Design engineers looking to maximize their salary should look for government work, if they can find it. According to the Design News annual career survey, engineers in the defense industry earn an average of $75k annually. That's compared to $67.1k for engineers overall. Worst industry to work in from a paycheck perspective? Machine tools. The average here is only $57.4k—just $5k more than GM will pay new hires.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.