Man working on a mechanical engineering computer program surrounded by design plans.

What to Expect with a Mechanical Engineering Salary

Aspiring engineers that specialize in mechanical engineering can expect to earn an excellent salary and have plenty of room for advancement. While earning a degree in mechanical engineering, individuals are able to take on internships in order to earn money while in school and gain work experience. Through this process, individuals will learn invaluable skills for specialized processes that can help with future earning potential. Below is an explanation of what mechanical engineers can expect to earn for their expertise in the field.

Potential Earnings

Mechanical engineers can expect moderately high income potential after earning their degree. The average mechanical engineer earns a starting salary of $58,600 and the average salary overall is $80,580. The highest paid mechanical engineers earn around $121,530. Additionally, those who pursue an advanced mechanical engineering degree will see greater prospects for long-term employment, as well as high earning potential. In certain locations and industries, individuals can earn even more as mechanical engineers. Many mechanical engineers will work in innovative companies where they will be offered compensation packages that can provide extras like equity, pensions, and health insurance.

Branches of Mechanical Engineering

Industries that deal in manufacturing need mechanical engineers to develop machines and products for their customers. Many skilled mechanical engineers can increase their earning potential by developing expertise within a particular industry. Fields like aerospace, biotechnology, construction, pharmaceuticals, durables, and many others have a high demand for mechanical engineers. The oil and gas industry employs many mechanical engineers to develop better processes within refinery plants. General factories also seek out mechanical engineers for their skills in designing customized machinery to help them develop more cost-effective products.

Potential Disadvantages

Those pursuing a career in mechanical engineering will need to pursue an Bachelor’s degree in the field. Since jobs in mechanical engineering can be very competitive, individuals may find it necessary to pursue even more advanced degrees in the field. Many mechanical engineers that earn more than $100,000 have at least a Master’s degree or even a Ph.D.

Mechanical engineers normally report directly to their supervisors and carry out very specific tasks with a team of colleagues. For this reason, the field may not be appropriate for those with poor interpersonal skills or those that like to work independently.

Future Prospects

Since almost every industry requires the services of mechanical engineers, it is unlikely that the field will decline anytime soon. The knowledge gained through mechanical engineering can even help individuals that want to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Individuals who prove their abilities in the field can move up to more highly paid positions, such as consulting or management.

Mechanical engineering is a rewarding career that offers many opportunities to those who choose to pursue them.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015