Are you an engineer? Do you wish to work as an engineer in the USA? If so, you need to know how much you can earn with that profession. You will soon find out after reading this article that being an Engineer in America is a lucrative profession.
The salary of an engineer depends, among other things, on your rank, which in turn depends on your years of experience and academic background. The salary for each level of the engineering profession is discussed here.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Various Types of Engineers in the USA and their Salaries
In the video link below, OFW YouTuber Maro Rico talks about the different types of engineers in the US and their corresponding salaries. As a disclaimer, he also mentioned that these values are only based on his personal experience and also on his research. Moreover, he said that these numbers are just for Los Angeles County, California. You can watch the full video below:
When you work in the USA as an engineer, there are many available positions or ranks. The lowest ranked engineer is an assistant, while the highest ranked is known as a director.
The following lists the different types of engineers in the USA and their salaries.
As an engineering assistant, your primary role involves dealing with the public, handling permits, inputting information into your system, and other similar roles. Basically, you do assistant-related tasks that may be trivial compared to other engineering tasks, but are otherwise just as important.
So how much does an engineering assistant earn? Well, on average they earn around 20 to 25 USD per hour. In terms of annual salary, that is equivalent to around 41,000 – 50,000 USD per year. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to an annual salary of 1.96 million to 2.4 million pesos. Monthly, that is equivalent to around 171,000 Pesos to 208,000 Pesos per month.
While this sounds similar to the first entry, they have entirely different tasks and responsibilities. As an assistant engineer, you are now allowed to handle small projects. You will still be handling permits and talking to people. You will also be doing inspections on the current projects of the city you are working in.
So how much does an assistant engineer earn? Well, they earn 35 to 40 dollars an hour. Annually, that is equivalent to 72,000 to 80,000 USD per year. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to an annual salary of 3.45 million pesos to 3.83 million pesos depending on the exchange rate. Monthly, that is around 296,000 pesos to 333,000 pesos per month.
As an associate engineer, you get to handle bigger projects. In terms of price range, you typically handle projects valued at 500,000 to 1 million plus USD. You need to have a professional engineer license in order to qualify as an associate engineer.
The salary of an associate engineer is 43 USD to 57 USD per hour. So annually, that is around 90,000 to 119,000 USD per year. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to 4.3 million to 5.7 million pesos per year, depending on the exchange rate. Moreover, the monthly equivalent is around 375,000 pesos to 496,000 pesos per month.
Now before we proceed, at this point in the article, you’re probably thinking that these values are quite high, and they indeed are, but these are gross values. This means that these values don’t include your typical salary deductions yet, like taxes and insurances and what not. These deductions will be discussed later.
Also, it was mentioned in the video that these numbers are just for Los Angeles County, California. Different states have different ranges of salary for engineers.
As a senior engineer, you are one rank higher than associate engineers, but you still handle projects as well. You are also required to have a professional license. One major difference between associate engineers and senior engineers is that senior engineers do a lot more paper work at the work place. For example, they process grants, programs, and basically they do more tasks related to having a higher position among engineers.
The salary of a senior engineer is typically not shown on an hourly basis. The thing is, if you are a senior engineer or any rank higher than that, then your salary is declared as an annual value. The significance of this is that you will get the exact same amount per year, regardless of how many hours of work you put in.
That is, even if you work more or less for that year, you will get the same exact salary. The salary of a senior engineer is 109,000 USD to 130,000 USD. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to 5.22 million to 6.23 million pesos per year.
If you think that the salary is too high, well, that is understandable since the projects they are dealing with already costs millions. These kinds of projects require the knowledge and expertise of an engineer who is competent enough to ensure the smooth running of all engineering operations.
So that’s why they get paid a high salary. Aside from the competence they obtained through experience and having a strong educational background, senior engineers definitely stand out from their junior team members with their ability to mentor and make the right decisions at the right time.
Assistant City Engineer
Assistant City Engineers are responsible for planning, supervising and coordinating the engineering activities of the city, including those related to utilities and land development.
Assistant City engineers earn an annual salary of around 115,000 USD to 130,000 USD. In Philippine pesos, this is equivalent to around 5.5 million pesos to 6.23 million pesos per year.
Next in rank is the city engineer. City engineers are the head of all engineers of the city. In fact, this is one of the highest positions you can get as an engineer.
What a city engineer does is they manage all the work force, staff, handles the payrolls and more. As you can see, a city engineer’s responsibility is really high. Aside from overseeing projects, they also hold more tasks that require management skills.
So how much is the salary of a city engineer? Well, it is 120,000 USD to 144,000 USD per year. In Philippine Pesos, this is equivalent to around 5.75 million pesos to 6.9 million pesos annually.
The highest rank an engineer can possibly obtain is Director of Public Works. They are responsible for various duties that require management and administrative skills. They monitor and oversee all the physical facilities of a given area or local community.
The salary of a director is 130,000 USD to 170,000 USD. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to around 6.23 million pesos to 8.15 million pesos per year, depending on the exchange rate. As mentioned previously, these values are rough estimate gross incomes. So now let’s talk about taxes.
In California, the tax deducted off each paycheck is around 25 to 29 percent. However, this depends on your salary range. If you have a lower paying job, then your taxes are lower as well.
To give an example, let’s say that you are an engineering assistant. This means that you earn 25 dollars per hour. You multiply that to 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, then you’re paid bi-weekly, so let’s multiply that by 2.
Therefore, as an engineering assistant, you earn 2,000 USD gross every two weeks. If we deduct the taxes, say for example 27 percent, 540 dollars is deducted from your gross pay. That leaves you with 1,460 dollars net income for your bi-weekly salary.
In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to a net income of 70,000 PhP per two weeks as an engineering assistant in the USA. For one month, you get twice of that, or 2,920 USD per month. That is around 140,000 pesos per month.
With a net salary of 2,920 USD per month as an engineering assistant, you will then have to budget that amount to pay for your expenses. These expenses may include the following:
- House rent – When it comes to accommodation rent, the price depends on the type, but for a one bedroom and one bath house, the rent in downtown Los Angeles is 1,500 USD per month.
- Car payment – For your car payment, if you have a basic car, you will probably pay around 300 dollars per month.
- strong>Insurance – You will pay around 150 dollars per month on insurance.
- Groceries – For groceries, you will probably spend around 100 dollars per week, but that’s a lot already.
- Gas – For gas, you will pay around 80 dollars per month.
- Laundry – you will probably spend around 40 dollars per week on laundry.
If you subtract all of these from your net salary, you are left with only 450 USD. In Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to 21,600 pesos. You can keep this for your savings.
If you think, at first, that you have a lot of money, after you deduct all your expenses, you will realize that your pay check is just enough so that you can survive. The salary in the USA is really high, but the expenses are also high.
There you have it! Being an engineer in the USA is living the dream. If you are interested in learning more about how to apply, there are many OFWs online sharing their personal experiences and research. Check out some of the other articles in this website as well.