Mechanical engineers make up a very small percentage of all tech workers, but their salaries are skyrocketing.
A new report from PayScale says that engineering is the fastest-growing profession for the tech industry, with an average salary of $80,000 per year.
The salary increases are due in part to an influx of tech companies looking to hire engineers.
According to PayScale, companies are paying engineers to design software, apps, and other tech-related services.
For example, an engineering software company will pay engineers $80k to develop a new feature or fix an existing one, while a new app developer can get a $30k raise to $140k.
PayScale says this isn’t necessarily due to automation, but rather the fact that engineers are becoming more efficient in their job.
“They’re working harder to be productive, which means they’re more productive than before,” PayScale CEO Kevin O’Connor said.
Tech companies are also paying engineers more for their expertise.
One example of this is when software company Red Hat hired an engineering student to create a new Linux kernel feature.
In 2015, Red Hat paid $120k to an engineering college student, earning $20k more than an engineering professional would have made in a year, PayScale reports.
Red Hat is a leader in the software engineering world, and the engineering education company has been growing at a rapid pace.
In 2016, the company hired over 150,000 engineers and had a $2.4 billion revenue.