If you’re a mechanical engineer or thinking about becoming one, you’ll be excited to hear the field as a whole has gotten a raise. The median annual mechanical engineering salary 2018, has yet to be revealed, but it rose to $85,880 in May 2017 — up from $84,190 in May 2016 — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At first glance, this pay increase probably seems minor, but the job security it highlights is pretty major. To put things in perspective, you should also know the median annual salary for all occupations is $37,690, as of May 2017, so the salary is notably well above average.
Mechanical Engineer Job Outlook
As you’re well aware, there are several different engineering specialties to choose from, but you opted for the one with a healthier than average employment outlook. Mechanical engineering jobs are expected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, compared with 8 percent for the engineering field as a whole, and 7 percent for all occupations, according to the BLS.
Part of the reason for the job growth is that mechanical engineers frequently work on the cutting edge of the industry, which is currently automation and robotics, according to the BLS. Additionally, alternative energies and nanotechnology are also expected to create new job opportunities.
To present yourself as a top candidate, you’ll want to stay up-to-date on innovative software tools, especially those for computational design and simulation, according to the BLS. If you’re still in school, consider learning to create virtual simulations before advancing to the design, build and test stages, as this could increase your marketability. You’ll also boost your job prospects if your skillset includes three-dimensional printing.
Moving Up the Ladder
Entry-level mechanical engineering jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology, but you may need to obtain additional degrees and certification to advance in your career. For example, a Professional Engineering license can allow you to obtain leadership positions and work with additional independence.
If you have your sights set on academia, you’ll need a Ph.D. Many jobs in research and development also require this advanced degree, so figure out what you want from your career, then get to work making it happen.
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