Are you looking for a high-paid career in STEM?

As the impacts of climate change worsen and our lives become ever more dependent on technology, the demand for people working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is increasing. From developing new software to manufacturing new products, STEM professionals work in a variety of industries to find innovative solutions for society’s problems.

While different lists suggest different rankings for the highest paid STEM careers, here we take a look at the top jobs according to Indeed’s career guide:

1. Surgeon

Surgeons are responsible for performing operations on patients in hospitals. As such, they must be highly skilled, highly trained and incredibly knowledgeable about human anatomy. You could be a general surgeon, able to operate on patients with a wide variety of problems, from removing the appendix of someone with appendicitis to repairing the wounds of a person involved in a car crash. Or you could specialise in a specific field of surgery and become, for example, a neurosurgeon (operating on the brain), cardiac surgeon (operating on the heart), surgical oncologist (operating on patients with cancer) or paediatric surgeon (operating on children).

Read: Saving lives by investigating how the body reacts to physical trauma

2. General practice doctor (GP)

GPs provide medical services to the community, working in a GP surgery rather than a hospital. GPs meet with patients to conduct health check-ups, diagnose any health problems and prescribe medication. As such, they must have a very wide knowledge of medicine and a whole range of potential health conditions, and they must have good communication skills to interact with their patients.

Read: Combining medicine and research to treat children with tuberculosis

3. Nuclear engineer

Nuclear power is a low-carbon form of energy, created by releasing energy from the nuclei of atoms. As we try to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, nuclear energy is likely to play a significant role in our electricity generation. The demand for nuclear engineers is therefore likely to grow, as they are responsible for designing and maintaining nuclear power plants and safely disposing of the nuclear waste produced.

Read: Can we unlock the secrets hidden deep within the nucleus of an atom?

4. Software engineer

Software engineers design and maintain the software behind all computer systems and applications. As we rely so heavily on technology these days, software engineers are responsible for keeping modern society functioning. Everything that requires a computer (from messaging your friends on social media to monitoring weather conditions, playing video games to admitting patients to hospital) needs a software engineer to design and maintain the program or application. With a career in software engineering, you could find yourself working in any field – business, banking, agriculture, entertainment… Computer coding and knowledge of programming languages are the key skills needed by software engineers. With these, the world of software design and maintenance will open wide for you.

Read: Creating software that works for everyone

5. Biologist

Biologists study living organisms, from the cellular level to the ecosystem scale. There are a huge range of disciplines within the general field of biology, so a wealth of different careers is available. Molecular biologists study individual cells and genes to learn more about the science of life. Their discoveries are commonly used to improve human, animal or plant health by increasing our understanding of how organisms function. Plant biologists focus on plants and may find themselves breeding drought-resistant crops or uncovering the secrets of photosynthesis. Marine biologists study ocean ecosystems, which could involve monitoring populations marine animals or exploring the impacts of human activity on sea life. Conservation biologists protect and restore ecosystems by working with local communities to ensure humans and animals can live in harmony.

Read: Shining a light on the role of trace metals in neurodegenerative diseases

6. Energy engineer

We rely on energy for almost every aspect of our lives, for the electricity to power our homes, the gas to cook our food and the petrol to drive our cars. Energy engineers are responsible for creating this energy from its raw form and delivering to us, the consumers. As we work towards net-zero, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important, so engineers specialising in designing, creating and maintaining wind turbines, solar cells and geothermal wells are needed to help the transition to clean energy. Our reliance on fossil fuels will not vanish overnight, however, so we also still need engineers to extract oil and gas and to maintain existing power stations.

Read: Building a smart energy system for the people of Peterborough

7. Chemical engineer

Chemical engineers manufacture products from raw materials. Most chemical engineers work in laboratories or factories where their work includes designing and creating new materials, drugs and foods, and developing new methods to make manufacturing processes more efficient.

Read: The need for antimicrobial peptides in a world of antibiotic resistance

8. Environmental scientist

We are all aware of current environmental problems, from climate change to deforestation to pollution. Environmental scientists are responsible for studying and monitoring these problems and helping governments to implement solutions. If you are passionate about improving the planet, then a career in environmental science could be for you!

Read: Monitoring the canopy temperature of forests

What career most appeals to you? Visit our website to read articles about people working in a whole range of different STEM fields, including tips for how to pursue a career in each discipline.