Mechanical engineers are paid less

How much mechanical engineers earn

Whether they are developing car engines or planning production plants: Engineers in mechanical and plant engineering are among the top earners. The current salary study by has determined what you can expect financially.

Various factors influence the level of the salary.


Mechanical engineers combine technical, analytical and creative skills. From development and construction to the commissioning of a system: the engineers are often responsible for all areas of production. Due to this diverse range of tasks, engineers in mechanical and plant engineering can expect high salaries. After more than two years of work experience, engineers get an average 66,400 euros in the year. This corresponds to a moderate increase of around 1.12% compared to the previous year.

In comparison, the salaries for Career starters in this branch with 49,440 euros slightly increased. In 2018, the average salary for civil engineers with work experience of less than two years was 48,200 euros. Mechanical and plant engineering is therefore still an attractive industry for young professionals.

Leading positions in mechanical engineering are the winners

In mechanical engineering - as in all industries - the salary increases with professional experience and the position associated with it. A department head in mechanical engineering earns around 86,600 euros. Annual salaries are in the upper quartile 103,500 euros.

Other management levels are also lucrative in mechanical engineering. As a team leader, the average gross annual salary is around 81,400 euros clearly above the information technology, construction and engineering and planning offices. In an engineering office, for example, a team leader with a good 70,000 euros receives over 10,000 euros less gross per year.

Specialist and project engineers in mechanical and plant engineering, with an average annual salary of 56,200 euros calculate. The upper quartile even includes 67,630 euros. The position evaluations according to sectors underline the previous sector evaluation of salaries as a whole. The median values ​​of the specialist and project engineers fluctuate between 63,640 euros in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and 48,000 euros in engineering and planning offices.

Mechanical engineering largest industrial employer in Germany

The mechanical engineering sector is one of the most important industrial employers in Germany. This is not surprising, because in an international comparison Germany is still the number one exporter. Siemens, Bosch and Jungheinrich are among the largest German mechanical and plant engineering companies. The annual turnover of Siemens in 2018 was more than 43 billion euros. In recent years, mechanical and plant engineering has attracted particularly young engineers. As early as 2016, more than 90,000 engineers in research, development and construction in mechanical and plant engineering were recorded, according to the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering.

The largest employers for mechanical engineers can be found in the manufacturing industry, which includes, for example, vehicle and mechanical engineering. A total of 74% of all those employed in mechanical engineering work there.

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Mechanical engineering salary varies depending on the company's location

Engineers in Bavaria receive an average annual salary of almost 61,400 euros. Munich is attractive both as a place to study and work. Whether Siemens, Linde AG or MAN: In the Bavarian capital, engineers can look forward to good salaries. In Dresden, however, the average annual salary is 49,850 euros. Somewhat better salary opportunities await in the capital. Engineers in Berlin are paid with an annual gross amount of 54,000 euros. The West has continued to catch up. In 2019, engineers in Düsseldorf earned an average of 64,470 euros. You can find all the numbers in our graphic.

That's how much engineers earn in metropolitan areas.


Would you like to find out more about engineering income in mechanical and plant engineering? The most important results from 2019 can be downloaded free of charge in the brochure “Salaries for Engineers”. The complete study "Engineer salaries 2002-2019" can be obtained as a PDF.

A contribution by:

  • Sarah Janczura

    Sarah Janczura is content manager and responsible editor for After an internship with a focus on social media, she worked as an online editor in a digital agency. She writes about technology, research and career topics.