Which Engineering Stream has Highest salary in India? Which One Should You Choose?

The engineering stream in India is one of the most sought-after and revered. As the digital age propels the demand for roles like software engineers and full stack developers, understanding the highest paid software engineering jobs and the average software engineer salary becomes pivotal. 

Whether you’re an entry level software engineer or a senior network engineer in India, being aware of salary trends is not just about gauging your worth in the market but also about making informed career decisions.

As we delve deeper into the intricacies of the highest-paying engineering fields and roles, it’s essential to recognise the significance of these salary metrics in shaping one’s career trajectory in India.

Which Engineering Stream has the Highest Salary in India?

India’s engineering landscape spans from age-old domains like Civil and Mechanical to contemporary sectors like Computer Science and Aerospace. Each stream has its unique remuneration structure, influenced by industry demand, technological advancements, and regional hubs.

Recent data points towards the Computer Science and IT sector as the frontrunners in salary scales, especially with cities like Bangalore emerging as IT epicentres. However, Petroleum and Aerospace engineering aren’t far behind. While IT dominates the current scenario, individual expertise and evolving market dynamics play a crucial role in determining the top-paying streams.

Highest Paying Engineering Jobs

If you’re wondering which engineering has the highest salary in India, we have a list curated just for you!

Senior Network Engineer Salary in India

A Senior Network Engineer is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing computer networks, including both hardware and software. Their expertise lies in understanding the intricacies of different network topologies, protocols, and services. They ensure the seamless communication of data and resources across the organisation.

Average Annual Salary  INR 7,10,000 pa
Top Recruiters Cisco
Juniper Networks

Senior Software Engineer

A Senior Software Engineer is a professional who applies engineering principles to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of computer software. Software engineering is considered the highest-paid engineering field in India. They ensure that software functions efficiently, reliably and meets both the technical and business requirements. 

Unlike programmers, who primarily focus on coding, software engineers emphasise both the design and the coding of software, ensuring it’s built with engineering rigour. About 10% of the highest paid software engineer in India earn about INR 51,00,00 pa. 

Average Annual Salary  INR 16,30,000 pa
Top Recruiters Google

Chemical Engineering 

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that studies the operation and design of chemical plants and methods to enhance production. Chemical engineers are responsible for developing commercial processes that transform raw materials into valuable products. They play a crucial role in plant design, operation, safety assessments, process design, modelling, control engineering, and various other areas. 

Average Annual Salary  INR 6,44,768 pa
Top Recruiters Tata Chemicals
Indian Oil
Aditya Birla Group

Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear engineering is a specialised field that designs and applies systems harnessing the energy released by nuclear processes. The most significant application of nuclear engineering is in the generation of electricity. Approximately 440 nuclear reactors across 32 countries contribute to 10% of the global energy through nuclear fission. The network engineer highest salary in India is generally INR 29,00,000 pa, and the network engineer salary in India for freshers is about INR 5,48,000 pa. 

Average Salary of Network Engineer in India INR 10,00,000 pa
Top Recruiters Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research
DHIO Research and Engineering Pvt. Ltd
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.
Uranium Corporation of India.
Nuclear Thermal Power Corporation.

Blockchain Developer

Blockchain developers specialise in creating and implementing digital solutions using blockchain technology. This technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, offers a decentralised ledger of all transactions across a network. This decentralisation ensures that data is transparent and immutable, making it resistant to unauthorised changes and hacks.

Average Annual Salary  INR 7,27,000 pa
Top Recruiters Tata Consultancy Services
Tech Mahindra

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Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing aircraft and spacecraft. They work on developing technologies used in commercial aviation, defence systems, and space exploration. Their expertise ensures that flight systems and components are safe and efficient. The field is divided into two main branches: 

  • Aeronautical engineering (focused on aircraft)
  • Astronautical engineering (focused on spacecraft).
Average Annual Salary  INR 7,97,000 pa
Top Recruiters Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
Civil Aviation Department
Air India
Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Big Data Engineer

Big Data Engineers are professionals who manage and analyse vast amounts of data, often referred to as “big data”. This data is so extensive that traditional data-processing software struggles to handle it. Big data primarily encompasses data sets that are too large or complex for traditional systems. 

