Every year, a stream of
mechanical engineers graduate from their bachelor’s degree and do their best to
get a job that would pay them the highest mechanical engineer salary. The
reason is clear – mechanical engineering is one of the most in-demand
engineering disciplines and in highly in demand within several industries in
all countries around the world.
In addition to that, it is one of
the highest paid fields. The more training a mechanical engineer takes up, the
more he or she can expect their annual salary to go up. And the more skilled a
mechanical engineer is, the more he or she can negotiate their pay.
Now if you only finished a
bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, does it mean you have less chance
of getting hired? Definitely not, some companies accept engineers with
bachelor’s degrees more often than those who have achieved higher academic levels.
There are also other businesses that require their engineers to have a Ph.D. at
Before I talk about the top three
jobs for highest Mechanical Engineer salary, you must first understand and
review what is expected of you once you get hired into a company and how to
develop your skills so that your career path takes you to the highest levels.
To make things easier, I’ve listed down some of the most typical duties and
responsibilities that many companies expect their Mechanical Engineers to be
performing every single workday.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineers are expected
to know and execute research, build and test mechanical devices and tools,
design and develop, and understand how systems and machines work.
As a researcher, a mechanical
engineer analyzes issues relating to mechanical devices and thermal tools among
other research duties. He is also the one responsible for making sure these
tools and devices work to complete projects on time and produce acceptable
A Mechanical Engineer also acts
as a process engineer, for example, taking care of the manufacturing processes
for many of the company’s products, which could include engines parts or
medical devices. They are also responsible for designing the parts and
components that are to be manufactured.
Mechanical Engineers can start a
career in almost every industry out there, from making elevators and escalators
work to designing systems that dispense ice-cream, to creating parts that are
used in a space shuttle. They are quite computer savvy and can even get
involved in control systems programming and software-based solutions. But
regarding salaries, the highest mechanical engineer salary was
reported to be $128,430 in 2015. The lowest starting salary
for a recently graduated young mechanical engineer in the same year was
Mechanical Engineers can wear
different hats. Some can become Systems or Engineering Managers. Others can
become Senior Designers or Drafters. Some others would choose to become
Materials Engineers, Mathematicians, Mechanical Technicians, and Natural
Sciences Managers to name a few.
If you are looking at how much
you can get paid from companies who hire Mechanical Engineering positions, here
are some data I’ve gathered for you based on non-managerial positions in the
The Top 3 Highest Mechanical Engineer
1. Mechanical Design
The primary roles and responsibilities
of a Mechanical Design Engineer include researching, testing, designing,
manufacturing, and developing machines, engines, and tools or devices. A
Mechanical Design Engineer plays a major role in the production process because
he or she takes charge of the machines used to run the project smoothly and to
its optimum level.
In other aspects, a Mechanical
Design Engineer can be considered a process or project manager. He or she looks
after the company’s resources, including its workforce and equipment suppliers.
He may also be tasked with managing company budgets as well as maintaining
materials and keeping design specifications up to date.
If you are good at drafting parts
and designing equipment layouts, then you are fit to be one of the Mechanical
Design Engineers paid well.
A Senior Mechanical Engineer
works in close cooperation with the upper management. He collaborates with the
Business Development department, the Engineering department, and the
Operations, Quality Control and Manufacturing department. Depending on the
company needs, a Senior Mechanical Engineer may be responsible for many aspects
of project management.
The primary roles and
responsibilities of a Senior Mechanical Engineer are to ensure that all
regulations and procedures in the workplace, including environmental, safety
and security policies, are adhered to by everyone, including himself and his
direct reports. He is to be the adviser who makes recommendations when there is
a need for human resources. That means he is an active participant in the
recruitment and hiring of new employees.
Aside from his role in the human
resources department, he is also in charge of investigating and procuring
information that is needed for design and development. He is to be ready to
troubleshoot when system failures or project failures are experienced in the
management. He works with lots of data, gathers tons of information and can
analyze and interpret new machine or system data in real-time as it’s acquired.
As a project manager, the Senior
Mechanical Engineer is responsible for making sure all projects are done according
to plan and within the time allotted. He also serves as the coordinator and
consultant to other team members for better design and development outcomes.
Overall, the Senior Mechanical
Engineer is a project leader and coordinator between team members and the upper
management. According to data from 2016, the Highest Senior Mechanical Engineer salary, which
includes salary, bonus, and profit sharing, goes up to $133,000.
3. Senior Mechanical
To become a Senior Mechanical
Process Engineer, you must first hold a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering. Some companies require 10+
years of experience while others accept less experienced engineers and will
provide them adequate training and chances to develop their engineering skills.
As a Senior Mechanical Process
Engineer, the chosen candidate must perform the role of a project manager for
medium side projects as well as large-scale ones. A Senior Mechanical Process
Engineer is to conduct business as a project engineer, too, in critical
projects. He is expected to prepare and evaluate design sheets, technical
specifications, 2D & 3D drawings, and even technical and financial reports.
The Senior Mechanical Process
Engineer is also tasked with overseeing project bids and supplier proposals as
well as making sure field and market investigations are delivered accurately.
He is responsible of managing studies and detailed reports.
The roles and responsibilities of
a Senior Mechanical Process Engineer vary from
one company to another, but the highest mechanical engineer salary for such
positions went up to $137,631 as of 2016 data.
These are my top three jobs that
pay good money for Mechanical Engineers. There are other positions as well, but
these three are your basic career guide to getting an idea of what companies
want their engineers to be doing and what results they expect these mechanical
engineers to generate.
If you are serious at getting a
job in line with your Mechanical Engineering degree, you must understand how
the majority of the employers act these days towards applications. Read on to
Becoming a Mechanical Engineer
1. The first step is to get a
degree from a college or university. This is a minimum requirement for
entry-level positions in this industry. You can enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree
in Mechanical Engineering directly or not. Some students first register two
years of pre-engineering degree and then work as interns or as drafters. When
they can, they go back to school to finish the Bachelor’s Degree.
2. Of course, like any other
professional career, graduating is not enough to keep you going. In the
Mechanical Engineering field, you must be licensed as an engineer before you can
take on new design projects (New Product Design or New Product Introduction).
Accreditation and licensing vary from country to country. In the United States,
though, you are required to pass the FE or the Fundamentals of Engineering
exam. You also must apply for a PE license separately; it is not included in
3. Get certified. This is
different from getting licensed. A license is compulsory while a certification
is not. And though the certification is optional, it does show your future
employers that you are competent and committed.
So these are the three major
steps you should take in your career if you want to enter the Mechanical
Engineering industry and one day earn the highest mechanical engineering
About The Contributing Author:
Nader Mowlaee is an
Electronics Engineer, Engineering Career Coach & Life Coach who’s inspired
by Motivating Confidence in Engineers and helping them reach their career
goals. Reach out and connect with him on Linkedin or Facebook if you are a Mechanical Engineer
and want a better understanding of how to choose the right career path so you
can experience more fulfillment, success, and one day soon have the highest
mechanical engineer salary.