How Much Do Mechanical Engineers Make?

mechanical engineer job descriptionFrom all of the engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest. Mechanical engineers are involved in designing, researching, development, and the testing of mechanical and thermal devices. This includes engines, machines, and tools.

Mechanical engineers are characterized by their creative abilities, for developing a breadth of knowledge in their industry, and for being versatile. It’s also important to be able to not only work autonomously, but as a part of a team too.

We all use a lot of day-to-day items that we probably don’t stop and think about, but engineers were involved in the design and manufacture of. Like microwaves, refrigeration, communication devices, transportation, to mention a few etc.

Interested to learn more? Have a look our guide on how to become a mechanical engineer by clicking this link.

Mechanical Engineer Salary

If you have been pondering on, how much do Mechanical Engineers make? The Median annual wage for Mechanical Engineers is $87,370. This is calculated by looking at the figure that half of the workers earned more than, and half earned less than.

mechanical engineer salaryThe lowest 10% earn less than $56,270, while the top 10% earn more than $136,550. This shows a clear indication that the lower level of earnings reflects the fact that there are certain qualifications needed to enter this profession.

We can look at the top five industries employing mechanical engineers, and the median annual wage being paid:

Computer and electronic product manufacturing – $93,070
Architectural, engineering, and related services – $90,060
Transportation equipment manufacturing – $88,460
Machinery manufacturing – $80,310
Scientific research and development services – $99,870

Mechanical engineers are in demand in the US now, with future projections indicating that there is a need for professionals in this area of speciality. Out of around 3 million engineers in the US now, around 20% are Mechanical Engineers.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alaska FlagAlaska 1.49$59.45$123,660
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico 1.33$48.54$100,970
California FlagCalifornia 1.59$47.77$99,360
Texas FlagTexas 1.81$47.63$99,080
Louisiana FlagLouisiana 1.39$47.30$98,390

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Oil and Gas Extraction 0.50$74.01$153,940
Information Services 0.06$66.59$138,510
Waste Treatment and Disposal 0.63$52.88$110,000
Waste Management Services $51.27$106,640
Support Activities for Air Transportation 0.06$49.82$103,630

Mechanical Engineer Job Description

What-does-a-Mechanical-Engineer-doThere is a wide range of tasks within a mechanical engineers job spec, here are some of the typical tasks:

  • Analysing problems to find a resolve using mechanical and thermal applications to solve the problem.
  • Using computer technology to design or redesign current mechanical and thermal devices.
  • Being involved in the research and development phase of prototypes of devices.
  • Analysing test results and making changes to designs as required.
  • Overseeing the manufacturing process for mechanical and thermal devices.

Mechanical engineers oversee the design and manufacturing process of many products being made. From medical devices, to household appliances, to batteries. As well as much larger machines, such as electric generators, combustion engines, wind, steam, and gas turbines, as well as other power generating or power using machines.

An individual wouldn’t be expected to oversee the whole process from start to finish. Teams will be divided into different department, sometimes depending on skill set and experience, or sometimes on request of a person’s preferred role. There will be teams of engineers in the design department, overseeing the design of a product and making changes where needed. Likewise there will be engineers involved in the manufacturing process, checking for defects and reporting back to the design team.

Mechanical engineers also design machinery used in buildings, like factories or living accommodations. These can include elevators, escalators, and mechanical doors. They also design systems and devices used in workplaces, like material-handling systems, product sorting machines, conveyor systems and automated processes.

Mechanical engineers rely heavily on computers and other state-of-the-art technologies in this modern era. Computers help mechanical engineers create designs to a high degree of accuracy, and analyze reports and patterns. Some advanced computer simulations can test how a device or machine is going to be working, and calculate the specifications needed to create parts.

Having an engineering degree is an excellent foundation for entering into the engineering profession, and gives an individual a good start on further training and development.

