How Much Does A Coastal Engineer Make?

An aerial view of a coastal engineering project overlooking the sea.

Deciding on a career in civil engineering? You might be wondering about the paycheck. A striking point to note is that coastal engineers in the U.S. can earn an average salary of $148,397 annually.

This article will delve into what influences these earnings and uncover some top-paying positions within the field.

The average salary for a Coastal Engineer in the United States is $148,397 per year. Coastal engineering is a lucrative field, with the potential for high salaries and opportunities for growth. There is strong demand for coastal engineers, but it varies depending on experience and location.

Stay tuned—you’re about to discover if this path could pave your way to financial stability!

Key Takeaways

  • Coastal engineers in the U.S. have an average salary of $148,397 per year.
  • How much coastal engineers make can change with where they live, how long they’ve worked, and their education level.
  • Working for top companies like Barge Design Solutions or AECOM Technology Corporation often means more money.
  • Cities like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City pay coastal engineers the most.
  • Extra certificates or a master’s degree in Coastal Engineering can help you earn even more as a coastal engineer.

Average Salary of a Coastal Engineer

A coastal engineering structure overlooking the ocean in a bustling atmosphere.

The average salary of a coastal engineer is $148,397 per year, but this figure can vary based on location and experience. Some companies also offer higher pay for coastal engineering roles.

$148,397 per year

You could earn about $148,397 a year as a coastal engineer. That’s what many in the United States make on average. But remember, this number can change depending on where you work and how long you’ve been doing it.

Coastal engineers play a big role in shaping our beaches and waterfronts, making sure they are safe and ready for the future. They blend knowledge of the ocean with engineering to tackle problems caused by waves, tides, and rising sea levels.

Earning such a salary means mastering complex skills—like understanding how water moves or designing structures that protect coastlines from storms. You might work for different kinds of places like construction companies or government groups.

Each place pays differently based on their needs and your level of expertise. Jobs at top-paying companies often come with bigger paychecks because these employers value your specialized abilities highly.

After learning about salaries for coastal engineers, let’s see which industries offer those high-paying roles!

Varies by location and experience

Coastal engineers make different amounts of money based on where they work and how long they have been doing their job. Big cities often pay more than smaller towns. This is because living in big cities usually costs more, so the salary needs to be higher too.

People who have worked as coastal engineers for many years usually earn more than new engineers just starting out. Every year you work, you can learn new things and get better at your job, which can lead to a bigger paycheck.

Experience matters a lot too. If you’re just leaving school and looking for your first job as a coastal engineer, your pay might not be super high yet. But don’t worry! With time and hard work, you can move up in your career.

Coastal engineering has lots of chances to grow and make more money in the future. Keep learning and taking on new challenges; it will help you earn more as you go along.

Top paying companies

Coastal engineers can earn big money working for the right companies. Some places really value their skills and pay them more.

  • Barge Design Solutions: Engineers here work on complex projects and can make up to $112,000 a year.
  • AECOM Technology Corporation: Known for its wide range of services, it offers salaries that match their reputation.
  • CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company: They focus on environmental engineering, which includes coastal work, paying their experts well.
  • Tetra Tech: This company is all about consulting and engineering services, with competitive pay for coastal engineers.
  • Bechtel Corporation: One of the biggest construction companies in the world, it rewards its coastal engineers with generous salaries.

Industries and Companies with High Paying Coastal Engineer Roles

Coastal engineering team surveying beachfront construction site at sunset.

The construction, repair & maintenance services industry is known to offer some of the highest paying coastal engineering roles. Glassdoor economist pay overviews also highlight specific companies within this industry that provide top-tier salaries for coastal engineers.

Construction, Repair & Maintenance Services

Coastal engineers in Construction, Repair & Maintenance Services are handsomely compensated, with the average salary standing at an impressive $148,397 per year. However, these figures can vary depending on your location and experience level.

The top-paying companies in this sector offer competitive salaries for coastal engineers due to the demand for their expertise. Therefore, pursuing a career as a coastal engineer within Construction, Repair & Maintenance Services promises not only financial stability but also opportunities for professional growth and development.

