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23+ of the Richest Engineers Around The World

Posted by Teqbox on July 24, 2021

Take a closer look at these brainy chart-toppers

By  Christopher McFadden

Feb 11, 2021

Interesting Engineering

23+ of the Richest Engineers Around The WorldJeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Bernard Arnault123

The world’s richest engineers come from a variety of backgrounds and industries. If you search for the highest-paid jobs or what industry will earn you the most money, you would definitely find engineering near the top of the list.

So who are these elusive, and very wealthy, engineers? Let’s have a look. 

Please note, the following figures are based on those provided by Forbes. Also, note that five out of the top ten of the world’s richest people are engineers. Please also note that the following list is not necessarily in any particular order. 

With that in mind, anyone looking for a job with a decent starting salary and a good increase in income over time should really consider studying engineering in college. Who knows, you might become the next “richest” engineer in the world? 

1. Jeff Bezos tops the charts, once again

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $191.2 billion

Company or companies: Amazon/Blue Origin

University Degree: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

25 Richest Engineers Jeff Bezos
Source: Amazon

Forbes recorded Bezos’ fortune to be around $191.2 billion, making him the richest of the richest engineers. The founder and CEO of the e-commerce platform Amazon has an electrical and computer science engineering degree.

Jeff has soared to the top of Forbe’s billionaire ranks as Amazon’s stock rocketed over the last year or so. This rapid climb is largely due to the pandemic, and partly due to Amazon’s cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services. Bezos owns around 17% of and boasted in 2016 to shareholders that Amazon is the fastest company of all time to reach $100 billion in annual sales.

Bezos was raised by his mother and stepfather, who was a Cuban immigrant who adopted him. He actually quit a very lucrative New York Hedge Fund career in 1994 to start a company based on the idea of selling books on the internet. Amazon now sells pretty much everything that you would want.

Bezos also has a passion for space travel. He formed an Aerospace company, Blue Origin, to develop a reusable rocket that he intends to use to ferry passengers and cargo. He also purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for a paltry $250 million.

In early 2021, Bezos announced that he intended to step down as the CEO of Amazon.

2. Bill Gates is one of the world’s wealthiest engineers

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $123.5 billion

Company: Formerly Microsoft

University Degree: Never completed his undergraduate studies 

25 Richest Engineers Bill Gates
Source: OnInnovation/Flickr

According to Forbes, Gates’ estimated wealth is around $123.5 billion. He is the second richest person and 7th most powerful, according to some.

“Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.”

Although he didn’t finish his undergraduate degree, he studied mathematics and computer science at Harvard, and his work since dropping out is certainly some of the most important in the business of computer technology of all time.

His services to computer engineering should really qualify him as an honorary engineer if nothing else.

Bill Gates resigned as the head of Microsoft in 2014, but remains an advisor and board member for the company which he founded in 1975.

3. Bernard Arnault oversees over 70 well-known brands

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $154.3 billion (includes family)

Company: LVMH

University Degree: Engineering 

25 Richest Engineers Bernard Arnault
Source: Jérémy Barande/Wikimedia Commons

French businessman Bernard Arnault is the CEO of LVMH, a multinational luxury goods conglomerate owning Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessey. He is also a vivid art collector, owning works by Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Henry Moore. According to Forbes, his net worth comes in at $154.3 billion, which is shared with his family, making him also the 4th richest person on the list, and 56th most powerful person, according to Forbes.

Arnault is one of the world’s ultimate tastemakers and oversees 70 brands, including the likes of Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Tag Heuer, as well as nearly 3,900 retail stores. He has been the LVMH’s CEO since 1989 which made a record $40 billion in sales in 2016.

Although Mr. Arnault’s wealth isn’t entirely engineering-related, he does hold an Engineering degree from Ecole Polytechnique in France and once worked for his father’s civil engineering firm.

4. Mark Zuckerberg is the name behind many social networks

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data):  $99.4 billion

Company: Facebook

University Studies: Computer Science Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Mark Zuckerberg
Source: Brian Solis/Flickr

Zuckerberg has a net worth of $99.4 billion according to Forbes. This places him in 4th place for the richest person in the world and 13th most powerful person. His net worth has soared as Facebook’s stock price has skyrocketed.

Zuckerberg is another university dropout who has done very well indeed, thank you. He left Harvard University in 2004 at the age of 19 to launch the global giant that is Facebook.

Mark and his wife have pledged to give away around 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.

5. Carlos Slim

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $58.2

Company: Telmex

University Degree: Civil Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Carlos Slim
Source: Barrett90035/Wikimedia Commons

If you could imagine a scenario where your grocery store, cell phone provider, and biggest national construction company were all owned by the same company, then you’d pretty much have described the situation in Mexico. Now picture one man in charge of all this – now you’ve described Carlos Slim.

