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Engineering Going into engineering for college, have questions!

  1. Aug 8, 2010 #1
    Alright so I am wanting to go into Mechanical Engineering, however I have looked at the average pay for a ME and its only about 65k...to me that is pathetic, especially if I am at least going to get my Masters, if not a PHd. If I spend that much time in school I am going to expect some decent money. I do not mean to sound greedy, at all, but I have worked very hard so far and have taken AP Physics and have maintained a 3.65 GPA at a private school, while taking an AP class every year. If your curious about the colleges I am looking at this is my list: Texas A&M, Colorado State University, Washington State University, Penn State, University of Arizona, and I have a few others. Colorado is probably one of my favorites, as it is an awesome campus and I love the state. I realize out of all those Texas A&M is probably one of the best, and actually speaking of Texas A&M, our family knows a couple going there who are majoring in Nuclear Engineering. They are guaranteed a job that pays 300k a piece! WOW! I guess the bottom line is...if I work my butt off and major in Mechanical Engineering will I make good money (over 100k)??
     
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  3. Aug 9, 2010 #2

    phyzguy

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    I think you're being sold a bill of goods. No engineer is making $300K right out of college, at least not legally. Are you expecting to make >$100K right out of school? If so, I expect you will be disappointed. Try looking on line for starting salaries for engineers - $65K/year is pretty typical.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2010 #3
    I'm not expecting to make 100k first year, what I make my first year and what I make after as I progress in whatever job it is that I have are two different things. I'm just saying you can't be expecting someone to go to school for that long (masters or doctorate) and pay that kind of money for a university and be making 65k a year. Yes I would be expecting to be making 100k or more after the first couple years. And I am pretty sure that the people we know making 300k a year is true, but maybe not
     
  5. Aug 9, 2010 #4

    Gokul43201

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    You should probably look into other fields.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2010 #5
    .

    Such as...?
     
  7. Aug 9, 2010 #6

    Gokul43201

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    Commercial Real Estate, Law, Anesthesiology, Surgery,...
     
  8. Aug 9, 2010 #7
    Real estate is something I can do on the side, but no thanks to law and medicine, I have nooo interest in that at all. Engineering is what I've wanted to do for a long time, but I'd like to live a nice life if I'm going to spending that much time in school. What's the point if your making no more than your average person
     
  9. Aug 9, 2010 #8
    The point is that if you make what an average person in the US makes, you're going to live a comfortable life doing engineering, a thing you supposedly love. But I guess life just sucks like that sometimes.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2010 #9

    Astronuc

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    One seems to have expectations beyond reality, as well as a seemingly inflated self-assessment. I'll guarantee you that no person fresh out of university is going to make $300K/yr, unless they have some extraordinary experience. Most engineers I know worked themselves as hard as any doctor, in school and professionally. However, engineers salaries are generally less than those of doctors. On the other hand, medical school and law school generally cost more than grad school, and many doctors and lawyers are deeply in debt upon completion of their degrees.

    Undergrads in engineering are likely to make in the range of $50K/yr, MS maybe $60 K/hr and PhDs $70K/yr, if they have no professional experience. With professional experience and skill in high demand, salaries would increase.

    Not all professionals in the areas cited by Gokul make something like $300K. Such a salary would go to the best of the best.
     
  11. Aug 11, 2010 #10
    thanks a lot! i dont mean to sound like some greedy person, but I would hate to work hard throughout school like I already have and end up failing...my dad is a dentist and my mom is in medical sales, they make good money, I want to be able to live like them.
     
  12. Aug 11, 2010 #11

    Astronuc

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  13. Aug 11, 2010 #12
    You're unlikely to ever make salaries typical for those professions in engineering. You need to find a balance between doing what you love and getting paid what you want. The typical starting salaries for an engineer are the typical starting salaries for an engineer - there is no way to cheat it. If you're an engineer, chances are you'll make $65K/yr without a whole lot of bother - if you're not happy with that, you need to decide if you're so unhappy that you would give up the chance to do engineering.

    My experience is in the UK, but senior lecturers in physics (PhDs with many years experience) make about £40-50K. I think it's low compared to other fields and disciplines but hey, thems the tricks. That's just how life works, and there isn't any way around it.
     
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