1. Recent (>1 year) grad with BS and MS in mechanical engineering from a top 5 school. Currently in defense/aerospace in the South (high COL area) making between $75k and $85k, plus benefits, making sure that engineering changes meet specifications.
I also had an offer for $90k in the north with no benefits. That would’ve been in semiconductors.
2. Mechanical design engineer in the Midwest. I am on the computer all day using SolidWorks. Started at 60k in 2016 and now at 80k.
3. Graduated ME in 2005 and got a job making $50k. Two years later got a “salary correction” and was making $63k. Got about 2.5% raises every year until 2015 when I became a program manager and got about a 10% bump, and then it was back to 2.5% every year until last year. I applied for a promotion, got it, was offered the standard 10% raise, but I explained that a program manager with over 15 years of experience is worth a lot more. Was able to successfully negotiate a 20% raise and am now making just under $120k. I live in a relatively low cost of living city in the midwest.
I’m not really in it for the money, but I should still be valued for the work that I do. I still feel that I am a little underpaid, but am much happier now, and will continue to fight for more money at every opportunity.
4. I graduated in chemical engineering from an Australian university in 2018.
Went straight into IT making $70k in Florida (0 income tax) with paid housing as part of a leadership development program.
Moved to a new role, same company making 70k base with bonuses at 30k as a sales engineer ($100k total package) based out of Chicago.
Moved to an SE role out of Florida making 100k with total package 115k.
Just moved to a new role making 70k base with bonuses of 48k so about 118k but I can over achieve and still based out of Florida.
So journey in IT: 70k, 70k + 30k, 100k + 15k, 70k + 48k
Thinking about going to do a masters in comp sci soon.
5. I’m an aerospace engineer with an MS in controls. I do satellite GNC. I currently make $165k/yr, 12% bonus, $30k/yr RSUs. My progression has been – 2014: Hired at $68k – 2016: Merit increase to $75k – 2017: Promotion w/ raise to $83k – 2018: Merit increase to $87k – 2019: Merit increase to $90k – 2019: Ad-hoc raise to $99k – 2019: Promotion w/raise to $125k, 8% bonus – 2020: Merit increase to $132k, 8% bonus – 2021: Promotion w/ raise to $165k, 12% bonus, and RSU’s
I’ve been at the same company the entire 7 years and it’s worked well for me so far!
6. BS in ME and MS in BME. Started in Dallas at as a consultant engineer not using my masters at $65k with a company car with the fixins and a 11% annual bonus. 2.5 years made it to $75k. Took a job doing clinical medical device consultation at $75k + $18k spread over quarterly bonuses. Moved to Providence with that company (lateral move) for a flat $90k. Was with this company 2.5 years. Start my newest role tomorrow as a clinical engineer for a robotics company at $110k + 15%.
7. I have a BME degree and work in the medical device industry. In the northeast US.
Associate Quality Engineer (2015-2017) – 48k + 5% bonus
Associate Manufacturing Engineer (2017-2018) – 65k + 5% bonus
Packaging Engineer (2018-2021) – 78k + 7.5% bonus
Senior Packaging Engineer (2021-present) – 110k + 10% bonus.
First three roles were all within one company. Finally jumped ship for senior at another company and saw a nice little pop.
Both companies provide solid 401k match (up to 5% I believe) and ESPP which I took advantage of.
8. Graduated with a B.S. in EE in December 2020
Started off with 90K/year, 10 months later moved up to 115K
I do live in Silicon Valley, so my salary would be inflated compared to the mid-western states.
I am at a startup doing everything: Schematic Capture, PCB Layout, Component sourcing (during the shortages), firmware development, testing/QA of received designs, harness design, you name it.
9. Design engineer in the aerospace field in northeast US. 5.5 years of experience now.
T-0: First job 55k T-1: Raise to 57k
T-1.5: New job 58k
T-2: Raise to 60k
T-3: Raise to 62k
T-4: Massive layoffs due to Covid got out during a furlough period because I was worried about being let go, new job and a raise to 80k. Long commute from home but figured it would be a good temporary thing until my desired company was hiring again.|
T-4.2: Renegotiation to 85k based off ridiculous hours and expectations. Don’t be afraid to ask for more money if you’re working more than expected. Between 90-120 minutes driving daily to and from work and also 10+ hours in the office was taking a hit on quality of life and I couldn’t do almost anything during weekdays other than work out and make dinner. At the busiest time of this job coincidentally the hiring freeze ended so I started applying and landed a new job where I wanted.
T-5: New job 100k: New job is awesome. Working from home with office visits as required for supervision of testing or meeting lab techs or engineers in person. Design is mostly for additive mfg stuff which for me is way more fun than traditional machining and casting drawings.
10. Principal/SME (mechanical engineering)– about 28ish years of experience. I make around 170k with a 12% matching and all the other things.
I will try to keep my progression somewhat brief.
1994 -1998 started at 35k, ended at 41k – White Sands Missile Range
1998 to 2003, started at 41k ended up at 45k – Aerospace
2003-2004, 80k ended at 84k –Aerospace California
2004 to 2007 – 85k 92k– Aerospace (50 mile LA commute – haaaate!)
2007 to 2012 – 85k to 102k – Aerospace Orange County CA (Job shipped over to Mexico, I trained my replacement)
2012 to 2015 – 85k to 85k – Boeing – a horrible experience in St. Louis, they said the pay was high… it was only mediocre for the area. I don’t recommend working for them.
2015 to 2018 – Aerospace 100k to 145 – Took a temporary assignment to a different location. Did well.
2018 to Current Aerospace141k to 170ishk at my current company
11. Environmental engineering grad in 2008. Started at 42k in CT, moved to NYC still doing environmental work for 77k five years later. Stayed in NYC with the same company and began running projects as a resident engineer for $90+k four years later. Have since moved to a smaller company doing construction management of water infrastructure plants for around $120k eleven years after graduating.
Work about 45-55 hours a week and have contractors calling me all day long. Working on about 10 projects ranging from 1.5 to 15 million dollars. I am literally the shield between my designers that fuck up and angry contractors and owners. Will be asking for a raise and a car stipend this year. The burnout is real.
12. Mechanical Engineer, ‘14 graduate
First job west coast mechanical engineer
14 – $89k + 9% bonus
15 – $93k + 9% bonus
16 – $97k + 9% bonus
17 – $90k, no bonus (moved to a lower cost of living, Midwest)
18 – $94k, no bonus
19 – $108k +11% bonus (moved to a project engineering role)
20 – $118k +11% bonus
21 – $123k + 11% bonus
** Edit here’s an update to my post **
22 First Half – $133 + 13% Bonus
22 Second Half – $92k. Work life balance > $$ at this point in my life.
I’ve always lived on <50% of my salary. Goal is to be financially independent w/house paid off by 2028