The challenges include capturing, storing, analysing, data sharing, transfer, visualisation, querying, updating, and ensuring data privacy. Big data analysis can reveal insights from data sets, helping to spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime, and more. 

Average Annual Salary  INR 7,40,000
Top Recruiters Accenture
Tata Consultancy Services

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineering is a specialised field of engineering that focuses on the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. The domain encompasses exploration and production, falling within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Average Annual Salary  INR 9,68,000
Top Recruiters Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL)

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Engineer

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Engineer specialises in creating and implementing algorithms that allow machines to perform tasks without explicit instructions. Leveraging vast amounts of data, they design, build, and deploy models that can recognise patterns, make decisions, and predict outcomes. 

These engineers bridge the gap between complex theoretical frameworks and practical applications, ensuring that AI and ML solutions are optimised, scalable, and integrated seamlessly into products and services. Their work is pivotal in numerous sectors, from healthcare diagnostics to financial forecasting, driving innovations that reshape industries and redefine user experiences. 

upGrad’s Master of Science in Machine Learning & AI offers deep insights into the cutting-edge skills required to become an AI and ML engineer. This course is your first step towards becoming an expert in this field!

Average Annual Salary  INR 10,97,127 pa
Top Recruiters Amazon
Tata Consultancy Services
YBI Foundation

Software Architect 

A Software Architect, often referred to as a Systems Architect, is an information and communications technology professional responsible for defining the architecture of a computerised system. This encompasses breaking down the system into components, determining component interactions and interfaces, and selecting the appropriate technologies and resources for design and implementation.

Average Annual Salary  INR 32,50,000 pa
Top Recruiters Deloitte

In-demand Machine Learning Skills

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Factors that influence high engineering salaries in India

Multiple factors influence high engineering salaries in India – 

  • Demand: Fields with a higher demand for professionals typically offer better compensation. For instance, the rise of digital technologies has increased the demand for software architects and data scientists.
  • Specialisation: Niche areas like blockchain or aerospace often require specialised knowledge, leading to higher pay due to a limited talent pool.
  • Experience: Senior roles or positions that require years of expertise generally command higher salaries.
  • Location: Regions with tech hubs or industry concentrations, like Bangalore for IT, tend to offer better remuneration.
  • Educational Background: Graduating from premier institutions or having advanced degrees can positively impact salary.
  • Industry Growth: Rapidly growing industries, like renewable energy or AI, often have competitive salary packages to attract top talent.
  • Skill Set: Combining in-demand skills can significantly boost one’s earning potential.

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Future of Engineering in India

As India cements its position as a global IT hub, fields like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Renewable Energy Engineering are gaining prominence. Moreover, with the government’s push towards infrastructural development and smart cities, the Civil and Environmental Engineering sectors are also set to witness a surge.

The integration of traditional engineering disciplines with digital technologies will not only redefine the landscape of Indian industries but also position the nation as a frontrunner in global engineering innovations.

For those inclined towards the digital revolution and the world of algorithms, pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science can be a game-changer. upGrad’s Master of Science in Computer Science offers a comprehensive curriculum, industry-relevant projects, and mentorship from leading experts, ensuring you’re well-equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of technology and innovation. 


Which engineering discipline commands the top salary?

The highest-paying engineering discipline often fluctuates based on technological advancements and market demand. Historically, Petroleum, Computer, and Aerospace Engineering have been among the top earners, but specific rankings can vary by region and industry trends.

In India, which engineering profession garners the most substantial paycheck?

In India, professions in the technology sector, especially roles related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science, have been leading in terms of salary.

Which engineering field holds the most promise for 2025?

Looking towards 2025, fields like Biomedical Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, and AI & ML Engineering are poised to be at the forefront, given global health challenges, sustainability goals, and the digital transformation wave.

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