Mechanical Engineer Job Outlook

There is a 9% projected growth in the employment of mechanical engineers between 2016 and 2026. This is as fast as the average calculated for all occupations, but can change drastically if there are unexpected advances in technology. Mechanical engineers are able to work across a wide range of industries, across many different types of project. With this in mind, there can also be large shifts in employment when trends shift.

Growth in industries such as oil and gas extraction is expected to grow. This is because the knowledge and technologic advancements with thermal energy is on the increase. The scope of alternative energies is always broadening, and natural resources deplete. Raising more opportunities for engineers to develop new strategies.

Overall the outlook for mechanical engineers is positive, and probably the most positive out of all the types of engineering.

Mechanical Engineer Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama1.758$40.49$84,210
Alaska FlagAlaska1.488$59.45$123,660
Arizona FlagArizona1.537$44.88$93,340
Arkansas FlagArkansas1.105$35.47$73,770
California FlagCalifornia1.589$47.77$99,360
Colorado flagColorado2.626$42.71$88,830
Connecticut FlagConnecticut3.673$40.52$84,290
Delaware flagDelaware1.683$46.48$96,670
Florida FlagFlorida0.706$40.80$84,860
Georgia FlagGeorgia1.252$39.41$81,970
Hawaii FlagHawaii0.952$38.47$80,020
Idaho FlagIdaho1.734$39.39$81,940
Illinois FlagIllinois2.044$40.59$84,420
Indiana FlagIndiana3.567$35.72$74,300
Iowa FlagIowa1.843$35.43$73,700
Kansas FlagKansas1.634$34.83$72,440
Kentucky FlagKentucky1.536$37.72$78,450
Louisiana FlagLouisiana1.391$47.30$98,390
Maine FlagMaine1.312$39.86$82,900
Maryland FlagMaryland2.008$46.06$95,800
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.808$44.35$92,250
Michigan FlagMichigan9.501$42.66$88,730
Minnesota FlagMinnesota2.457$39.60$82,370
Mississippi FlagMississippi0.802$37.24$77,460
Missouri FlagMissouri1.343$38.24$79,530
Montana FlagMontana0.789$38.03$79,110
Nebraska FlagNebraska1.039$36.79$76,530
Nevada FlagNevada0.458$41.20$85,700
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire2.665$40.85$84,970
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey1.629$43.27$90,000
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico1.334$48.54$100,970
New York FlagNew York1.163$40.82$84,900
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina1.411$39.21$81,550
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota1.143$35.55$73,940
Ohio FlagOhio2.345$35.83$74,520
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma1.569$39.34$81,830
Oregon FlagOregon1.592$39.01$81,140
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania1.854$39.86$82,900
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.16$43.79$91,080
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina3.023$41.21$85,710
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota1.17$33.62$69,930
Tennessee FlagTennessee1.478$40.90$85,060
Texas FlagTexas1.81$47.63$99,080
Utah FlagUtah2.736$37.38$77,760
Vermont FlagVermont1.718$41.03$85,330
Virginia FlagVirginia2.251$46.61$96,960
Washington FlagWashington2.216$43.92$91,360
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia0.504$37.00$76,960
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin3.053$34.01$70,730
Wyomin FlagWyoming0.913$38.70$80,500

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Anchorage, AK 2.21$60.22$125,260
Taunton/Norton/Raynham – MA, NECTA Division 4.42$56.15$116,780
San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara – CA 4.52$53.71$111,720
Washington/Arlington/Alexandria – DC/VA/MD/WV – Metropolitan Division 1.86$52.91$110,060
Boulder, CO 4.53$52.85$109,920

Top paying non-metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska, nonmetropolitan area 0.72$59.92$124,640
Northeastern Oklahoma – nonmetropolitan area0.89$51.78$107,700
Northeastern Virginia – nonmetropolitan area 7.09$50.28$104,570
Sussex County – Delaware – nonmetropolitan area 1.03$47.93$99,690
St. Mary’s County – Maryland – nonmetropolitan area 8.87$45.60$94,840

Mechanical Engineer Career Video

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Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith in Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of CareersWiki.com since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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