With the high earning potential and promising career prospects within Construction, Repair & Maintenance Services, becoming a coastal engineer can be both financially rewarding and personally fulfilling.

Glassdoor Economist Pay Overview

Transitioning from the industries and companies offering high-paying coastal engineer roles, it’s important to delve into a Glassdoor economist pay overview. This will give you a snapshot of what coastal engineers generally earn across different locations and experience levels.

The average annual salary for Coastal Engineers in the United States is $148,397, but this figure varies depending on location and years of experience. The hourly wage ranges from $31.90 to $57.48, while the annual wage can span from $66,360 to $96,910.

The demand for coastal engineers indicates a range in salaries and opportunities for growth within this lucrative field. It’s worth noting that location and additional certifications or education also play significant roles in determining the salary range for these professionals.

Factors Affecting Coastal Engineer Salary

Location, experience, and additional certifications or education play a significant role in determining the salary of coastal engineers. These factors can greatly impact earning potential in this field.


Coastal engineer salaries can vary significantly based on location. For example, in Massachusetts, coastal engineers have the opportunity for advancement and higher pay compared to other states.

The hourly wage for marine engineers and naval architects ranges from $31.90 to $57.48, with an annual wage ranging from $66,360 to $96,910. This indicates that specific locations offer more lucrative opportunities for coastal engineers and related professions.

The top 10 highest paying cities for coastal engineer jobs offer advantageous salary prospects. Additionally, various factors such as regional demand and economic growth can influence the incomes of coastal engineers in different areas across the United States.


Moving from understanding the impact of location on coastal engineer salaries, it’s important to consider how experience plays a pivotal role in determining earning potential. As a student considering this career path, knowing that entry-level coastal engineers earn an average of $68,934 to $88,842 annually can be insightful.

However, with increased practical experience and proven expertise in coastal engineering principles, the average annual pay rises significantly to around $107,282. The top percentile in terms of experience and skill can even command an impressive salary reaching up to $112,000 per year.

This indicates that as you progress in your career and amass valuable experience within the field of coastal engineering, your earning capacity is likely to increase substantially.

Additional certifications or education

To boost your coastal engineer salary, consider pursuing additional certifications or continuing education. Acquiring specialized qualifications like a Professional Engineer (PE) license can significantly increase your earning potential and open up opportunities for advancement.

A Master’s degree in Coastal Engineering or related fields could also lead to higher-paying roles and more challenging projects. Keep in mind that investing in your education and gaining advanced credentials can make you more competitive in the job market, leading to better job offers and increased compensation.

It’s essential to stay updated with the latest industry advancements through professional development courses or workshops, further enhancing your expertise and income potential.

By obtaining relevant certifications such as Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) or Coastal Zone Management Specialist, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to professional growth while expanding your skill set.

In addition, pursuing additional education not only enriches your knowledge but also demonstrates initiative and dedication to employers – attributes highly valued when negotiating salaries or seeking promotions within the coastal engineering field.

Salary Comparison to Other Engineering Roles

Understanding how a coastal engineer’s salary stacks up against other engineering disciplines can be enlightening—especially for students considering which engineering path to pursue. With coastal engineering on the rise, let’s examine where this profession lands on the pay scale compared to other engineers.

Engineering RoleAverage SalaryNotes
Coastal Engineer$91,851Opportunities exist for higher pay based on location and experience.
Civil Engineer$87,060Oversight of infrastructure projects; salary varies with specialization.
Mechanical Engineer$88,430Design and analyze devices, salary depends on industry choice.
Electrical Engineer$100,830Focuses on electrical systems; can command higher salaries in tech sectors.
Chemical Engineer$108,770Combines physical sciences with life sciences; high demand in various industries.
Software Engineer$110,140Specializes in software development; top salaries in cutting-edge tech companies.

