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Typical Salaries for New and Experienced Mechanical Engineers

written by: vishalseafarer • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 6/14/2010

Are you thinking that Mechanical Engineers don't earn much? Read this article to learn about the potential salaries of mechanical engineers at various levels and how much more they can earn by owning their own firms.

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    Salaries or Earnings of Mechanical Engineers

    The principles of mechanics are used in the making of the simplest of objects like nails and screws to the huge and complex machines like rockets that cross the solar system and go beyond. There never will be a lack of opportunity for mechanical engineers though there might be a reduction in job opportunities due to the introduction of robots and other automated machines and a lot of software. This in turn will lead to the increase in jobs for people who maintain those robots and their automated machines. Now let us look at the salaries of mechanical engineers at various levels of their career and which countries and which organizations or fields pay more.

    How much do Mechanical Engineers earn during entry level?

    Entry level mechanical engineers, who have just obtained their undergraduate degree, earn an average starting salary of around $54,000 to $58,000. The salary will gradually increase with experience to around $80,000 in around 5 years or so.

    How much do Mechanical Engineers who have completed their postgraduate earn?

    Mechanical Engineers who have completed their postgraduate earn an average of around $64,000 which is the starting salary. Completing a doctorate will enable a mechanical engineer to close in on the $75,000 a year mark, again the starting salary. The main benefits of completing a master's degree and a doctorate is that it will enable the mechanical engineer to get promoted to higher posts like project management, leading a research team, etc.

    Unless one is really interested in learning, it is better not to do a postgraduate degree just for the sake of money. Here is the reason why: The salary a person will earn after completing his or her postgraduate in mechanical engineering (or in one of its branches) will be the same amount earned by an undergraduate by the time the person finishes his or her postgraduate degree and gets back the money he or she spent in obtaining the degree. Moreover the person who has opted to continue working instead of pursuing higher studies gains a lot of experience in his field of expertise.

    Which countries offer better salaries for graduates in Mechanical Engineering?

    Countries like United States, United Kingdom, Germany, etc. offer better salaries than other countries but their requirements are very high and so is the competition. These countries require lots of mechanical engineers as many industries in these countries have firms or organizations that require efficient mechanical engineers, and the goods or machines produced in these countries are top quality and manufactured in mass production.

    Top industries where mechanical engineers are hired:

    The aerospace industry, automotive industry, industries that manufacture machinery, transport equipment, ship building industries, etc. are some of the industries that offer attractive salaries to mechanical engineers.

    The motor racing is one field where some of the highly innovative mechanical engineers are present mainly due to two reasons: 1) The challenges are ever present and this requires a lot of creativity and application of principles which makes sure highly talented engineers remain stuck to the job, 2) Attractive salaries and other offers.

    Some of the top firms or companies that provide six-figure salaries are Mercedes Benz, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Audi, Ferrari, etc., and they are ready to shell out lots of money.

    What are the other ways a Mechanical Engineer can earn more money?

    Learning CAD enables the person to express his plans and ideas quicker than the normal drawing board approach. Updating and familiarizing oneself with the new technologies will give an upper hand when someone who is likely to hire the mechanical engineer. Engineers who often come up with innovative solutions are praised and appreciated. This increases their chances of getting higher salaries and better jobs from highly reputed firms. Highly experienced mechanical engineers can contemplate owning their own firm and leading it with their experience.