Senior Mechanical Engineer Salary
Slightly less than three-fifths of Senior Mechanical Engineers in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $75K to $133K per year, but median earnings come to around $94K annually. Overall cash earnings for Senior Mechanical Engineers stretch from $75K on the lower end to $133K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $15K from bonuses and $12K from profit sharing. While the specific employer and years of experience impact pay for this group, residence is the most influential factor. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Job Description for Senior Mechanical Engineer
A senior mechanical engineer creates and improves mechanical and electrical systems for products. The engineer will be present for the planning, design, and development processes until the product is produced. Some parts of the products that are made by a mechanical engineer are the mechanical components, circuit boards, sensors, and electrical parts. Prototypes of designs will be created and tested by the mechanical engineer and the team, in order to make sure that the product operates as it should.Read More...
The engineer will be expected to come up with products that are durable, perform well, and are cost-effective for both the company and the consumer. The mechanical engineer may also be involved in coming up with factory processes to produce the products. After the product has hit the market, it is also necessary to follow up with clients to make sure that the product is working properly. If it is not, the engineer suggests what sort of corrections should be made. The engineer will also lead efforts about reviews of technical designs and data from field tests. The engineer may also be expected to come up with effective packaging designs.
Since this is a senior position, leadership skills will come in handy. Past experience as a manager or many years of experience in the field may need to be demonstrated. The senior mechanical engineer may lead the efforts of several team members. Strong computer skills are needed, including the ability to use 3D CAD. A minimum of a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in engineering is usually required.
Senior Mechanical Engineer Tasks
- Estimates time and cost to complete projects.
- Researches designs and makes recommendations based on appearance, safety, budget, and function.
- Performs engineering duties; develops, designs, and tests mechanical devices.
- Writes technical reports, handbooks, and bulletins for use by staff or customers.
Common Career Paths for Senior Mechanical Engineer
As Senior Mechanical Engineers transition into upper-level roles such as VP of Engineering, they may see a strong upturn in salary. VPs of Engineering earn $157K on average per year. Senior Mechanical Engineers go on to become Senior Mechanical Design Engineers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $87K. Senior Mechanical Engineers who move into a Design Engineering Manager role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $103K.
Senior Mechanical Engineer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Mechanical Engineer
General Electric Co (GE), Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Bechtel Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Corp are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Senior Mechanical Engineers. Schlumberger pays the most with a median salary of $117K, though there is little variation overall ($93K to $135K). Also paying near the top of the field are The Boeing Company at $115K, Caterpillar, Inc. at $112K, and Chrysler Group LLC., where Senior Mechanical Engineers annually earn $106K.
Offering a median salary of only $86K, Northrop Grumman Corporation gives out the smallest paychecks. Furthermore, the earnings range of $75K to $145K isn't that wide, either. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Eaton Corporation at $87K, and L-3 Communications where $87K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Senior Mechanical Engineers there earn up to $107K.
Popular Skills for Senior Mechanical Engineer
Survey takers working as Senior Mechanical Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Computer Aided Engineering, ANSYS Simulation Software, Simulation, and Technical Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include SolidWorks, autodesk autocad, and Pro/Engineer. Most people skilled in Engineering Design are similarly competent in Product Development, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Technical Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Senior Mechanical Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $83K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $91K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $101K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $112K.
Pay Difference by Location
Senior Mechanical Engineers will find that San Jose offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 30 percent. Senior Mechanical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+27 percent), Seattle (+17 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and Los Angeles (+8 percent). The lowest-paying market is Milwaukee, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 9 percent less in Orlando and 6 percent less in Pittsburgh, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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