Drew Peake, MSME, M.Eng., MBA, PE, FNAFE, DEE, CIH, CSP
Pay is higher for those with graduate degrees and with an engineer license(PE).
My advice: In school I would suggest focus on gaining experience through clubs,projects, research, internships, anything you can get your hands on. This will help immensely when applying for jobs. Then practice hard on interview skills. Once you get an interview, you pretty much have the job if you can Ace the interview.
Also as far as salary, it depends on what kind of engineer.
I am biomedical/mechanical and I am at 88k - 90k a year starting .
Software engineers make much more.
I've seen some engineers (mechanical, chemical, electrical) make as low as 60k per year so it varies.
Short answer : anywhere from 60k - 88k starting
Here is my little intro before jumping to the question, my name is SP. I am from India and I moved to United States around 6 years back. I have done my bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from a University in India and masters in Automotive Engineering from a University in US and currently working as a Automotive Engineer.
So far it has been great working as an Engineer in US! There are ample of good opportunities for engineers from various fields. The salary depends on different aspects, including but not limited to the State/City where the company is located, years of experience a candidate has, field of engineering (mechanical, IT, electrical, etc.), highest education degree, weather the company is a startup or a established one, etc.