As shown in the table, coastal engineers enjoy a competitive salary, especially as they gain experience and take on more complex projects. While they may not start off at the high end of the engineering pay scale, their unique expertise in marine environments often leads to lucrative opportunities, potentially outpacing other traditional engineering roles in certain regions or with advanced qualifications. Your passion for coastal environments and commitment to learning can pave the way to a rewarding, well-compensated career.

Coastal Engineer Salary FAQ

Curious about the top 10 highest paying cities for coastal engineer jobs or the best paying related coastal engineer jobs in the U.S.? Find out more about these frequently asked questions to gain a deeper understanding of the salary landscape for coastal engineers.

Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Coastal Engineer Jobs

If you’re curious about the top paying cities for coastal engineer jobs, here’s a detailed list to help you navigate the job market.

  1. Houston, Texas – An attractive location with high demand for coastal engineers due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and active port operations.
  2. San Francisco, California – Offers lucrative opportunities due to its extensive coastline and ongoing need for coastal protection and infrastructure development.
  3. New York City, New York – High demand for coastal engineers given its vulnerability to coastal hazards such as storms and sea-level rise.
  4. Seattle, Washington – Provides top-paying roles given its significant maritime industry and focus on waterfront development projects.
  5. Miami, Florida – Offers competitive salaries due to the continuous need for coastal engineering solutions in response to hurricane threats and rising sea levels.
  6. Anchorage, Alaska – Presents well-paying opportunities owing to its unique coastal challenges and infrastructure requirements in a harsh climate.
  7. Charleston, South Carolina – Boasts rewarding positions due to ongoing efforts in shoreline protection and adaptation to climate change impacts.
  8. Los Angeles, California – Opportunities abound due to extensive shoreline development and the need for engineering solutions in a bustling urban environment.
  9. Boston, Massachusetts – Provides well-compensated roles driven by initiatives addressing coastal resilience and infrastructure improvement along its coastlines.
  10. Portland, Oregon – Offers attractive salaries as it focuses on sustainable development along its coastlines while addressing environmental concerns.

Top 5 Best Paying Related Coastal Engineer Jobs in the U.S.

Coastal engineers specialize in building and maintaining structures near water. The related jobs offer competitive pay and growth opportunities. Here are the top 5 best-paying related coastal engineer jobs in the United States:

  1. Marine Engineer – Average annual wage ranges from $66,360 to $96,910. In demand due to the growing need for waterborne transportation.
  2. Naval Architect – Hourly wage ranges from $31.90 to $57.48, with an average annual pay of $107,282. Stimulating role involving ship design and construction.
  3. Civil Engineer – Annual salary of around $68,934 to $88,842 is possible, with significant potential for progression.
  4. Environmental Engineer – With an average salary of $91,851 per year, this role focuses on creating sustainable solutions for environmental challenges.
  5. Construction Manager – Offers a competitive annual salary of up to $112,000 and involves overseeing various construction projects along coastlines or bodies of water.


In conclusion, coastal engineering offers a lucrative career path with an average annual salary of $148,397 in the United States. The potential for high salaries and opportunities for growth makes this profession highly attractive.

By considering factors such as location, experience, and additional certifications or education, you can maximize your earning potential as a coastal engineer. This field not only promises financial rewards but also provides ample room for advancement and professional development.

Embrace the demand for coastal engineers and set forth on a rewarding journey in this impactful and profitable industry.


[Article 2 Keywords]: coastal engineer salary, entry-level, experienced coastal engineers, average income, location factor, engineering firm size, government roles, private sector jobs.

1. What’s the average income for a coastal engineer?

The money a coastal engineer makes can vary. On average though, they earn a good amount based on their experience and where they work.

2. Do new coastal engineers make less money?

Yes—when you’re fresh in this career as an entry-level coastal engineer you might make less. But with time and more projects under your belt, expect your pay to go up!

3. Does it matter where I work as a coastal engineer when it comes to my salary?

Location does play a part—coastal engineers may get more cash in places with lots of coastlines or big cities.

4. Will I earn more working for the government or in private sector jobs?

Typically speaking – bigger engineering firms and private sector jobs might offer more dough than government roles; however both have their own benefits that might sway your decision.

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