Career Options for Mechanical Jobs that Pay Well
Mechanical jobs may involve creating machines, installing or repairing machines or using machines regularly to perform work-related tasks. To determine how well these jobs pay, we can compare their median annual salaries to the median annual income for all occupations as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); this figure was $37,040 as of 2016. The following mechanical jobs all offer significantly higher salaries than this median.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Outlook (2016-2026)*|
|Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians||$60,270||5%|
|Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics||$45,170||10%|
|Wind Turbine Technicians||$52,260||96%|
|Medical Equipment Repairers||$48,070||5%|
|Mechanical Engineering Technicians||$54,480||5%|
|Elevator Installers and Repairers||$78,890||12%|
|Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door||$54,520||5%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Mechanical Jobs that Pay Well
With the BLS reporting that mechanical engineers earn a median annual salary of $84,190, these professionals enjoy an income that is more than double the national median salary for all occupations. Mechanical engineers create machines and mechanical equipment. They devote their professional lives to designing new tools and other mechanical products, such as power generators or engines. A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering is required to pursue this career.
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians work with the mechanical equipment and systems that operate aircraft. They may install brakes, repair defective machinery, check to ensure equipment is working properly and assemble equipment. They must earn a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree and fulfill the Federal Aviation Administration's training requirements for their occupation. According to the BLS, these mechanical professionals earn more than $60,000 per year.
Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics
Diesel service technicians and mechanics fix diesel engines when they break down, provide routine maintenance to keep engines working properly and also install these engines into vehicles. They must have a high school diploma or GED and typically learn through on-the-job training or by completing postsecondary training. The BLS reports a median annual income of $45,170 for these mechanics, which is more than $8,000 higher than the median annual income for all careers.
Wind Turbine Technicians
Wind turbine technicians enjoy a median annual income of over $52,000 per year, according to the BLS, so they earn much more than the median salary for all employees. They may put together wind turbines, but the focus of their job tends to be on maintenance and repairs. They use power tools and hand tools when they work on these energy-producing machines. They are required to complete postsecondary certificate programs to prepare for their career.
Medical Equipment Repairers
Medical equipment repairers need an associate's degree in biomedical technology or a similar discipline. They put medical equipment together, calibrate it and check to ensure that it works properly. They also perform repairs on medical machines. Examples of equipment that they may work on include ventilators, electric wheelchairs, defibrillators and CAT scan machines. Their median annual income of $48,070 is notably higher than the median annual income for all occupations.
Mechanical Engineering Technicians
Mechanical engineering technicians enjoy a median annual income of more than $54,000 per year, according to the BLS. These professionals work alongside mechanical engineers and help produce devices, such as tools and machines. They typically need an associate's degree in their field to prepare for their career. They can assist with designing new types of engines or other machines and help test products to ensure they work as expected.
Elevator Installers and Repairers
Elevator installers and repairers put elevators into buildings and fix them when they break down. They use mechanical tools and spend their careers working with machines such as elevators and chairlifts. They earn more than twice the median annual salary for all occupations, with the BLS indicating a median annual salary of $78,890 for these professionals. Elevator installers and repairers can learn through an apprenticeship with on-the-job training and may also need to have a license.
Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door
The mechanical equipment that is used to regulate electricity, heat and other things is put together and maintained by control and valve installers and repairers. These professions monitor devices such as meters to ensure that they're working properly and perform routine maintenance as needed. With a high school diploma and on-the-job training, it's possible to pursue this type of work, although some of these professionals earn a certificate or associate's degree. The BLS reports that their annual median income is just over $54,000, which is considerably higher than the median annual income for all occupations.