Last Updated on February 5, 2022
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 2011 Engineering Income and Salary Survey reports that mechanical engineers earned an average yearly income of $107,313, including base pay and supplemental pay such as bonuses or commissions. This figure was less than 4 percent higher than the overall average for all engineers in the survey, which was $103,497. The best-paid 25 percent of mechanical engineers earned $129,129 or more, with the top 10 percent of earners making $165,000 or more. This was again 3 to 4 percent higher than the overall data, which showed the top 25 percent of engineers earned $124,523 or more and the top 10 percent $160,000 or more.
Years of Experience
The typical starting salary for a mechanical engineer is $61,300 per year but that’s the median for all junior engineers, including those without post-graduate education. Remember, a master’s mechanical engineering salary may be up to 20 percent higher. Here’s a typical salary progression based on experience, managerial responsibilities and specialized expertise:
- 0-1 years: $61,300
- 2-5 years: $65,000
- 5-10 years: $78,000
- 10-20 years: $99,000
- 20+ years: $100,000
Time on the Job
The ASME survey showed that experience made a difference in pay for engineers. For instance, the average salary for an engineer with 10 to 14 years’ experience was $95,783 and the average for one with 15 to 19 years was $111,621. An engineer with 20 to 24 years on the job averaged $123,267, and one with more than 25 years averaged $136,942.