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Working as a Stress Engineer

Stress engineers play a vital role in the engineering of aircraft. Their main role is to determine the stresses and strains in materials and structures when subjected to forces and heavy loads. In the aviation industry, this will mainly relate to aircraft and rocket bodies. However, the analysis could also take place on anything from bridges, tunnels, and down to plastic cutlery.

While a majority of sources see annual salaries of stress engineers as high as $176,500 and as low as $61,000, the majority of stress engineer salaries currently range between $85,000 and $147,000.

To become a stress engineer, applicants need to have a college degree in engineering and an interest in stress analysis. In-depth knowledge of engineering principles and design techniques related to failure analysis, materials science, structural design, and reliability may also be needed for this job.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a stress engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.23 an hour? That's $87,848 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 1,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Stress Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many stress 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 analytical skills, business skills and writing skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a stress engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.7% of stress engineers included finite element analysis, while 12.3% of resumes included structural analysis, and 6.0% of resumes included autocad. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the stress engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most stress engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Stress Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a stress engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.1% of stress engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 42.9% of stress engineers have master's degrees. Even though most stress engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a stress engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a stress engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on stress engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a stress engineer. In fact, many stress engineer jobs require experience in a role such as engineer. Meanwhile, many stress engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as mechanical engineer or design engineer.

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Average Salary$87,848
Job Growth Rate2%

Stress Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Stress Engineer

Engineer
10.4 %

Top Careers After Stress Engineer

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Stress Engineer

Stress Engineers in America make an average salary of $87,848 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $123,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $62,000 per year.
Average Salary
$87,848

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Sugar Land, TX
Salary Range86k - 139k$110k$109,827
Santa Maria, CA
Salary Range82k - 127k$102k$102,342
Savannah, GA
Salary Range77k - 125k$98k$98,331
Bellingham, WA
Salary Range78k - 121k$98k$97,603
Saint Charles, MO
Salary Range76k - 117k$94k$94,423
Miami, FL
Salary Range72k - 120k$93k$93,404
$50k
$139k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Mechanical/Civil/Stress Engineer
Mechanical/Civil/Stress Engineer
Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest
12/10/2020
12/10/2020
$85,76212/10/2020
$85,762
Structural/Stress Engineer
Structural/Stress Engineer
Butler Technical Group
Butler Technical Group
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$83,48010/27/2020
$83,480
Piping Stress Engineer
Piping Stress Engineer
Aerotek
Aerotek
09/28/2020
09/28/2020
$90,00009/28/2020
$90,000
Pipe Stress Engineer
Pipe Stress Engineer
Action Technology, Inc.
Action Technology, Inc.
03/01/2020
03/01/2020
$104,35003/01/2020
$104,350
Pipe Stress Engineer
Pipe Stress Engineer
Selectek
Selectek
02/29/2020
02/29/2020
$100,17602/29/2020
$100,176
See More Recent Salaries

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Stress Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

80.3 %

female

11.6 %

unknown

8.1 %

Ethnicity

White

64.9 %

Asian

21.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.0 %

French

11.4 %

Mandarin

9.1 %
See More Demographics

Stress Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

48.1 %

Masters

42.9 %

Doctorate

4.9 %

Top Colleges for Stress Engineers

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

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

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

3. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

6. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

7. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

8. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,880
Enrollment
6,590

9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

10. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730
See More Education Info
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Top Skills For a Stress 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, 13.7% of stress engineers listed finite element analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and business skills are important as well.

Best States For a Stress Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a stress engineer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Texas, California, and Georgia. Stress engineers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $110,294. Whereas in Texas and California, they would average $107,750 and $99,709, respectively. While stress engineers would only make an average of $98,258 in Georgia, 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. Texas

Total Stress Engineer Jobs:
816
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Stress Engineer Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$168,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Georgia

Total Stress Engineer Jobs:
322
Highest 10% Earn:
$153,000
Location Quotient:
1.03
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Stress Engineer Employers

1. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$107,647
Stress Engineers Hired: 
208+
2. Goodrich
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$96,749
Stress Engineers Hired: 
137+
3. CTS Corporation
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$108,439
Stress Engineers Hired: 
78+
4. Bechtel
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$91,963
Stress Engineers Hired: 
74+
5. Spirit AeroSystems
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$81,677
Stress Engineers Hired: 
55+
6. Volt Information Sciences
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$89,651
Stress Engineers Hired: 
39+

Stress Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020