A career in mechanical engineering can take many forms. A mechanical engineer can find work in a variety of fields, including robotics and automotive, as well as in the fields of nanotechnology, robotics, and mechanical engineering. The amount of money you can expect to make as a mechanical engineer depends on a variety of factors, including the industry you work in, your level of experience, and your educational background. In order to land one of the most well-paying positions in mechanical engineering, you’ll need to complete the necessary training and work experience.
Salaries for mechanical engineers in various industries
One of the broadest and oldest engineering disciplines, mechanical design is also one of the most common engineering jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 288,800 people in the United States are employed as mechanical engineers. According to the BLS, the median yearly wage for mechanical engineers across all industries and experience levels is $85,880. The median salary for all engineers is $92,220, so this salary is significantly higher than the median wage for all occupations.
It is possible that even if you have the same job title, your earning potential can differ by tens of thousands of dollars based on the industry in which you are employed. The BLS found that the most profitable industry for mechanical engineers is scientific research and development, with an annual salary of $98,530. Mechanical engineering graduates who go into computer and electronic product manufacturing can expect to make $91,440 per year on average. There is a median salary of $89,180 for mechanical engineers in architectural and engineering services The median salary for mechanical engineers working in transportation equipment manufacturing is $86,670. More than 37,500 mechanical engineers work in machinery manufacturing, but only 13% make more than the median wage of $77,400 per year (about 37,500 people).
Mechanical engineering jobs with the highest salary potential tend to be the ones that are hardest to come by. Mechanical engineering jobs with six-figure average salaries exist, but they only account for a small percentage of the total workforce. It is estimated that just 120 mechanical engineers are employed by software publishers, which means that just 0.03 percent of all employees within the industry are mechanical engineers. Only 430 mechanical engineers in the oil and gas extraction industry are included in the $122,140 mean salary. Only 130 of the industry’s electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance workers are mechanical engineers, but they make an average salary of $113,390 each. Mechanic engineers, who make an average salary of $112,570, make up less than half of the waste treatment and disposal workers. This industry employs only 240 mechanical engineers, but they earn an average salary of $110,170.
An engineering manager is one of the highest-paying jobs in the industry. An advanced degree and at least five years of work experience may be required for mechanical engineering managers.
Payscale for Mechanical Engineers, Organized by Area of Study
Engineers can specialize in a variety of fields, and certain fields pay better than others. The median salary for heating and cooling system engineers, or HVAC engineers, is $63,494, according to PayScale. With a median salary of $78,053, automotive engineers are paid nearly $15,000 more per year than HVAC engineers. Business Insider lists robotics and automation engineer as one of the engineering jobs paying at least $110,000. According to PayScale, the median salary for robotic engineers is $80,720, but they can make as much as $121,842 annually. The median annual salary for scientists and engineers working in scientific research and development is $98,530.
Your level of experience and responsibility can have an impact on your salary as a mechanical engineer. When you work as a mechanical engineer, you’ll be responsible for everything from designing mechanical and thermal systems to overseeing manufacturing. Mechanical engineers frequently work their way up to management positions due to the breadth of their responsibilities.
Mechanical engineers can expect to make a starting salary of $64,695 when they first enter the field.