There are dozens of different types of engineering careers you can choose from, so the amount of student debt engineering students have when they graduate can vary. The average student loan balance for all college graduates is $29,650, and if you attended graduate school, you likely have more.
Once you graduate, your salary will be an important indicator of your ability to repay your student loan debt. If you’re getting ready to graduate and looking for a job, here’s what you should know about the average engineer salary.
Average engineer salary by career type
The average salary for an engineer can vary based on where you live and the industry you’re planning to get into. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are the average salaries for some of the most common engineering jobs, according to Michigan Tech University.
|Job Type||Average entry-level||Average Salary||Top 10%|
|Computer hardware engineer||$71,007||$117,840||$172,630|
|Construction management engineer||$55,795||$103,110||$161,510|
|Electrical engineering technology||N/A||$86,690||$133,280|
|Geological and mining engineer||$61,977||$98,420||$151,030|
|Geospatial science and technology engineer||$49,571||$68,340||$101,400|
|Materials science and engineering||$65,806||$96,930||$148,110|
|Mechanical engineering technology||N/A||$99,310||$154,720|
There are several other types of engineering jobs that are available, including robotics engineer, manufacturing engineer, agricultural engineer, petroleum engineer and more. If your chosen field isn’t listed above, do some research to get an idea of what you can expect to earn.
Also, keep in mind that the median salary for an engineer isn’t necessarily what you’ll start at when you begin working after college. So do your due diligence to understand what starting salaries will look like.
The average engineer salary by state
Where you live can make a huge difference financially, not only with your salary but also with how far that money will go due to the cost of living. While these figures from ZipRecruiter are all lumped together instead of separating them by industry, here’s a ballpark figure of the variances you can expect by state.
As you consider the average engineer salary by state, also take a look at the numbers for engineers in your industry. Additionally, consider what the cost of living looks like for the city or metropolitan area where you plan to settle down.
How to refinance your engineer student loan debt
Regardless of the average engineer salary by state or industry, it’s a good idea to look for any opportunity to save money on your student loans and possibly even pay them off more quickly.
Student loan refinancing is the process of replacing your existing loans with a new one through a private lender. You can refinance federal or private student loans, or even both together.
Depending on your credit history and income, you may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate than what you’re paying right now. With tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, even a small interest rate decrease can result in thousands of dollars in savings.
A lower interest rate will also reduce your monthly payment if you keep the same payment schedule. But if you want, you can choose a shorter repayment term or a longer one. A shorter term will help you eliminate your debt more quickly with a higher monthly payment, while a longer term will result in lower payments, which can make them more affordable.
That said, a longer term will end up costing you more in interest over the long run.
One of the reasons engineers are such good refinance candidates is because they tend to have above-average salaries, even at the beginning of their careers. The higher your salary and credit score, the better your chances of getting the terms you want.
How engineers can score a low student loan refinance rate
As with any other financial product or service, it’s rarely a good idea to take the first offer you see. Instead, get prequalified with several lenders, so you’ll be able to compare refinance rates and other terms.
This process can be time-consuming if you do it with each individual lender, though. To speed up the process, you can use Purefy’s Compare Rates tool, which can provide rate offers from multiple lenders in one place, saving you time and making the comparison process easier.
As you compare your options, look at the interest rate, as well as the loan term, monthly payment, possible discounts and other features that could impact your student loan payoff strategy.
Refinancing isn’t for everyone, though. If you have federal student loans and plan to take advantage of their benefits, such as access to student loan forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment plans, you may be better off with the loans you have now. But if you don’t need those features and you want to save, refinancing can be the best way to do it.