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where would you say has the best pay for a mechanical engineer?


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Glenn S.’s Answer

This is always an interesting question for me. My recommendations is that there is more to life and career than pay. What interest you in your career and where would you like to live are worth considering. Not just pay.

Medical devices tends to pay more than consumer products. I have worked in both. Startup doesn't usually pay great and most go under, but if you get the right one and you get i early enough, you can interest in the company. High cost of living areas pay better than lower cost of living areas, so you are spending the extra income. Microsoft, Google, and Amazon tend to pay well, but you work much harder to get that extra pay.

There are a lot of trade offs and you need to determine what is important to you.

Glenn S. recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of what is important to you and rank them or even better, assign a value to how important it is to you.
Rank each job based on how well if fits your ranking.
Consider standard of living, work life balance, access to the things you enjoy doing
Assign a value from 1 to 5 as how it fits the criteria and multiply it time the value that area is for you.
After totaling, make sure this really aligns with how you think it should rank. You can readjust how this is calculated once you review

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Daniel’s Answer

Hi Jose.

The energy sector tends to pay engineers very well - petroleum, oil, gas, etc. Generally speaking, larger organizations will be the organizations that offer higher compensation and more flexible working conditions.

Contrary to popular belief, there is more to a job than its salary. You need to seek out an organization/role that offers competitive benefits (vacation, 401k contributions), offers a friendly and attractive working environment, and most importantly, one in which you enjoy. If you do not enjoy your work, even if you are compensated very well, you should seek out another opportunity. The sooner you realize this, the more rewarding your career will be.


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Robin’s Answer

As a mechanical engineer you have learned to analyse and solve problems. I studied mechanical engineering but few of those that I studied with actually work as mechanical engineers now - most are software developers, project managers, investment bankers etc.
As others here said: dollar salary is not everything and quality of life resulting from salary can depend a lot on the location you are working (a high salary in an expensive city does not make you richer) and the job you have (working 80h week for twice the pay than working 40h may not make you happier).
Look for the best balance between salary, location and working conditions.

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Christina’s Answer

Mechanical engineering is a very broad field so this is difficult to answer. In general, high cost of living cities in the US (like San Jose, CA) will pay the best but you have to consider the cost of living which offsets the higher pay. Large multi-national corporations (Amazon, Cisco, etc) tend to pay better than smaller more local outfits. You might consider trying to get a job at a larger company in a higher cost area (like Silicon Valley or Chicago) if you like being near the action of a big city and then when that gets old and you want to start a family maybe you try to transfer to a satellite location of the same company in a more rural location where the cost of living is lower. It all depends on what your preferences and dreams are.

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Giovanni’s Answer

I would recommend working in industries such petroleum manufacturing or as an petroleum engineer where one could find find salaries to be high in most cases.

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Saul’s Answer

Jose,
Mechanical Engineers can and usually get paid well anywhere. Glen specified pretty well that fact of serving different Industries etc... is also relevant to your pay. Weapons and Defense Jobs located in lower cost of living areas such as Albuquerque, NM., El Paso, TX., pay very well and your money tends to go further than other places.
Before you jump in and devote yourself to a career you MUST make sure you like what you do. Know this, you will start at the bottom and work your way up. Leave your self open many options, ask many questions: Do you want to live in a city where the culture is abundant and diversified, or do you prefer country type living open spaces and low traffic. Remember this Mechanical Engineers are problem solvers, designers and builders. We can usually have these roles just about anywhere in the world and any city.
Glen gave some sound advise for the next steps. Makes lists, write down pros and cons, write down YOUR wants and needs for a well balanced Life. All these thing should be taken into consideration, pay will c ome into play once you find what you like doing and doing it well.

Best of LUCK ,

Saul

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Christina’s Answer

Mechanical engineering is a very broad field so this is difficult to answer. In general, high cost of living cities in the US (like San Jose, CA) will pay the best but you have to consider the cost of living which offsets the higher pay. Large multi-national corporations (Amazon, Cisco, etc) tend to pay better than smaller more local outfits. You might consider trying to get a job at a larger company in a higher cost area (like Silicon Valley or Chicago) if you like being near the action of a big city and then when that gets old and you want to start a family maybe you try to transfer to a satellite location of the same company in a more rural location where the cost of living is lower. It all depends on what your preferences and dreams are.

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Richard’s Answer

Lets interpret pay as "reward"
Find what fits your lifestyle and interests... and make it last throughout a career, and you can maximize reward and probably get decent pay as well.
"Highest pay" can be deceptive. Now an R&D engineer in a high tech think tank makes a pretty good salary, for a couple years until the objective is met... then there is probably a layoff as manufacturing ramps up. There is some time before the next job comes along that they qualify fore. Meanwhile, a manufacturing engineer may work an entire career without the same career volitility at half the wage, yet overall the steady salary adds up.
Lets look at reward... that R&D engineer probably went a year or two with no kudos ( daily reward) while the manufacturing engineer gets them every day. Yet, the manufacturing engineer is stuck in manufacture-town USA while the R&D engineer can relocate . What suits you the daily reward, ability to stay in one area or move about.
There are very real attributes to many types of mechanical engineering. The pay is usually "enough" in pretty much all of them, what "fits" you is that extra reward that makes you successful, happy, and marketable.

Richard "par diem" Wolf

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Tim’s Answer

There are good sources online to find this. One good source I believe is Machine Design magazine. They survey professionals and do a good job of reporting based on experience, field and industy.

Hi Tim, Although Machine Design magazine might be a good source for the information, sending a student to look for this information online isn't the most helpful answer. I encourage you to share any personal insights you may have as a mechanical engineer. Gurpreet Lally

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