According to Forbes, Carlos Slim has a net worth of $58.2 billion. He is not only one of the richest engineers on this list but is also the 12th richest person and Forbes also lists him as the 20th most powerful.

He studied civil engineering in the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico and is now the CEO and chairman of Telmex (Mexico’s only phone company), America Movil (Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm), Samsung Mexico, and Grupo Carso. 

6. Charles Koch from Koch Industries

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $44.9 billion

Company: Koch Industries

University Degree: General Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, andChemical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Charles Koch
Source: Charles Koch Industries

Koch has a net worth of $44.9 billion, according to Forbes. He is said to be the 8th richest person and 37th most powerful. Charles Koch received two M.Sc. degrees – in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering from MIT and together with his brother founded a chemical and oil-refining company, Koch Industries, where he currently holds the position of CEO.

This conglomerate has hundreds of billion in sales from pipelines, chemicals, Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels, and Stainmaster carpets. His father Fred Koch founded the original company, Rock Island Oil & Refining Company, in 1940, and the company developed an improved method of refining heavy oil into gasoline.

8. Larry Ellison 

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $88.2 billion

Company: Oracle

University Degree: Never completed his undergraduate studies

25 Richest Engineers Larry Ellison
Source: Oracle PR/Flickr

Ellison is said to be worth $88.2 billion according to Forbes. They also list him as the 5th richest person in the world. Ellison co-founded the software giant Oracle in 1977 to take advantage of the growing market for customer relationship management databases.

He resigned from his role as CEO in 2014 but is still involved as chairman and chief technology officer. Ellison, like other entries on this list, never completed his undergraduate degree and got his start building databases for the CIA until founding Oracle.

9. Michael Bloomberg knows how to run his business

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $54.9 billion

Company: Bloomberg L.P.

University Degree: Electrical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Michael Bloomberg
Source: Rubenstein/Flickr

How rich is Michael Bloomberg$50 billion according to Forbes, that’s how. After studying electrical engineering in university, Bloomberg decided to turn to finance and founded his own company called Bloomberg L.P. in 1981.

“My first job out of school was on Wall Street and I stayed there for 15 years. It was a terrific ride. Everybody loved me– right up until the day they fired me!” 

Bloomberg is a global financial software, data, and media organization, where Michael Bloomberg holds 88% shares of the whole company. 

Bloomberg got started on Wall Street in 1966 as an entry-level worker at the investment bank Salomon Brothers. He started out counting bond and stock certificates and worked his way up to bond trading and then became a partner in 1972.

Bloomberg was later demoted from his position as Head of Equity Trading and Sales in 1979. He was fired 15 years later when the company went public in 1981, with a severance package of $10 million.

10. Larry Page 

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $90.7 billion

Company: Google

University Degree: Computer Science Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Larry Page
Source: Stansfield PL/Wikimedia Commons

Forbes lists Page as having a net worth of $90.7 billion. This makes him the 8th richest person and the 10th most powerful, according to Forbes, as well as the 5th richest person in tech.

“You never lose a dream; it just incubates as a hobby.”

The CEO of Google co-founded the major search engine back in 1998 but owns only 16% of the shares. Having graduated with a master’s degree in computer science engineering from the University of Stanford, he contributed to many of the important decisions made in organizing and founding Google.

Larry’s rise to wealth began during his time at Stanford University when he met Sergey Brin. The pair decided to work on a dissertation on how websites are linked to one another.

After this, they created PageRank, which ranked websites based on their relative numbers of page links. This eventually evolved into what we now know as Google.

The very first incarnation of Google roamed the Stanford website in 1996, and the rest is history.

Page is a clean energy advocate and has even installed fuel cells and geothermal energy systems in his Palo Alto house. He has reportedly personally funded two secretive flying car startups, Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk.

11. Sergey Brin

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $88 billion

Company: Google

University Degree: Mathematics and Computer Science

25 Richest Engineers Sergey Brin
Source: JD Lasica/Flickr

The other co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, met Larry Page at Stanford and the two IT specialists started Google and eventually became billionaires.

“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.” 

Forbes ranks Brin as the 9th richest person in the world and 35th most powerful, with a net worth of $88 billion.

Brin’s educational past isn’t technically in engineering, however. He does hold degrees in mathematics and computer science, and heads various engineering projects, like those self-driving cars we mentioned.

Brin emigrated to the U.S. from Russia with his family at the tender age of 6. This was in response to rising anti-semitic tensions in the then-Soviet Union.

