Graduate Mechanical Engineering Jobs [Mechanical engineering]

Graduate Mechanical Engineering Jobs

What Is the Starting Salary for a Mechanical Engineer With a Masters Degree?

Mechanical engineers design and test machines.Mechanical engineers design and test machines.

David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Mechanical engineers design mechanical devices that are used in a wide variety of industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers reported an average salary of $84, 770 per year, as of 2012. While mechanical engineers don't usually make that much just starting out, a master's degree usually improves a mechanical engineer's starting salary.

Average Starting Salaries

According to salary surveys conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), mechanical engineering graduates with a master's degree earned an average starting salary of $66, 158 in 2009 and $69, 954 in 2010. This average starting salary rose to $74, 300 in 2011. As of 2012, NACE reported that mechanical engineers with a master's degree started at an average of $75, 700 - significantly more than the average starting salary of $61, 300 reported by mechanical engineers with a bachelor's degree.

Starting Salary by Industry

In 2012 students graduating with master's degrees reported different average starting salaries, depending on the industry with which they found employment. Those who entered the manufacturing sector reported the lowest average starting salary, $71, 900 per year. By comparison, those working for professional and scientific services averaged $73, 900 to start, and those employed in management started at $75, 000. Engineers who found jobs with local, state and government agencies reported the highest average starting salaries at $85, 900 per year.

Related Reading: The Starting Salary for a Mechanical Engineer in Food Processing

Geographical Salary Differences

Regardless of education or experience, the geographical area in which a mechanical engineer finds employment can also have an impact on his expected salary. According to findings published by the BLS, mechanical engineers working in the Southwest and Northeast earned the highest average pay, while those in the Midwest earned the least. Alaska was the highest-paying state in 2012, where mechanical engineers made an average of $103, 840 per year. California ranked second at $94, 420, and Rhode Island ranked third at $92, 820. The lowest average pay was reported in Wisconsin, where mechanical engineers earned an average of $69, 610.

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