Mechanical engineers are involved with the process of making things "go" --- from the brainstorming and blueprint stages to the production and quality control of machines and mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers produce and repair machinery such as refrigeration equipment, escalators, agriculture tools and air conditioners. In their day-to-day work, mechanical engineers take advantage of computer drafting programs, hand tools and computer rendering software.
When it polled the country's mechanical engineers in 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics determined the nation's average salary for the field as £52,377 per year. The BLS also found certain industries paying mechanical engineer salaries far higher than the country's median. The telecommunications industry paid mechanical engineers an annual mean wage of £61,854. Both the spectator sports industry and the computer manufacturing industry also paid significantly higher, at £60,515 and £60,450 per year respectively.
The country's top-paying states for mechanical engineer salaries were scattered across its landscape. First place went to Alaska, with an annual mean wage of £64,213. The District of Columbia was the second highest-paying area, at £63,732. Colorado, at £61,165, New Mexico, at £59,514 and Virginia, at £58,591 also paid above-average mechanical engineer salaries.
The path to earning a salary as a mechanical engineer starts with a bachelor's degree in the field from one of the hundreds of schools accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, including Bradley University, California State University, Lafayette College, Manhattan College, Miami University, University of Michigan and Kettering University. Master's degree programs are available to students who wish to further their education.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 per cent growth rate in employment of mechanical engineers through 2018, adding 14,400 jobs to the field across the country. The BLS advises persons interested in the mechanical engineering field to explore other engineering sectors for the most opportunities.