12. Mukesh Ambani

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $78.8 billion

Company: Reliance Industries Limited

University Degree: Chemical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Mukesh Ambani
Source: World Economic Forum/Flickr

Forbes declaresAmbani’s wealth to be $78.8 billion. The Indian chemical engineer is the CEO and the largest shareholder of the second biggest company in India, Reliance Industries Limited.

He completed a BA degree in chemical engineering and was about to receive an MBA from Stanford when he decided to drop out and help his father with building Reliance.

According to Forbes, Ambani is the 21st richest person, 32nd most powerful person, and India’s richest person.

Unlike others on the list, Ambani’s wealth is directly related to his engineering degree. Reliance Industries Limited is listed on the Global 500 company list and it deals primarily in refining chemicals. Ambani is the largest single shareholder of the company, with 44.7% of all shares.

13. Len Blavatnik is not strapped for cash

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $32.3 billion

Company: Access Industries

University Degree: Railway Engineering (incomplete) and Computer Science

25 Richest Engineers Len Blavatnik
Source: Blavatnik School of Government

Forbes ranks Len as the 22nd richest person in the world, and he was ranked by the magazine as the 56th most powerful person in 2014, with a wealth of $32.3 billion. He was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow and emigrated to the U.S in 1978.

Len made his fortune by selling his stake in Russian oil company TNK-BP for $7 billion in 2013. Blavatnik attended Moscow State University of Railway Engineering but did not complete his coursework due to the family’s request for immigration visas.

He later received a master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University.

14. Elon Musk is everyone’s favorite rich engineer to either love or hate

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $175 billion

Companies: Tesla/SpaceX/Neuralink/The Boring Company/Zip2/Paypal/OpenAI/SolarCity

University Degree: Physics and Economics

25 Richest Engineers Elon Musk
Source: NASA

Elon Musk, according to Forbes, has a net worth of $175 billion. This makes him the 7th richest person in the world and the 25th most powerful.

He was born and grew up in South Africa, emigrated to Canada when he was 17, and later attended the University of Pennsylvania as a US transfer student. After building Paypal (and selling it) he later joined Tesla in 2003 and has been bringing high-end fully electric cars to market ever since.

He later founded SpaceX and various other companies. Part of his motive for his work is to revolutionize transportation both on Earth and in space.

15. Vladimir Lisin

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $25.7 billion

Company: Tulachermet Metal Works

University Degree: Civil Engineering 

25 Richest Engineers Vladimir Lisin
Source: Commons

Vladimir Lisin is a Russian Steel tycoon who worked his way up through the ranks from working as a mechanic in a Soviet coal mine to become the Deputy Chief Engineer at Tulachermet Metal Works in 1986. Forbes estimates his wealth at $25.7 billion.

16. Azim Premji

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $8.6 billion

Companies: Wipro/Azim Premji Foundation/ Mission10X

University Degree: Electrical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Azim Premji
Source: Monikia Flueckiger/Wikimedia Commons

Tech head honcho Azim Premji’s leads Wipro, India’s third-biggest outsourcer, with $8.6 billion in revenue. In 1966, on the news of his father’s death, the then 21-year-old Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro, the company his father had founded. Forbes estimates his wealth at $8.6 billion.

The company has been on a purchasing binge to lift development. His latest procurement was Appirio, a cloud counseling firm situated in Indianapolis, for $500 million. Wipro began in 1945 as Western Indian Vegetable Products to make cooking oil from peanuts.

When Premiji took over Wipo, it dealt primarily in hydrogenated oil manufacturing. He added new lines, such as bakery fats and toiletries to the organization’s portfolio, and in the 1980s, recognizing the importance of the emerging field of IT field, Premijitook advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, and entered the high-technology sector, primarily in software, changing the company name to Wipro.

17. Leonid Mikhelson

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $24.6 billion

Company: Novatek

University Degree: Civil Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Leonid Mikhelson
Source: Пресс-служба Президента России/Wikimedia Commons

Leonid Mikhelson founded, and is also the chairman, of the natural gas producer Novatek. Forbes estimates his wealth as $24.6 billion.

His father led the largest pipeline construction trust in the former Soviet Union andMikhelson started his career as the foreman for a construction company building a pipeline in Russia’s Tyumen region.

Leonid Mikhelson graduated from the Samara Institute of Civil Engineering in 1977.

18. Thomas Kwok

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $16.5 billion

Company: Sun Hung Kai Properties

University Degree: Civil Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Thomas Kwok
Source: WiNG/Wikimedia Commons

Forbes lists Kwok and his brother Walter Kwok’s net worth at $16.5 billion. Thomas is the only brother who qualifies as an engineer, however.

According to Forbes, they are the 77th richest individuals, and the 4th richest family, in Hong Kong.

