than graduates in other fields. Results from the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicate that having a degree in engineering is the closest thing to a guarantee college graduates have at placing themselves in the top percentile of wage earners. Starting salaries vary, depending on the branch of engineering, but the consistently highest paying career is found in petroleum engineering.
Petroleum engineers are involved in all phases of the exploration of oil and natural gas sources, from the selection of drilling sites to actual drilling and extracting. A fresh college graduate can earn $80,000 a year, but individuals with experience can earn upwards of $250,000 and as a result of their experience and expertise can land lucrative consulting jobs with oil companies.
As is the case with many employers hungry to reel in fresh talent, corporations work closely with engineering recruiters to select qualified employment candidates.