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Starting Pay for Mechanical Engineer

What is starting pay for mechanical engineer? How much do they make at entry level? Fresh graduates and students in freshman stage of their four-year engineering degree program are equally concerned about the topic under consideration here.

starting pay for mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers are definitely getting best starting pay due to the highly acknowledged demand in the industry. Average entry level annual pay for mechanical engineer is USD 63,055 which makes USD 5,255 on monthly basis. There are fresh graduates who have secured jobs in companies at salaries as high as USD 99,000 per year.

What is the minimum wage a mechanical engineer can agree to work at entry level?

Sometimes companies with poor financial health, try to recruit fresh graduates at low salaries. I always recommend all the engineers to set a standard low threshold for their demand. Below this, you shall never agree to work with any company. How do you set your requirement of minimum salary? This largely depends on the country or state you are living in and the expenses of education and living in a country. For mechanical engineers in United States, minimum annual starting pay for mechanical engineers should not be below USD 30,000 a year.

Salary expectations: how much is enough?

What are the starting salary expectations? As they say, the more the better. You should never agree below your standard of minimum wage. Because your first salary matters a lot in your career. When applying for another job in future, recruiters will be asking you about previous salary package.

State wise starting pay for mechanical engineers:

Salaries vary from state to state and the company’s compensation policy. Top five states where higher salaries at entry level are being offered are as following:

  1. New York is on top of the list offering highest starting pay to mechanical engineers. Average annual salary at entry level in New York for a mechanical engineer is USD 68,500 which makes USD 5,700 on monthly basis.
  2. New Hampshire: USD 66,500 per year
  3. Vermont: USD 62,900 per year
  4. Wyoming: USD 61,100 per year
  5. Massachusetts 59,800 per year

While states like North Carolina, Missouri, Texas & Michigan are offering average starting salaries below the national average of United States.

How to Improve Chances of Getting Better Salary at Entry Level?

  • Try to get internship experience during your degree program, so that you get hands on experience of how things work in the industry.
  • Take online courses during your senior year of study to polish your skills in area of your major. Online courses are worth mentioning in your CV.
  • Design a one pager CV that reflects the best about you. Don’t copy & paste into standard CV formats. Try to make your own design of CV.
  • Work on your communication skills.
  • Brush up and revise your knowledge of basic mechanical engineering topics.
  • Get acquaintance with latest software, technological tools and accessories in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • Learn how to stand out from the audience and how to be different from other candidates applying for the same job. More or less every graduate has learned the same subjects. Extra-curricular activities and additional skills will make you shine among others.
  • You can always get certifications in areas of your interest e.g., PMP for project management or any other certification.

Should you accept salary lower than expected for your first job?

Yes, you have to make compromises to start a career. It depends on your skills and worth on how much can you afford to lose. Following guidelines will help you in assessing your starting pay as a mechanical engineer:

Define your bottom line i.e., the minimum pay you can work at. Consider factors like your educational institutes, overall worth of your degree, your skill set and your own worth. Your living expenses matter a lot when defining your bottom line for salary.

Define your priorities as on what matters for you? Is it the salary or work load or your motivation to get practical experience at work and learn more? Do you like to work from home or you need an office job or a field job?

Learn more about jobs you can get with a degree in mechanical engineering and highest paid mechanical engineering companies in the world. I hope this article gives you an understanding of starting salary for mechanical engineers. Don't forget to give your remarks in comments section.


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