Bankers’ Pay

Post from Jean Thilmany:

In the United States, bankers used to make as much as lawyers and engineers. That fact struck me mightily when I heard it on the second part of the Frontline program, “Money, Power, and Wall Street.”

So those bankers would be making about $78,160 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is the 2010 median pay for mechanical engineers across the board, as compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Year after year, engineering tops the list of majors with the highest average starting salary. The bottom line: It is well worth the time and effort it takes to become an engineer,” states the part of the Michigan Tech web site that looks to recruit engineering majors.

The Frontline programs (there will be four in total) look at the financial crisis and its aftermath. The May 1 program featured several interviews with investment bankers and former investment bankers who stated they were making several millions of dollars annually, right out of college. (None of them would state their exact salaries, saying to do so would violate their signing contracts).

Though they can make good money, engineers don’t make millions. Maybe that’s why the profession isn’t rife with controversy and fallout right now. I’d venture to guess most mechanical engineers love their jobs more than the nonexistent VIP backstage passes and other investment-banker perks that come with them.

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The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

May 2012

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