3 answers

How much does a typical Mechanical engineer make a year?

Updated Des Moines, Iowa

I was wondering what would be the average salary someone in this position would make a year for their financial status. #engineering #mechanical-engineering #mechanical-engineer #financial-planning

3 answers

Chris’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas

This can vary quite a bit based upon 'what type of job' you have attained and 'where you live'


Sites like glassdoor.com and payscale.com give you actual salaries based upon a provided zipcode. There are other disciplines that require mechanical engineers - like Aerospace engineering (higher pay) or general manufacturing engineering (slightly less) or industrial engineering. Different disciplines can vary in pay. Alas, starting salaries have not increased much since I started out my engineering career in 2006. Starting salary remains in the 61k - 70k range "on average for my area". That being said - it is among the highest paid disciplines within engineering, demand tends to be high, and there are more jobs than the higher 'profit' and specific engineering disciplines (based upon my personal experience). Look at firms like Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and other defense contractors for example job places for more information regarding specific mechanical engineering disciplines.

Chris recommends the following next steps:

  • Check actual salaries for your area at glassdoor.com or payscale.com, which collect reports of actual salaries from engineers.

Simon’s Answer

Updated Greensboro, Georgia

The starting salaries vary widely depending on the industry you select but salaries range from $45,000 to 80,000, but don't go into engineering for the money. If you don't like the work you will be a poor engineer, working more hours than necessary and being unhappy. Pursue a field that you have a genuine interest in and you will be a happy contributor to society.

Glenn’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Christine, you can make a good living as an engineer in whatever discipline that you choose. However, the people who chose a career path based on salary alone are rarely ever happy with their career choice. If you don't enjoy engineering, it is too stressful of a career path. You will spend more time working that you will be doing most other things in your life. If it is not a good match for you, the money will not overcome your misery.

There are a lot of web sites that can help answer your question on how much engineers can make from straight out of school to having a a lot of experience.