Mechanical engineering is a career in engineering that can offer high earnings. The mean annual wage for mechanical engineers is around $100,820 per year. The top 10 percent of mechanical engineers can earn even more, with some making up to $151,260 every year. This means that if you're good at mechanical engineering, it can be a job that pays well.
Do Mechanical Engineers Make a Lot of Money?
Mechanical engineeringis a wide branch of engineering. Mechanical engineers do lots of things like designing, creating, making, and testing technologies, systems, solutions, devices and more. They typically hold at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. They work with things that move, like parts, machines, and even the human body. Being good at working with people, ideas, numbers, and money makes mechanical engineers get paid well.
Like engineers in many other fields, mechanical engineers are well paid. Compared to other fields, the salary amount earned by mechanical engineers is above average throughout each stage of their careers. According to the United States Department of Labor, the mean salary for a mechanical engineer is $100,820, with the top 10 percent earning close to $151,260.
|Mechanical Engineering Salaries||Mean Entry-Level Salary||Mean Annual Salary||Top 10 Percent|
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How Much Do Mechanical Engineers Make Compared to Other Fields?
Engineers play a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow, and engineering salaries back it up. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineers earn a median annual wage of $79,840 (May 2021), which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.1
Mechanical engineers make a mean annual wage of $100,820, putting mechanical engineering in the upper half of all engineering occupations.
What is the Mechanical Engineering Job Outlook?
Jobs for mechanical engineers are projected to grow 2 percent from 2021 to 20312. Roughly 17,900 mechanical engineering job openings are projected each year2 over the course of the next decade. With this growth, 6,400 new jobs are expected to be created yearly—and additional openings are expected to become available through retirements and other workforce changes. Outside of the US, many mechanical engineers now work in teams and locations around the world due to globalization.
Tomorrow needs mechanical engineers who are prepared to make a difference in the world. The world faces challenges in healthcare, energy, transportation, space exploration, climate change, and more. Computers continue to change the way mechanical engineers do their work. Breakthroughs in materials and analytical tools have opened new frontiers for mechanical engineers. 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, composites, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and acoustical engineering have all expanded the mechanical engineering toolbox and new career opportunities are resulting from innovations.
How Can Mechanical Engineers Increase Their Earnings?
Mechanical engineers can increase their earnings in several ways, including:
Experience: Mechanical engineers make more as they gain experience and progress through their career. Mechanical engineers who gain managerial experience by overseeing junior mechanical engineers can improve their earning potential at a faster rate.
Skills and Specializations: Learning new skills, such as computer-aided design (CAD) or project management, can help mechanical engineers take on more responsibilities. Specializing in areas like robotics, renewable energy, or materials science can help mechanical engineers stand out. These specializations can lead to higher-paying positions.
Level of Education: Earning a mechanical engineering master's degree, engineering mechanics master's degree, or even an online graduate certificate in an engineering field or other professional certification may qualify mechanical engineers for promotions earlier in their career. These accelerated promotions may allow them to increase their income potential.
Change Industry/Location: Mechanical engineers can increase their earnings by working in high-paying industries such as aerospace, defense, or oil and gas. They can also relocate to high-demand locations in the US or internationally where there is a shortage of qualified professionals.
- Architecture and Engineering Occupations, BLS. Accessed October 2023.
- Mechanical Engineers Occupational Outlook Handbook, BLS. Accessed October 2023.