What mechanical engineers earn (2023)

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What mechanical engineers earn (2)

Mechanical engineers earn above average starting salaries and can increase their salaries significantly over the course of their career - even without a doctorate.

Salaries of mechanical engineers in industry: From career entry to management

Generally speaking, mechanical engineers earn comparatively high salaries. The amount earned is primarily related to supply and demand: On the one hand, mechanical engineering is a demanding field of work, which means that many people are unwilling or unable to gain the required level of technical understanding in this profession. On the other hand, there is high demand for mechanical engineers in the labour market, so potential employers compete for the available resources and pay accordingly.

According to estimates by the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering (VDMA), around 27,000 jobs in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector had not been filled at the end of 2017. This has had a positive effect on salaries. The salary analysts at Compensation Partner have reviewed 127,638 data points and created a new Industry index 2019. This report found that: In the field of mechanical engineering, employees earn around 27% more than employees in all other industries. This means that salaries in mechanical engineering are highest among all of the industries examined.

The specific figures according to a survey conducted by the salary portal gehalt.de for 2017 are summarised here:

  • On average, mechanical engineers earned EUR 67,718 gross per year.
  • However, the often more meaningful median, which does not take low or high extremes into account, was significantly lower at EUR 60,328.
  • 25% of mechanical engineer salaries were below EUR 51,247, while another 25% were over EUR 75,027.

Starting salaries in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineers can expect to start their career with relatively good salaries. The salary depends on the following factors:

  • Type of degree
  • Additional qualifications
  • Industry, task and field of work
  • Size of company
  • Region
  • Research or business

According to a VDMA salary study conducted in 2016, the average starting salary for students with a bachelor's degree is EUR 45,000 per year at the start of their careers, and master’s students can expect at least EUR 48,000. However, these amounts vary widely.

What mechanical engineers with professional experience earn

The salaries of mechanical engineers tend to rise significantly as their professional experience increases. As reported by absolventa.de, the average salary increases to EUR 57,151 after three to five years of work, to EUR 67,262 after six to ten years and to EUR 80,510 after more than ten years of professional experience.

Salaries in management positions

Mechanical engineers who work in management positions usually earn significantly more money than a normal employee with professional experience. However, salaries at the same level can vary significantly according to the VDMA salary study.

  • For example, plant managers receive the highest salary of all departmental managers, receiving more than EUR 130,000 a year.
  • Heads of accounting and finance departments are in the middle at EUR 100,000.
  • Heads of department in production planning receive an average annual salary of around EUR 85,000.

Salaries in mechanical engineering by federal state

The salary of a mechanical engineer also depends considerably on the federal state in which they work. According to gehalt.de, salaries can differ by EUR 19,000 annually. The generally lower earnings compared to the average figures stated in the above-mentioned study are due to the fact that no management positions were taken into account in the calculation.

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Average gross annual salaries of mechanical engineers by federal state

Federal statesAverage gross annual earnings
Baden-WuerttembergEUR 53,558
BavariaEUR 51,875
BerlinEUR 46,609
BrandenburgEUR 38,939
BremenEUR 47,277
HamburgEUR 52,230
HesseEUR 54,468
Mecklenburg-VorpommernEUR 37,470
Lower SaxonyEUR 45,285
North Rhine-WestphaliaEUR 49,714
Rhineland-PalatinateEUR 48,518
SaarlandEUR 46,870
SaxonyEUR 39,432
Saxony-AnhaltEUR 38,918
Schleswig-HolsteinEUR 43,556
ThuringiaEUR 39,983

In general, lower salaries are paid in structurally weaker areas and there is also a city/country divide. Companies located in or near to major cities often pay more than companies in rural areas. According to the VDMA salary study, salaries are 16 to 19% higher in cities.

Special services and bonuses

In mechanical engineering, special benefits and variable salary components such as bonuses are often added to fixed annual salaries. According to the VDMA, more than 90% of companies in mechanical engineering and plant construction used employee participation in the company's profits as an instrument of remuneration policy in 2014. Over 80% also offered additional benefits. However, bonuses varied widely, ranging from one to twelve percent of annual salaries in most cases.

Pay gap in mechanical engineering

The salary differences between women and men in Germany were recorded in the Payment Monitor 2018. In mechanical engineering, employees with a relatively low annual salary (between EUR 30,000 and EUR 35,000 gross on a median basis) have an adjusted gender pay gap of 3.3%. For employees with a relatively high salary (gross median between EUR 55,000 and EUR 60,000), the pay gap rises to 7.1%. These considerations also refer exclusively to the incomes of employees without supervisory responsibilities.

