Research Engineers develop, investigate and evaluate new products and equipment to be used in engineering industries. They are involved in a wide range of research activities and the development of new technologies. They are also responsible for improving existing technical processes and creating new innovative technologies. Research Engineers find improvement solutions in response to specific problems.

Research engineers usually report to a supervisor. They work in an array of industries, including petroleum, aerospace, and the automotive industry. A successful research engineer should have technical skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and attention to detail.

The typical workweek for a research engineer is 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday from 9 to 5. When they have to deliver on urgent project deadlines, they may work late evenings and over the weekends.

What Does a Research Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many research engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed listening skills, mechanical skills and creativity.

Learn more about what a Research Engineer does

How To Become a Research Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a research engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.8% of research engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 23.0% of research engineers have master's degrees. Even though most research engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Research Engineer

Research Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Research Engineer

Research Engineers in America make an average salary of $96,945 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $138,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $67,000 per year.
Average Research Engineer Salary
$96,945 Yearly
$46.61 hourly
$67,000
10 %
$96,000
Median
$138,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Research Engineer
How To Become a Research Engineer Career Overview

States With The Most Research Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active research engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where research engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Research Engineer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California11,465$125,386
2Texas4,347$79,259
3Virginia2,811$86,654
4Florida2,786$65,583
5Pennsylvania2,535$92,950
6Illinois2,379$80,017
7New York1,984$103,687
8North Carolina1,927$70,332
9Washington1,893$116,380
10Ohio1,863$76,380
11Georgia1,804$71,573
12Michigan1,792$83,627
13Massachusetts1,782$96,349
14New Jersey1,686$89,549
15Colorado1,653$75,194
16Oregon1,501$95,052
17Minnesota1,500$78,891
18Arizona1,430$83,868
19Maryland1,223$93,950
20Indiana1,121$75,343
21Missouri1,016$65,566
22Wisconsin950$76,356
23Tennessee905$74,776
24Utah834$76,070
25Connecticut766$98,082
26Alabama636$68,552
27South Carolina574$70,976
28Iowa542$80,446
29Kansas455$60,475
30Kentucky432$66,886
31New Hampshire405$78,668
32Oklahoma405$66,802
33Nebraska402$73,597
34New Mexico394$79,273
35Louisiana365$73,734
36Nevada358$80,109
37Rhode Island331$82,413
38Idaho327$90,314
39Arkansas327$62,611
40Delaware310$102,584
41West Virginia232$92,773
42Montana224$74,573
43Vermont220$77,873
44Mississippi217$61,897
45Maine215$89,621
46South Dakota172$65,155
47Hawaii166$82,949
48North Dakota161$73,676
49Wyoming128$67,959
50Alaska100$82,790

Research Engineer Education

Research Engineer Majors

Research Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

64.8 %

Masters

23.0 %

Doctorate

9.0 %

Top Colleges for Research Engineers

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

Top Skills For a Research Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.9% of research engineers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as listening skills and mechanical skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Research Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Research Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Research Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Research Engineer Demographics

Research Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
82%
Female
Female
18%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among research engineers, 18.3% of them are women, while 81.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among research engineers is White, which makes up 71.4% of all research engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among research engineers is Spanish at 25.6%.

Work Experience Programs For Research Engineers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Globally Responsible Engineering Program

Company: Engineers Without Borders UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Client Research and Problem Identification Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-4.5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Blackbird Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-10 hours

Advanced Software Engineering Program

Company: Walmart India

Cost: Free

Duration: 3.5-4 hours

Process Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Data Visualisation: Empowering Business with Effective Insights Program

Company: Tata

Cost: Free

Duration: 3.5-4.5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: J.P. Morgan

Cost: Free

Duration: 5 hours

Data Analytics Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Engineering Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 3-4.5 hours

Online Courses For Research Engineer That You May Like

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Research Methodology: Complete Research Project Blueprint
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Best States For a Research Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, New York, and Delaware. Research engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $125,386. Whereas in Washington and New York, they would average $116,380 and $103,687, respectively. While research engineers would only make an average of $102,584 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Research Engineer Jobs:
11,465
Highest 10% Earn:
$184,000
Location Quotient:
1.79

2. District of Columbia

Total Research Engineer Jobs:
496
Highest 10% Earn:
$163,000
Location Quotient:
1.35

3. Washington

Total Research Engineer Jobs:
1,893
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
Full List Of Best States For Research Engineers

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Top Research Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Research Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Meta$154,091$74.08160
2Google$144,689$69.56227
3Apple$144,645$69.5486
4Palo Alto Networks$133,933$64.3977
5Yahoo$124,238$59.7352
6Chevron$121,277$58.3162
7General Electric$115,981$55.7669
8Exxon Mobil$115,689$55.6296
9Bosch USA$110,818$53.2893
10Hewlett Packard Enterprise$101,310$48.7150

Research Engineer Videos

Becoming a Research Engineer FAQs

Can An Engineer Go Into Research?

Yes, an engineer can go into research. Research in the engineering field is typically limited to new materials and new product testing. They can work in a range of exciting industries such as the automotive industry, aeronautics, deep-sea exploration, and seismology.

Can Everyone Become An Engineer?

No, not everyone can become an engineer. It takes time, dedication and a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program at a college or university. After graduating, you can get licensed to work as a Professional Engineer.

How Much Do Engineering Researchers Make?

Engineering researchers make $85,000 a year, on average ($41.15 an hour). However, there is a considerable range in the earning potential of an engineering researcher, starting from as little as $69,000 a year to as much as $160,000 a year. Factors such as location and Industry impact how much an engineering researcher can make.

How Much Money Does A Ph.d. Engineer Make?

A Ph.D. engineer makes $122,127 a year, on average. The range and how much a Ph.D. engineer can earn starts from as little as $72,000 a year to as much as $180,000 a year. Factors such as years of experience and location all impact how much a Ph.D. engineer can make.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Researcher?

A researcher will almost always need a bachelor's degree. However, in many positions, a master's degree or another post-graduate degree may be necessary or preferred. Some positions will require as much as a doctoral degree.

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