How Much Do Mechanical Engineer Services Typically Charge for Rates & Firms?

How Much Do Mechanical Engineer Services Typically Charge

Mechanical engineer services are essentially comprised of three broad categories, including design, construction, and maintenance. Some professionals specialize in providing on-site repairs or general upkeep to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. Others offer engineering designs of manufacturing processes and engine components for various applications, such as production facilities and automotive products, including aerospace.

Still, there are those who work as construction design consultants for the installation of mechanical systems in residential and commercial buildings as well as public facilities. A mechanical engineer is involved in very specific parts of a project. Most mechanical engineers work using CAD software to perform structure analyses of performance, material stresses, construction strength, efficiency, compatibility with other components of a design, and to create a plan for customization if need be.

Typical industries where you’ll find mechanical engineering services

The work of a mechanical engineer revolves around designing (or creating) mechanical parts to achieve optimum efficiency for their applications, such as industrial machines, automotive design services, HVAC, robotics, and water systems. The profession is highly sought after in industries that deal with devices as small as wristwatches all the way up to heavy-duty complex systems like a battleship or nuclear power plant.


All around the world, engineering design services are regulated by jurisdictions for certifications and assurance of quality. Every industry and government has their own standards that all engineers must comply with to ensure safety to both the public and other workers on site. Most governments consider engineering (including mechanical) a profession that requires licensure.

What are mechanical engineering services hourly rates?

Establishing a flat pricing structure for all types of mechanical engineering services would be impossible for two simple reasons: each job has unique challenges and the professionals have different qualifications. For example, a freshly graduated mechanical engineer working on the installation of a residential building’s HVAC system will cost substantially less than an experienced freelance HVAC design service who oversees the construction of a drilling rig.

As with any other services, more sophisticated work takes greater investment. This is why establishing a clear job description for every profession in any given project must be regarded as a priority, as it has the potential to affect budget to a large extent. The definition of the scope of engineering services may vary greatly.

RELATED: How Much Do Engineering Design Services Cost?

At a glance, the HVAC mechanical engineer mentioned earlier should be more affordable. If the residential building is the size of a massive complex instead of just one single structure, then the hourly rate can change because it requires more elaborate planning on the engineer’s part. A detailed scope of work will help clarify the real extent of the project as well as the expected type and level of services necessary to get the job done.

Most mechanical engineering firms have a proprietary formula to calculate the time frame, work involved, complexity, and the risk or hazards of services provided, which ultimately determine the exact fee.That being said, project owners can make a rough calculation (at least for the initial budgeting plan) based on typical hourly rates:

Wage RangeBottom 20%MedianTop 20%
Average Hourly Rate$18.51 – $22.44$34.73 – $39$53.76 – $58.17
Average Annual Salary$38.5K – $46.7K$72.2K – $80.5K$111.8K – $121K

Bear in mind that the list is only an estimate and does not include specific services provided. Among all factors that affect salary, the region where the engineers work and their level of experience should be taken into account, along with whether an electrical engineering firm fills a permanent position in a firm or works on a contractual basis.

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Mechanical engineering is arguably the most diverse and versatile field in the entirety of engineering. It studies the principles of motion and force to devise problem-solving techniques and implement them into design and manufacturing. Mechanical engineers then analyze their work to ensure safety, efficiency, reliability, functionality, and durability, all at a competitive cost.

To accomplish this, a mechanical engineer needs to have a proper understanding of how raw materials react with each other when exposed to the manufacturing and assembly process, their properties, and their limitations as well. That way an engineer can determine the best approach to product design and CAD services with minimum risk of failure.

Industries they work in

The profession plays a massive role in a broad range of industries. As a matter of fact, there are no less than 36 technical divisions listed under The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), from noise control and internal combustion to piping and aerospace. Some of the most common industries that structural engineering services work in are as follows.


