for engineers vary significantly by specialty, industry, and education.
Even so, as a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting
salaries among those holding bachelor's degrees.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median
for mechanical engineers is $74,920. The lowest 10% earned
$47,900. The highest 10% earned $114,740.
According to a
July 2009 survey by the National Association of Colleges and
Employers, the average starting salary for mechanical
engineers who have earned a Bachelor's degree is $58,766.
In addition, an ASME
Career Path Survey indicates that:
Experience counts: Without adjusting for inflation, mechanical
engineers with 10
years of experience reported a 106% salary gain, while those with
15 years of experience reported a 249% difference between their
starting and current salary.
counts: In the early years of your career, a Master's degree is a
decided plus factor in competing for many of the more desirable
- Money is
a very important factor in career planning, but it is by no means
the only important factor.
choice of a career track counts: In larger companies, there are
salary differences between the management and technical tracks. In
a large company, your job may revolve around a fairly specific
role, while smaller companies may offer faster growth in terms of
responsibilities, the breadth of experience, and salary. When
comparing job offers from large and small companies, salary isn't
everything. Think about growth potential, support for your
continuing education, technical resources, and always consider the
stability of the hiring division or company -- and don't forget
to factor in the cost of living in the local area.
- In the
long run, many engineers plan their career around the type of work
that they find most satisfying. Money doesn't seem to compensate
enough if you find that you're going everyday to a job you don't
like that's not taking you where you want to go.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by
ASME and the US Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics.