The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the economy will generate 200,000 more engineering jobs by 2014, and many employers are already noticing a shortage of skilled workers in a variety of engineering fields - civil, mechanical, industrial, you name it. Annual pay for engineers in the US now averages $72,965, well over twice the US average of just under $30,000 for workers in all occupations.
Software engineers are in demand, too. The number of software engineering majors has plummeted by about 40% over the past decade. "Companies will compete for a scarce resource by offering more money," notes Dale Welch, a partner at Boston-area staffing firm Winter, Wyman & Co. "This year we're seeing starting offers as high as $90,000 for top MIT grads. The norm seems to be between $60,000 and $70,000." That's a big jump from average starting pay of $45,000 just two years ago, and the trend seems likely to continue for several more years.
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
Seems like the difference between a developer and an engineer varies by company.
Regardless, I can attest that the technology field is pretty hot right now. I'm not currently looking and I still get unsolicited calls from recruiters. I could easily make $10K more by switching companies now. Unfortunately, I have not had an offer from a better company and I like what I do right now.
Unfortunately, the US massively shot itself in the foot. Many college students jumped from Computer Science a few years ago and the experience gap I predicted has come true. A lot of students are gunshy about the technology field after the dotcom bust. Combine that with a general aversion by American students to any subjects that contain a so much as a whiff of math and science and it makes generation of new talent very difficult indeed.