Average Salary of a Mechanical Engineer: Mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse and in-demand engineering disciplines. It involves the design, analysis, testing, and manufacturing of mechanical systems and devices that are used in a variety of industries, such as automotive, aerospace, energy, manufacturing, and more. Mechanical engineers play a vital role in shaping the modern world and advancing technology. One of the most important factors that attract people to this field is the salary potential.
In this article, we will explore the average salary of a mechanical engineer, including factors that affect it, and how to increase your earning potential in this field.
Average Salary of a Mechanical Engineer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for mechanical engineers was $90,160 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $139,520.
The salary of a mechanical engineer varies depending on several factors, such as education, experience, industry, location, and job title. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
Education is a significant factor that affects the salary of a mechanical engineer. Generally, employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field. However, having a master’s degree or Ph.D. in mechanical engineering or a specialized field can increase your salary potential.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for mechanical engineers with a bachelor’s degree was $88,430 in May 2020, while those with a master’s degree earned a median annual salary of $96,100.
Experience is another critical factor that affects the salary of a mechanical engineer. Generally, the more experience you have, the higher your salary potential. Mechanical engineers with less than five years of experience typically earn an average salary of $68,000, while those with 5-10 years of experience earn an average of $84,000. Mechanical engineers with more than ten years of experience can earn an average salary of $106,000.
The industry you work in also plays a significant role in determining your salary as a mechanical engineer. The highest-paying industries for mechanical engineers are oil and gas extraction, scientific research and development services, aerospace product and parts manufacturing, and computer and electronic product manufacturing.
The location of your job is also an essential factor that affects your salary as a mechanical engineer. Generally, mechanical engineers working in large cities or metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas. The states with the highest average salaries for mechanical engineers are Alaska, California, Texas, Louisiana, and Connecticut.
Your job title is another factor that affects your salary as a mechanical engineer. Generally, mechanical engineers in higher positions or with more responsibility tend to earn more than those in entry-level positions. Some of the top-paying job titles for mechanical engineers include mechanical design engineer, project engineer, senior mechanical engineer, and engineering manager.
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Increasing Your Earning Potential as a Mechanical Engineer
If you want to increase your earning potential as a mechanical engineer, here are some tips that can help:
- Get a higher education degree: Earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. in mechanical engineering or a specialized field can increase your salary potential.
- Gain more experience: The more experience you have, the higher your salary potential. Consider taking on more challenging projects or seeking out additional responsibilities to gain more experience.
- Seek out certifications: Obtaining relevant certifications, such as a Professional Engineer (PE) license, can demonstrate your expertise and increase your earning potential.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest technology and industry trends: Being knowledgeable about the latest technology and industry trends can make you a valuable asset to your employer and increase your salary potential.
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In conclusion, the average salary of a mechanical engineer varies depending on several factors, such as education, experience, industry, location, and job title. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for mechanical engineers in May 2020 was $90,160. To increase your earning potential in this field, you can consider obtaining higher education degrees, gaining more experience, seeking out relevant certifications, and staying up-to-date with the latest technology and industry trends. Mechanical engineering is a promising and in-demand field, offering competitive salaries and opportunities for growth and development.