A manufacturing engineer deals with researching and developing the most effective methods in designing, creating, and shipping goods of various shapes, sometimes at an industrial scale. This professional often occupies a leading position in the R&D department tasked with improving the efficiency of the machinery and assembly line in a manufacturing facility.  What does a professional charge for manufacturing engineering services?

Wage RangeBottom 10%MedianTop 10%
Average Hourly Rate$27$33$38
Average Annual Salary$56.4k$68.6K$78.2K

A highly skilled manufacturing engineer should be able to adapt equipment design and machines to factory conditions and production requirement.


Both automotive design and engineering services deal with the engines of vehicles, but they have very different work environments. The former usually works behind the scenes to come up with ideas and innovative technologies applied to engines, while the latter focuses on maintenance and repair. A mechanical engineer who works in an automotive project is part of a team, which also consists of electrical and manufacturing engineers. What are automotive mechanical engineer hourly rates?

Wage RangeBottom 10%MedianTop 10%
Average Hourly Rate$11.78$40$77.88
Average Annual Salary$24.5K$83K$124.5K

An automotive engineer is required to have a strong background in vehicle construction and experience with design. A professional in this field is also expected to analyze performance in the real world and determine what customers actually want in the product.


In a nutshell, a robotics design engineer is a mechanical engineer who specializes in designing and maintaining an automation system. It is a sought-after profession in manufacturing and creative industries.

With the current business landscape, where robots are putting cars together, picking the right packages from warehouses, and even assisting in inventory management of a large company, robotics engineering is a field with a promising future.

How much do robotic engineering services cost?

Wage RangeBottom 10%MedianTop 10%
Average Hourly Rate$15.90$23.36$36.87
Average Annual Salary$59K$83K$124K

A high level of creativity and aptitude in advanced technology are great extra points in addition to knowledge and educational background in computer science or related study. Cost calculation of a robotic system is also the responsibility of a robotic engineer.

HVAC and water systems

A mechanical engineer who specializes in HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and drafting services) is often put in charge of developing an entire layout of the system along with the installation process.


A professional in this field is required to have a vast knowledge of building codes, load calculation, and of course HVAC equipment. An HVAC engineer is usually part of a team working directly under the supervision of a lead architect. The team consists of multiple engineers of various specializations and technicians.

What does a company charge for HVAC engineering services?

Wage RangeBottom 10%MedianTop 10%
Average Hourly Rate$17.79$28.19$40.79
Average Annual Salary$50K$68K$93K

An HVAC engineer must also prepare, draw, and create list of specification of the installation. Good communication skill is indispensable because the works must conform the overall (and often already approved) building plan.

Specific services

The mechanical engineer has the responsibility to perform specific tasks depending on the industry and specialization. Firms and individual freelancers can determine how much they will charge based on the complexity of the works rather than standard pricing of any sort.

Specific ServicesAverage Annual SalaryAverage Hourly Rate
System Integration$85K$32
Material Science$77K$32
Technical Analysis$68K$27
Finite Element Analysis (FEA)$74K$29
Thermal Modeling$71K$29
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)$78K$40
Computational Fluid Dynamics$82K$34
Realibility Planning$89K$40
3D Rendering $54K$18

The above list should be used merely as a reference for consideration and not as the only guidance to determine rate, or how much you should pay when hiring professionals to do any task aforementioned. Overall cost for the services provided by mechanical engineers is typically determined using one of the following methods:

  • Direct labor plus non-salary expense for examples travel and sub-consultant
  • Hourly rates
  • Fixed fee
  • Lump-sum
  • Percentage of the total budget

Especially for the first two methods in the list, detailed project scope is not mandatory because the charges are based on the cost to perform specific services. Fixed fee is only possible after a precise definition of the project is provided, otherwise accurate calculation cannot be made. The same thing applies to lump sum and percentage of total project budget methods. Regardless of the method used, the cost for hiring mechanical engineering is always affected by the nature of the project itself including the duration, complexity, scope of work, and of course the quality of services.

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