Machine Income: Lowest and Highest Paying Jobs for Mechanical Engineers
Mechanical engineers design, develop and oversee the manufacturing of machines and mechanical devices in many industries. They may be responsible for electric generators in power plants, material-handling systems in warehouses, engines in cars, and elevators and escalators in skyscrapers. Mechanical engineering salaries depend on the hiring industries and locations of employment. All information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
The country’s 234,400 mechanical engineers make a mean $39.65 per hour or $82,480 per year.
- The lowest-paid 10 percent earn $24.30 per hour or $50,550 per year, while the highest earning 10 percent receive $57.44 per hour or $119,480 per year.
- This is higher than the mean $36.32 per hour or $75,550 per year earned by all 2.3 million workers in architecture and engineering occupations. This category includes engineering technicians, surveyors and architects.
- This is 85 percent over the average $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year made by all 127 million workers in the nation.
The highest paying jobs for mechanical engineers are in the following industries:
- Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing pays a mean $51.72 per hour or $107,580 per year.
- Software publishers offer mean salaries of $49.87 per hour or $103,740 per year.
- Oil and gas extraction shows average wages at $49.01 per hour or $101,930 per year.
The lowest paying industries are the following:
- Veneered plywood and engineered wood product manufacturing shows means at $28.11 per hour or $58,470 per year.
- State-government-owned colleges, universities, professional schools and educational services average $29.94 per hour or $62,270 per year.
- Wood product manufacturers, other than sawmills or engineered wood manufacturers, have mean salaries of $30.21 per hour or $62,840 per year.
The highest paying jobs for mechanical engineers are in the following states:
- Alaska, which has a high cost-of-living that raises all wages, averages a mean $47.79 per hour or $99,400 per year.
- The District of Columbia, which the Labor Department classifies with states, shows means at $46.30 per hour or $96,310 per year.
- Virginia has mean wages of $45.45 per hour or $94,530 per year.
The lowest paying jobs by state are the following:
- Puerto Rico, also classified with states, shows means of $27.58 per hour or $57,360 per year.
- Nebraska averages $31.13 per hour or $64,740 per year.
- Arkansas shows means of $32.37 per hour or $67,320 per year.
- Montana has mean wages at $32.46 per hour or $67,510 per year.
The highest paying jobs for mechanical engineers are in the following metropolitan areas.
- Idaho Falls, Idaho, shows salaries of $60.73 per hour or $126,320 per year.
- Bloomington, Illinois, averages $56.14 per hour or $116,760 per year.
- Washington, DC, has mean wages of $54.22 per hour or $112,780 per year.
The lowest paying jobs are in the following cities:
- Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has means of $20.32 per hour or $42,270 per year.
- San Angelo, Texas, averages $24.09 per hour or $50,110 per year.
- College Station, Texas, has mean salaries at $24.82 per hour or $51,620 per year.
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