Mechanical engineering is considered one of broadest areas of engineering. Also, it’s considered one of the highest-paying jobs available. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average annual pay for mechanical engineers was $87,140 in 2014. However, some engineers receive less, and some engineers earn more.
There is no single amount that tells how much a mechanical engineer make in a year, as there are many factors that can affect the gross pay of each worker. Aside from the location and type of industry where an engineer works, there are also tax laws and other deductions that need to consider. To get some idea of how much you’ll get if you pursue this profession, here are some of the factors that you want to know about.
Geographic Location. One of the common factors affecting the annual wage of mechanical engineers is the area where they perform their duties. The variation in salary may due to the differences in cost of living and the rate of demand for their service. In the U.S., the top paying states in 2014 for this occupation are Alaska with average annual pay of $123,660; New Mexico with average annual pay of $100,970; and California with average annual pay of $99,360.
Industry or Working Condition. Another common factor affecting the salary of mechanical engineers is the industry where they practice. Typically, workers who work under a dangerous working condition receive much higher salary. If you will notice, most engineers who work in oil and gas industries earn much better benefits; this is because their duties are riskier compared to others. According to BLS, mechanical engineers who work in oil and gas industries received an annual average pay of $153,940 in 2014.
Education and Experience. The level of education also usually affects the salary of a worker. Obviously, engineers who completed higher education, including Master’s and Doctoral degrees, receive much better compensation than those who graduated with only a bachelor’s degree. In addition, engineers who have 10+ years of experience get better offers than those who are fresh graduates.
Regional and Federal Tax. Keep in mind that each state has its own specific tax requirement. The amount of take-home pay that you’ll receive can vary greatly depending on where you work, as well as your salary range. There are countries that don’t charge taxes on low-pay workers even if they are required to file tax returns, but there are countries that charge higher taxes. The amount of tax that you’ll need to pay may also depend on your filing status. If you’re a married engineer with children who are dependent to you, you generally pay less tax. But if you’re unmarried and have no dependent, you pay more in taxes, which greatly reduces your take home pay.
Social Security and Medicare Tax. Aside from taxes, an engineer must also pay other taxes, such as Medicare and FICA, to fund their future. These contributions also affect how much you’ll receive as a take home pay. The tax percentage that you need to pay also typically depends on the range of your salary.