Engineers in global development: How much do they make?

By Ma. Eliza Villarino 22 March 2016

Engineers with various experimental devices at tech firm Cynapsys at the Tunis Tecnopark, Tunisia. From international NGOs to development consulting firms to multi-lateral aid agencies, see what some actual global development engineers make in their jobs. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The persistent perceived notion about working in global development is that it means earning a low income. So it’s not surprising if professionals from the private sector would have second thoughts about joining the development industry. But is that the case for engineers?

In a recent Devex webinar on STEM careers, Khanjan Mehta, founding director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program at Pennsylvania State University, shared that salaries of professionals he interviewed for a book he released in 2015 ranged wildly — from $30,000 to $300,000 a year depending on experience, education level and employer.

The book, “Solving Problems That Matter (And Getting Paid for It)” includes profiles and salaries of 100 science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates at different types of global nonprofit and for-profit organizations, based mainly in the U.S.

Curious what some engineers working in global development actually make? Here are some examples of real professionals from the book.

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About the author

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Ma. Eliza VillarinoDevexElizaJV

Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.


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