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Earnings of PhD graduates in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineers with a PhD tend to be rare, as the labour market is open to university graduates without doctorates. Nevertheless, those who invest the time in a doctorate are usually rewarded financially. According to the VDMA study, qualifications generally determine salaries in mechanical engineering to a much higher degree than other aspects, such as the applicant's age.

For example, graduate mechanical engineers can expect to earn an average annual starting salary of more than EUR 50,000. Over the course of their career, this value is expected to more than double, as mechanical engineers with PhDs tend to seek well-paid management positions.

Salaries of mechanical engineers in academics

Not all mechanical engineers aspire to a career in industry, as some are attracted to research and teaching. However, according to a report by ingenieur.de dated 1 January 2013, only about 4% of all engineers aspire to enter the academic field. Jobs are offered at universities and non-academic institutions, especially in industry-related research institutions. Jobs in science are aimed at research associates and professors.

The work of professors is paid according to the W salary band. There are three levels: The lowest (W1) regulates the income for junior professors, while W2 and W3 salaries apply to all other professors with civil servant status. University of applied sciences professors and their university colleagues are paid at salary grades W2 and W3. However, W3 at universities of applied sciences is very rare.

Salaries differs significantly from one federal state to another - by more than EUR 1,000 a month in the case of W3 - as demonstrated in the salary ranking of the German University Association (DHV) 2018. Bavaria is a frontrunner for basic W3 salaries at EUR 7,017.65 (more than EUR 84,000 per annum), while salaries are much lower in Thuringia at EUR 6,100 per month (more than EUR 73,000 per annum). The basic salary is usually boosted with individual benefits.

Researchers at a university or non-university research institution are usually paid according to pay grade 13. This is true for postdocs, PhD students and secondary school teachers in their first position. Their salary is collectively established, but also depends on experience levels. Read more in the guide "Academic salary in Germany".


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Mechanical engineer: jobs and vacancies in Germany

  • Bookmark Bookmarked Professor / Lecturer in Berlin 2022-10-03 Berlin School of Business and Innovation GmbH (BSBI) Berlin
  • Bookmark Bookmarked Full Professor (m/f/d) in » Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines « combined with the position of the Director (m/f/d) of the DLR Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines 2022-09-12 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR) München
  • Bookmark Bookmarked Professor (f/m/d) in the following subject area: Technische Mechanik 2022-09-14 Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt am Main
To all jobs for mechanical engineers
Attractive salary prospects for engineers It comes as no surprise: Engineers in Germany have good salaries. But what exactly does that mean, and what are the main factors which influence an engineer's salary? academics.com reports on the current findings and facts.
Salary professor – what does a professor earn in Germany? Professors and junior professors receive their salary on the basis of the W salary scale. Their basic salary varies in each federal state. They may also be eligible for performance bonuses, which must be negotiated skillfully.
Career advice: Guide overview Here you will find an overview of the academics.com contents - arranged according to positions, industries and specialist areas, special topics and services.
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FAQs

Do mechanical engineers make a lot of money? ›

Pay. The median annual wage for mechanical engineers was $95,300 in May 2021.

Which mechanical engineer has highest salary? ›

Highest-paying mechanical engineer jobs
  • Automation engineer.
  • Research and development engineer.
  • Senior mechanical engineer.
  • Senior design engineer.
  • Powertrain engineer.
  • Instrumentation engineer.

Can mechanical engineers make 6 figures? ›

Mechanical engineers design, develop and test a variety of mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines. The job pays an average salary of $91,500, so it would take about three years to begin making a six-figure salary.

Is mechanical engineering hard? ›

The field of mechanical engineering ranks as one of the hardest majors in part because of its technical requirements. Students must take advanced mathematics and science courses as part of their training.

Is mechanical engineering a good career? ›

Is mechanical engineering a good career? Yes. A mechanical engineering degree can lead to careers in many fields, including manufacturing and aerospace. These careers provide strong annual salaries.

Why is mechanical engineering salary low? ›

Everyone is of the opinion that the primary reason why mechanical engineer is less paid because the equipments, instruments, tools and machineries used for on board production are 10 times expansive than using in IT industry. Simply it says that the setup cost in core industry is higher.

How much do engineers earn monthly? ›

Average R 23 337 per month.

