With the chance to work using emerging technologies, whilst impacting the design of influential machines and tools and combining a passion for subjects such as maths and science, it’s no surprise that many are drawn to a career as a mechanical engineer. However, the generous salaries associated with mechanical engineering roles can also be an attractive prospect for those looking to work in this field.
In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated the average yearly income for mechanical engineers at approximately £54,000. However, the salaries earned by engineers working within mechanical roles tend to vary greatly based on expertise, seniority and experience. The top ten per cent of engineers were found to earn more than £78,000 per annum, whilst the bottom ten per cent earned less than £33,000 each year. While this might certainly serve as an incentive for mechanical engineers to develop more advanced skills and expertise, it is also worth noting that fifty per cent of those working within mechanical engineering job roles were estimated to have an annual income of between £40,000 and £64,000.
The Impact of Industry
The salaries of mechanical engineers can also be affected by the industry in which they are working. Mechanical engineering can span a wide range of industries, since so many trades and businesses are reliant on the tools and machinery which such engineers are responsible for designing, building, implementing and improving.
According to the BKL, mechanical engineers working within the oil and gas extraction industry are amongst the best paid across the board, earning an average salary of £70,000. That said, those working within motor manufacturing roles have some of the most sought-after jobs within the engineering sector and also earn an impressive wage of around £60,000. Other high earners include mechanical engineers working within the architectural and engineering services industries, who enjoy an average wage of approximately £58,000.
Climbing the Career Ladder
As is the case with most fields of work, the higher you are able to climb up the career ladder, the more you can expect to earn. However, mechanical engineering is one area which offers considerable room for growth, as well as various opportunities to expand upon your existing skillset.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available jobs for mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 9 per cent between 2010 and 2020. Although this growth may not generate a huge number of additional roles, it is worth remembering that job creation is predicted to occur more frequently within emerging industries, such as nanotechnology and renewable energy – both of which frequently employ individuals with mechanical engineering capabilities.
As technology advances, those with specialist knowledge in niche areas of mechanical engineering are also expected to benefit from the ability to take on more senior and prestigious roles. With such individuals predicted to be highly-sought after, it is also highly likely that they may find themselves able to work in some of the top paying roles within mechanical engineering.
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