Many people know that mechanical engineers make a lot of money, but few really know how much it is exactly. If you’ve ever wondered what the average mechanical engineer salary is, then this article is for you. Let’s break down everything you need to know about this career.
The Average and Median Mechanical Engineer Salary – Fresh Data
Wondering what the average mechanical engineer salary is? Depending on where you work, your experience and education level, and which industry you’re in, you could make anything from $60,000 to well over $100,000 a year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for all mechanical engineers in 2021 was $97,000 per year. The median was slightly lower at $95,300.
We bet you want something more specific than that. Let’s dive into the details, so you can better decide if it makes sense to pursue this career.
Mechanical Engineer Salary by Industry
Industry is one of the biggest factors that affects how much money you’ll make as a mechanical engineer. For example, according to the BLS, those working in pipeline transportation of crude oil make a whopping $157,210 on average. On the other side of the spectrum, there are mechanical engineers working in metalworking machinery manufacturing, with a mean salary of $81,510. Here are the averages in a few more industries:
- land subdivision – $124,860;
- scientific research and development services – $113,930;
- aerospace product and parts manufacturing – $109,160;
- federal executive branch – $103,720.
States with the Highest Mechanical Engineer Salaries
You might also be wondering how mechanical engineer salaries differ by state. After all, the cost of living and the job market vary a lot from place to place. Here are the five states with the highest average salaries, according to BLS data from 2021:
- New Mexico – $120,040;
- Louisiana – $119,380;
- District of Columbia – $113,840;
- California – $113,130;
- Alaska – $111,850.
Mechanical Engineer Salaries over the Years
The average salary for mechanical engineers has risen steadily over the years. Here’s a look at how mechanical engineer salaries have changed over the years, and what to expect from a career in mechanical engineering.
- In 2010, the average salary was $82,480.
- By 2015, that number increased to $88,190.
- In 2020, the mean salary for mechanical engineers was $95,560.
- In 2021, it was already $97,000.
As you can see, mechanical engineering is a well-paying career. If you’re thinking of pursuing this field, you can expect to make a good living. And if you’re curious about the job outlook, the BLS projects that employment will grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is as fast as average.
What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?
Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing mechanical devices. That includes everything from engines and powertrains to HVAC systems and medical devices.
One of the most important things mechanical engineers do is solve problems. If there’s a mechanical device that isn’t working properly, it’s up to the engineer to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Apart from that, they’re often involved in product development. That means they’re responsible for coming up with new ideas for products, designing prototypes, and testing them to see if they work.
In order to do their job, mechanical engineers need to have a deep understanding of physics and math. They also need to be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) software.
What Are the Typical Working Conditions in This Field?
As a mechanical engineer, you can expect to spend a lot of your time working in an office. But you’ll also need to be able to travel to meet with clients and visit worksites. Besides, many of these professionals also spend time in laboratories, where they test their designs.
When it comes to the work itself, engineering can be both mentally and physically challenging. You’ll need to be able to solve complex problems, and you’ll often be working with heavy machinery.
Is Mechanical Engineering the Right Career for You?
If the mechanical engineer salary looks appealing to you, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, mechanical engineering is a very competitive field. That means it can be difficult to find a job, especially if you don’t have experience.
Second of all, mechanical engineering is a demanding career. You’ll need to have strong problem-solving skills, and you’ll need to be able to handle stress. Besides, mechanical engineers need to have strong communication skills. They need to be able to explain their ideas clearly and work with other engineers to develop a product.
How to Become a Mechanical Engineer?
To become one, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. But if you want to advance your career, you might consider getting a master’s degree or even a PhD.
Apart from that, it’s also a good idea to get some experience working in the field. That way, you’ll be able to show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge they’re looking for.
The Bottom Line: Mechanical Engineer Salaries Are Good
In conclusion, mechanical engineer salaries are good, and it’s a stable career with a bright future. If you’re thinking of pursuing this field, you can expect to make a good living. However, you’ll need to be prepared for a competitive job market and a demanding career.
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