15 Best-Paying Cities for Mechanical Engineers in 2022

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Mechanical engineer
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Construction Coverage.

Experts of all stripes agree that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are critical to the U.S. economy. A 2020 study estimated that STEM supports 67% of jobs in the U.S. and 69% of the country’s GDP.

By generating innovation and technological advances, STEM fields help improve quality of life, make businesses more productive, and create new economic opportunities. And for students or professionals considering new careers, STEM fields are full of high-quality jobs: The number of STEM jobs has increased by 79% over the last three decades and is projected to grow by another 11% by 2030.

Of these fields, mechanical engineering is one of the most important in moving the U.S. economy forward. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, and build a variety of mechanical devices. Their work touches almost every aspect of life in the U.S., from everyday consumer goods, like cars or home appliances, to tools that power the economy, like manufacturing equipment. And increasingly, mechanical engineers are working with innovative new technologies like robotics or nanotechnology that could open new economic frontiers.

With such a vital role in the U.S. economy, the job outlook for mechanical engineers is promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% growth rate in jobs in the field between now and 2030. As manufacturing technologies become more complex, mechanical engineers’ skillset will continue to be in demand.

To determine the best-paying locations for mechanical engineers, researchers at Construction Coverage calculated the median annual wage for mechanical engineers, adjusted for the cost of living. The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities datasets. Read more about our methodology at the end.

Here are the best-paying metros for mechanical engineers.

15. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $97,107
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $99,340
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $87,550
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $47,530
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +24.0%

14. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio, Texas outdoors
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $97,181
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $95,140
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $76,110
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $37,960
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -54.0%

13. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

Traffic in Austin, Texas
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $97,986
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $99,750
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $80,120
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $46,910
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -12.0%

12. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Las Vegas by night, with mountains
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $98,045
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $95,300
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $78,210
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $37,550
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -70.0%

11. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $99,376
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $97,090
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $77,550
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $46,900
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -1.0%

10. St. Louis, MO-IL

Homes in St. Louis Missouri
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $99,582
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $95,300
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $79,150
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $44,050
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -36.0%

9. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $100,093
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $97,090
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $77,540
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $39,260
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -41.0%

8. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $100,731
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $96,400
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $79,130
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $46,210
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +101.0%

7. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Detroit, Michigan
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $101,710
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $98,760
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $80,250
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $47,570
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +516.0%

6. Tucson, AZ

Tucson, Arizona
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $103,507
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $97,090
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $94,240
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $38,050
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +119.0%

5. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Cincinnati Ohio
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $104,096
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $97,330
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $79,140
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $42,600
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +53.0%

4. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

San Francisco
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $104,693
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $122,910
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $102,730
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $62,000
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -15.0%

3. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

stormy sky in New Orleans, Louisiana
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $107,905
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $104,560
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $79,980
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $38,060
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): -64.0%

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $114,817
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $128,710
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $128,560
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $75,510
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +111.0%

1. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Houston, Texas
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  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (adjusted): $125,714
  • Median annual wage for mechanical engineers (actual): $125,840
  • Median annual wage for all architecture & engineering jobs (actual): $98,640
  • Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $44,630
  • Concentration of mechanical engineers (compared to average): +48.0%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities datasets.

To determine the best-paying locations for mechanical engineers, researchers calculated the median annual wage for mechanical engineers, adjusted for the cost of living. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater median annual wage for mechanical engineers, not adjusted for cost of living, was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents were included.

Note: Only states and metropolitan areas with sufficient occupational and wage data were included.