What Is the Typical Salary of a Mechanical Engineer?

Have you always enjoyed tinkering with things or coming up with creative ideas for new technology? Do you like helping out society through innovating changes? Are you interested in a high paying career? Read on to learn more about the job outlook for mechanical engineers and how much they typically earn. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Engineers that are employed in the creation process of machines are referred to as mechanical engineers. In this role, you'll perform duties like manufacturing, testing, developing, researching and designing different mechanical devices like engines, tools and machines. Innovations like air-conditioning equipment, refrigeration units, elevators, robots, gas turbines, combustion engines and electric generators can all be contributed to mechanical engineering.

Salary Overview

In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that mechanical engineers had a mean annual wage of $84,770, which made the mean hourly wage $40.75 (www.bls.gov). The median hourly salary was $38.74, while the median annual income was $80,580. Mechanical engineers in the 90th percentile earned $58.43 or more per hour and annual incomes of $121,530 or higher.

Salary by Industry

According to the BLS, the top paying industry in May 2012 was oil and gas extraction, which had an annual mean salary of $128,650 or an hourly mean wage of $61.85. Other top paying industries included pipeline transportation of crude oil, miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers and audio and video equipment manufacturing. The field with the highest level of employment was architectural and engineering services, which had an hourly mean salary of $43.15 and an annual mean income of $89,760.

Salary by Location

The BLS reported in May 2012 that the states with the highest average wages included Alaska, California, Rhode Island, Texas and Maryland. Salaries in these states ranged from $92,020 to $103,840 annually. Some of the states with the lowest pay included Montana, Ohio, Arkansas, Kansas and Iowa. The BLS reported that states with the lowest average wages paid between $56,270 and $75,350 annually.

Salary by Experience

In January 2014, PayScale.com reported that mechanical engineers with less than a year of experience earned $43,855-$69,073 annually. Those with 1-4 years of experience earned $46,887-$74,782, and those with 5-9 years of experience earned $55,735-$89,622. Engineers with 10-19 years of experience made $59,444-$108,751, while those with 20 or more years of experience made $61,802-$129,871.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that mechanical engineers are expected to have a nine percent job growth from 2010-2020. This employment growth is ranked slower than the average when compared to other vocations. The items created by mechanical engineers are constantly desired and improvement is always necessary, so that demand creates new job opportunities. Biotechnology, nanotechnology and materials science are three fields expected to see new employment opportunities. Other career options include getting an additional engineering specialty and applying your mechanical engineering towards another career.

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