Mechanical engineer salaries have long been a source of frustration for IT employees.
According to the IT industry’s median salary, the average mechanical engineer earns around $80,000 annually, compared to the median salary for electrical engineers in the United States of $80.5 million.
But the pay gap is narrowing as technology improves, with the median salaries for electrical and mechanical engineers now closer to $85,000.
As a result, it’s clear that mechanical engineers are getting paid better.
But are mechanical engineers getting paid more?
And if so, is this the start of a long-term trend?
We spoke with a few mechanical engineers about their careers and how they feel about the gap between the two professions.
What’s the difference between a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and electrician?
A mechanical engineer is a person who specializes in mechanical engineering.
A mechanical engineering engineer’s job is to design, build and test equipment and systems, while an electrical engineer’s primary job is in the electrical and computer equipment industries.
In the past, mechanical engineers were more likely to be involved in the construction of industrial systems, so they’re often required to design and build electrical and plumbing systems and control systems.
Mechanical engineers also tend to have a higher level of technical training than electrical engineers, which means they have more technical knowledge, said Paul Schmid, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who researches the history of engineering in the US.
Mechanical engineering is also more advanced than electrical engineering.
Mechanical and electrical engineers have the same skills, he said.
Are mechanical engineers more likely than electrical or mechanical engineers to make more money?
Yes, the salary difference is narrowing, said Schmid.
In addition, because mechanical engineers can also be electrical engineers for the same jobs, there’s a lot more engineering training and the skills are shared, he added.
But in addition, there are also fewer technical jobs available, which may have made engineers less motivated.
Is it important to keep engineers and technical jobs?
Mechanical engineers are generally well paid, and this is because of the training and knowledge they have, said Thomas Kostelanetz, a professor of industrial engineering at MIT.
The job has become more of a necessity for engineers and engineers are less likely to go into manufacturing jobs, he noted.
What are some of the benefits of a mechanical engineering career?
Mechanical engineering helps companies better meet their manufacturing goals, said Kevin Kohn, a mechanical engineers at GE who has worked in the field for over 30 years.
For example, GE uses mechanical engineers as the foundation of its electrical engineering division.
Also, because they have the knowledge they need to build and design equipment, engineers can design and test the components of their products, he explained.
Mechanical engineer’s skills and experience in a particular field is also important, Kohn said.
Mechanical Engineer’s career outlook is very good, according to Kohn.
Mechanical Engineers can also develop expertise in a wide range of fields.
For instance, a Mechanical Engineer can work on electrical equipment that may not require mechanical expertise, such as the production of electric switches, he told TechRadars.
In recent years, mechanical engineering has become an attractive career for IT workers in the workplace.
In 2015, IT jobs in the U.S. surpassed that of construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade in terms of jobs created, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2017, there were 8.6 million IT jobs, according data from the Bureau.