What are typical mechanical designer salaries?

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Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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martinrots@msn.com in Fair Oaks, California

82 months ago

Yes, some companies do pay more than others. In the summer of 1981 when Detroit was flooded with work, I could make $50/hr no problem for contract work. That was on top of a 56 hour work week. In 1999 in Detroit, the average unburdened wage for an experienced designer was between $25/$35 an hour.

The problem is, all those jobs are gone and they're not coming back. I, like a lot of people I know, have relocated. We recently arrived in Sacramento and I've just started looking. I have thirty years experience as a designer.

The work in Detroit disappeared for a variety of reasons: declining market share, soft tooling and offshoring. 300,000 jobs lost in SE MI in the last five years. That's the trickle down economy for you.

I'm ten years from retirement, I don't know if I'd recommend a young person to even enter the field.

A lot of guys in Detroit, for their last job, were training Eastern europeans and Indians in UG, Catia and tool design. In India, they're working for $100/wk and living in dormatories. How you gonna compete with that.

My only regret is I wish I were closer to retirement.

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kit kat in Houston, Texas

69 months ago

A good Mechanical Designer can find a job almost anywhere. Pro/Engineer is the program to learn. It's a valuable tool to have for companies but it costs a lot of money to train someone to use it so what happens is the companies are looking for designers that already have the training. Another valuable skill for Mechanical Designers to learn, and many people under estimate the value of it, is machining processes. If you know how the machinist is going to machine your part you can better design it and it will be less expensive to make.

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zx32tt in Stanfield, North Carolina

69 months ago

A good designer can get a job, only if there are jobs. I'm sure jobs are still plentiful in Houston, but other parts of the country are suffering. My experience in Houston, is that companies will pay no more than they absolutley have to, to fill a position.

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