Which job is best after mechanical engineering? ›

Job options
  • Aerospace engineer.
  • Automotive engineer.
  • CAD technician.
  • Contracting civil engineer.
  • Control and instrumentation engineer.
  • Maintenance engineer.
  • Mechanical engineer.
  • Nuclear engineer.

What is future of mechanical engineering? ›

Mechanical engineering is undergoing some radical shifts as a profession as robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data transform the way that engineers design and develop projects. In the past, designing new tools and systems often required multiple prototypes and test runs.

What jobs make 7 figures a year? ›

Top 7 figure salary jobs
  • Business owners. Being a business owner provides the highest likelihood of making 7 figures because no one is standing in your way! ...
  • CEOs and C-level executives. ...
  • Corporate lawyers. ...
  • Sales executives. ...
  • Investment bankers. ...
  • YouTubers. ...
  • Actors and actresses. ...
  • Professional athletes.
Aug 4, 2022

Can mechanical engineers make 300K? ›

Yes, engineers can make $300K.

However, the only engineers who earn that much money have worked their way up the corporate ladder. In many companies, for instance, the only way to reach a salary of $300K is by becoming a vice president (VP) or a senior vice president (SVP).

Why are engineers paid so much? ›

Why Do Engineers Make So Much? Engineers' high earnings are commensurate with the role's required technical skills, which are extremely high in demand. Furthermore, many industries are becoming more technical in nature, which also drives up the need for engineers with both unique technical skills and soft skills.

Which engineering is hardest? ›

What Is the Hardest Engineering Major?
Top 3 Hardest Engineering MajorsTop 3 Easiest Engineering Majors
1. Chemical engineering (19.66 hours)1. Industrial engineering (15.68 hours)
2. Aero and astronautical engineering (19.24 hours)2. Computer engineering and technology (16.46 hours)
1 more row

Is it worth becoming a mechanical engineer? ›

A bachelor's in mechanical engineering is worth it for degree-seeking students who would like to enjoy a good return on investment (ROI). As of this writing, the average mechanical engineering program tuition is $29,484. The average starting salary of mechanical engineering majors is $68,621 per year.

Are mechanical engineers smart? ›

Mechanical engineers are very smart individuals. Most mechanical engineers have technical mindsets, above-average IQs, and strong mathematical abilities. These factors allow mechanical engineers to take some of the most difficult courses and work in a stressful and competitive environment.

Which engineer is easy? ›

Environmental Engineering

It's considered one of the easier engineering majors that you can study though, because it's not as focused on advanced math and physics.

Which engineer is best for future? ›

15 best engineering jobs for the future
  • Civil engineer.
  • Chemical engineer.
  • Environmental engineer.
  • Biomedical engineer.
  • Safety engineer.
  • Hardware engineers.
  • Aeronautical engineer.
  • Engineering managers.

Is mechanical engineering in demand? ›

Mechanical Engineering jobs are not only profitable, but also in high demand. The number of available work opportunities is both stable and growing. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, in America alone, there will be a 4% increase in Mechanical Engineering jobs through 2028.

What are the disadvantages of mechanical engineering? ›

Another downside a mechanical engineer faces is the unpredictability of his workload. Engineering work usually varies from week to week. For instance, in a manufacturing plant, a mechanical engineer does routine maintenance and process control work in one week, while the next week sees him working on another project.

Is mechanical engineering stressful? ›

Yes, mechanical engineering is a stressful job.

This is because mechanical engineers are always busy designing, developing, and testing mechanical and thermal devices. According to the Bureau of Labor Studies, more than one-third of mechanical engineers work over 40 hours a week.

Why do students choose mechanical engineering? ›

WHY CHOOSE TO STUDY MECHANICAL ENGINEERING? Mechanical engineers design and build solutions to a range of problems, improving efficiency across a wide range of industries. By studying mechanical engineering, you can look forward to good job prospects, high salaries, and varied work.

Is there life in mechanical engineering? ›

Mechanical engineers work to develop various types of equipment, such as elevators and generators. It might be a good career choice for those who enjoy designing and building. Learning more about a day in the life of a mechanical engineer can help you determine if this is a career that interests you.

Is mechanical or computer engineering better? ›

Mechanical engineers design, develop, and test physical machines and devices, while computer scientists do so with digital concepts. Both strive to solve complex problems in their fields using a foundation of math and science. Mechanical engineers and computer scientists also have a place in many industries.