After studying civil engineering at the Imperial College London, Kwok received an MBA and decided to go into real estate.

He is now the chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, a real estate company in Hong Kong.

Although his wealth has nothing to do with his degree, he did have intentions of becoming an engineer before his father died. In 2014, Kwok was sentenced to 5 years in prison for bribery.

19. Vagit Alekperov is a self-made billionaire

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $20.9 billion

Company: Lukoil

University Degree: Science and Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Vagit Alekperov
Source: Lukoil

A previous Caspian Sea oil rig worker, Vagit Alekperov worked his way up to the role of deputy minister of the oil industry in the former Soviet Union. Alekperov has a BSc in Science and Engineering from the Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry.

In 1991, at the fall of the Societ Union, he combined three ministry-controlled oil fields and set up Lukoil, now Russia’s biggest independent oil organization. Alekperov has also penned a book called “Oil of Russia: Past, Present, and Future”.

Forbes estimates his wealth at $20.9 billion.

20. James Ratcliffe

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $18.5 billion

Company: Ineos Group

University Degree: Chemical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers James Ratcliffe
Source: Forbes

James Ratcliffe is the founder, chairman, and main shareholder in the chemical producing Ineos Group. The Monaco-based British billionaire is a former Chemical Engineer and is one of the biggest players in the U.K. shale sector.

Ratcliffe mortgaged his house in 1992 to lease a former BP Chemicals site in Antwerp, Belgium, and co-found Inspec. He later bought-out Inspec, acquiring the Antwerp site and formed the Hampshire-based Ineos. 

According to Forbes, his net worth is $18.5 billion, and the 118th richest billionaire in the world. 

21. Gennady Timchenko

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $21.7 billion

Company: Volga Group

University Degree: Electrical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Gennady Timchenko
Timchenko is on the left. Source: Пресс-служба Президента России/Wikimedia Commons

Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko is a Russian businessman and billionaire with an estimated wealth of $21.7 billion according to Forbes.

Timchenko has stakes in many Russian businesses, including gas company Novatek, petrochemical maker Sibur Holding amongst many others. He is considered one the most powerful people in Russia, with close links to Putin himself.

Gennady began his career as an engineer in the Izhorsky plant near St. Petersburg, specializing in building power generators.

22. Mikhail Fridman

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $15.8 billion

Company: AlfaGroup

University Degree: Metallurgical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Mikhail Fridman
Source: LetterOne Group/Flickr

After graduation, Fridman started out as a metallurgical engineer in a state electrical machinery factory in the Soviet Union. Forbes estimates his net worth as $15.8 billion, making him the 86th richest person alive.

He holds controlling shares in the investment group AlfaGroup with other billionaires German Khan and Alexia Kuzmichew.

23. Shiv Nadar

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $24.1 billion

Company: HCL Technologies

University Degree: Electrical and Electronics Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Shiv Nadar
Shiv Nadar (Right). Source: British High Commission/Flickr

Shiv Nadar is an Indian Tech pioneer who helped co-found HCL in 1976 with the intention of making calculators and microprocessors.

He still chairs the company today, which earns around $8 billion in revenue a year and is the 4th largest software services provider in India. 

According to Forbes, he is the 103rd richest person in the world and the 18th richest in tech.

24. Viktor Vekselberg

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $12.3 billion

Company: Renova Group

University Degree: Mechanical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Viktor Vekselberg
Source: Jürg Vollmer/Flickr

Vekselberg has a net worth of $12.3 billion, according to Forbes. He is a Ukrainian-born aluminum baron who made his first million-selling scrap copper from worn-out cables, before moving on to buying aluminum smelters in Siberia. He founded the oil and metals conglomerate Renova Group, headquartered in Switzerland. In 1997, he became a stakeholder in TNK-BP, a joint oil venture with the British oil giant.

25. Eric Schmidt is also worth a few “bob”

Net Worth (As of February 2021 – Forbes Data): $19.4 billion

Companies: Google/Innovation Endeavors

University Degree: Electrical Engineering

25 Richest Engineers Eric Schmidt
Source: Guillaume Paumier/Wikimedia Commons

Schmidt recently resigned as the Executive Chairman of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) after 17 years in the seat. He is still working as their technical advisor.

He co-founded Innovation Endeavors which is a venture capital firm that has, to date, raised $676.5 million.

Schmidt has a net worth of $19.4 billion making him the 84th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, who also ranks him as the 22nd richest person in tech (as of 2017).

And that is your lot for today. We hope these success stories have inspired me to dream big.

Even engineers, nay, especially engineers, can become very wealthy if they put their minds to it. Good luck

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Thanks for reading……

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