Mechatronics is a relatively new area of engineering. Mechatronic engineers utilise skills and applications from a number of traditional engineering disciplines, including mechanical, computing and electrical, to design, modify and improve manufactured goods and manufacturing processes. They may work at increasing productivity from a mechanised production line, design household goods such as vacuum cleansers and televisions or research ways to improve delivery of energy to customers. Salary levels may vary depending on where and for whom an engineer works.
Because mechatronic engineering is a discipline that crosses traditional categories of engineering occupations, it falls within the category of "engineers, all other" in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) May 2010 national employment survey. It gave the mean annual salary within this category as £59,650. Individuals within the top 10 per cent of earners received in excess of £90,096 while those in the bottom 10 per cent earned less than £32,194 per annum. Wage comparison website Indeed.com, as of July 2011, put the average yearly pay for mechatronic engineering specifically at £58,500.
Salary by Industry
The bureau's survey also showed how salary levels for engineers can vary across different sectors of industry. The federal executive branch employed the largest number of practitioners and had a mean pay rate of £70,785. Those engineers employed by architectural, engineering and related services earned a mean of 85,730 per annum while those working for scientific research and development services received £63,797. Individuals working within navigational, measuring, electro-medical and those employed within the manufacture of audio and visual equipment took home a mean yearly wage of £62,738.
Salary by Location
The BLS listed District of Columbia as the state in which engineers who do not fit one of the traditional categories are likely to earn the highest mean wages, £79,274. New Mexico was its closest rival at £73,606. California and Alabama had comparable pay rates, with means of £66,657 and £66,514, respectively. In contrast, Michigan was listed at £53,937 and New Hampshire at just £52,780.
The BLS predicts that across the engineering profession, employment opportunities will increase by around 11 per cent over the decade from 2008 to 2018, which is in line with expectations for the country as a whole, estimated at between 7 and 13 per cent over the same time. Continuing technological advancement and competition between businesses will drive this growth and should see wage levels for mechatronic engineers, among others, remain very competitive.