Where do engineers get paid the most? ›

Our research found that New Hampshire is the best state for engineers, while New Hampshire and Massachusetts are ranked highest in terms of median salary.
...
1. New Hampshire.
Total Engineer Jobs:1,343
Average Annual Salary:$97,046
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$69,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$134,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

How long does it take to study mechanical engineering? ›

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering is a 4-year full-time programme. The curriculum is structured to supply a solid grounding in fundamental engineering science, with an emphasis on developing generalised problem-solving skills.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
OCCUPATION2021 MEDIAN PAY
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
Sep 8, 2022

Can mechanical engineers make 300K? ›

Yes, engineers can make $300K.

However, the only engineers who earn that much money have worked their way up the corporate ladder. In many companies, for instance, the only way to reach a salary of $300K is by becoming a vice president (VP) or a senior vice president (SVP).

Do engineers become millionaires? ›

Simple facts. If you study engineering you're more likely to become a billionaire. In fact, as mentioned above, 22% of the world's top 100 billionaires studied engineering in some form or another.

Why is mechanical engineering salary low? ›

Everyone is of the opinion that the primary reason why mechanical engineer is less paid because the equipments, instruments, tools and machineries used for on board production are 10 times expansive than using in IT industry. Simply it says that the setup cost in core industry is higher.

Are mechanical engineers in demand? ›

Mechanical Engineering jobs are not only profitable, but also in high demand. The number of available work opportunities is both stable and growing. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, in America alone, there will be a 4% increase in Mechanical Engineering jobs through 2028.

Which engineering has highest salary in world? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs of 2022
  • Systems Engineer. ...
  • Electrical Engineer. ...
  • Chemical Engineer. ...
  • Big Data Engineer. ...
  • Nuclear Engineer. ...
  • Aerospace Engineer. ...
  • Computer Hardware Engineer. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer.
Mar 24, 2022

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
OCCUPATION2021 MEDIAN PAY
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
Sep 8, 2022

Do software engineers make 500k? ›

Yes, a software engineer can make $500,000 a year.

However, $500,000 a year is far higher than the average salary of a software engineer. Software engineers typically earn a salary that falls within the range of $60,000 per year to $130,000 per year.

Are engineers richer than doctors? ›

In a nutshell, the starting salary of a doctor in India at an entry-level position is much higher than that of an engineer. But after a few years, the gap between the two figures gets narrower as engineers get paid a lot more than what they used to get once they grow in terms of experience.

What jobs can make u rich? ›

There are all kinds of degrees to earn these days, but not all of them guarantee a high-paying job in the end.
...
Top 10 Jobs That Make You Rich
  • Doctor. ...
  • Surgeon. ...
  • Investment Banker. ...
  • Corporate Executive. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer. ...
  • Psychiatrist. ...
  • Data Scientist. ...
  • Research & Development Manager.

Which job can make you a billionaire? ›

1. Engineering. Coming in at the top is engineering - which might surprise you, but the scope of engineering is huge and widening all of the time. 22% of the world's top 100 billionaires studied some kind of engineering.

Is there life in mechanical engineering? ›

Mechanical engineers work to develop various types of equipment, such as elevators and generators. It might be a good career choice for those who enjoy designing and building. Learning more about a day in the life of a mechanical engineer can help you determine if this is a career that interests you.

How can a mechanical engineer get high salary? ›

The salary potential can be enhanced with a master or management degree or a doctoral degree. Recent trends suggest the collaboration with courses of electrical, electronics and computers offer better salaries and innovative work profile.

Is mechanical or computer engineering better? ›

Mechanical engineers design, develop, and test physical machines and devices, while computer scientists do so with digital concepts. Both strive to solve complex problems in their fields using a foundation of math and science. Mechanical engineers and computer scientists also have a place in many industries.

Do mechanical engineers have a future? ›

Mechanical engineering is undergoing some radical shifts as a profession as robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data transform the way that engineers design and develop projects. In the past, designing new tools and systems often required multiple prototypes and test runs.

How stressful is mechanical engineering? ›

Yes, mechanical engineering is a stressful job.

This is because mechanical engineers are always busy designing, developing, and testing mechanical and thermal devices. According to the Bureau of Labor Studies, more than one-third of mechanical engineers work over 40 hours a week.

Is studying mechanical engineering worth it? ›

A career in mechanical engineering allows you to build a better future for you, and for the world. This explains why 89% of engineers have high levels of job satisfaction, and would choose the same career path again.

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