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Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers develop, design, build, test, and inspect mechanical devices and systems, such as machines, tools, and engines. Since mechanical engineering is a very broad field, they work in a variety of different industries designing a wide range of products. Most mechanical engineers work in manufacturing, research and development, or at companies that offer engineering services.

Typically, mechanical engineers have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field such as mechanical engineering technology. They need advanced mathematical skills to perform calculations and they need to be able to think creatively.

Mechanical Engineer

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers design mechanical and electromechanical products and systems by developing and testing specifications and methods. They evaluates mechanical and electromechanical systems and products by designing and conducting research programs and applying principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, hydraulics, heat transfer, and materials. They confirm system and product capabilities by designing feasibility and testing methods and properties. 

Part of their duties they develop mechanical and electromechanical products by studying customer requirements; researching and testing manufacturing and assembly methods and materials; and soliciting observations from operators. It is important to develops manufacturing processes by designing and modifying equipment for fabricating, building, assembling, and installing components.

They assure system and product quality by designing testing methods; testing finished-product and system capabilities; and confirming fabrication, assembly, and installation processes. Preparing product reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends to provides engineering information by answering questions and requests. 

An important element of their day-to-day responsibilities is to ensure that the product and company reputation are maintained by complying with government regulations, keeping equipment operational by coordinating maintenance and repair services; following manufacturer’s instructions and established procedures; and requesting special services.

  • Mechanical Design

    Mechanical engineers plan, conceptualize, and create mechanical designs for new products. Develop testing processes, and perform testing and validation of new designs

  • Team Player

    Mechanical engineers collaborate with multi-disciplinary engineering teams, and work with vendors and contractors.

  • Detail Oriented

    Mechanical engineers perform detailed documentation to track project development and design process. They also perform engineering calculations to support design work.

  • Quality Assurance

    Mechanical engineers review technical drawings, plans, and specifications using computer software.

Mechanical Engineer Manager

Mechanical engineering managers often serve as project managers, team leaders, and lead engineers. Coordinating between management, project engineers, and clients plays a significant role in their day-to-day work, so strong written and verbal communication skills are essential in these positions.

Principal Mechanical Engineer

Principal mechanical engineers offer mechanical solutions to technical issues in their work environment. These highly skilled engineers engage with daily production issues, working closely with research and development and management to ensure effective production methods.



The estimated total pay for a mechanical engineer is $88,751 per year.

0 - 1 Years

Mechanical engineers with 0 - 1 years experience earn on average:

$99,415 per year
7 - 9 Years

Mechanical engineers with 7 - 9 years experience earn on average:

$110,933 per year
4 - 6 Years

Mechanical engineers with 4 - 6 years experience earn on average:

$107,552 per year
10+ Years

Mechanical engineers with 10+ years experience earn on average:

$117,853 - $123,610 per year
1 - 3 Years

Mechanical engineers with 1 - 3 years experience earn on average:

$105,245 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for a Mechanical Engineer look like?

The mechanical engineer work conditions should also be a consideration if you're thinking about pursuing this career. Mechanical engineers spend the majority of their time in an office setting, working at their desks. They use computers to identify solutions to mechanical problems, communicate with other members on their teams and design and test products. Mechanical engineers also work in the field in order to gain additional insight into problems that their employer, or the company they are under contract to help, is trying to solve.

Mechanical engineers often work closely alongside other members of an engineering team, such as engineers and engineering technicians, and the role is highly collaborative. Depending on their level of seniority, they may work closely with senior managers or executives within a company. Most mechanical engineers work full-time hours and many work over 40 hours per week, especially if they are approaching deadlines are need to find rapid solutions to a problem.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer?

Mechanical Engineer

Most entry-level mechanical engineering jobs require a four-year degree in mechanical engineering. There are two ways to earn your degree:

  • Bachelor’s degree: Look for four-year programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Coursework typically includes advanced math, design, engineering principles, and physical sciences.
  • Associate’s degree: You can also earn a two-year associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology and find work as a mechanical drafter. You can then transfer to a four-year college and complete the final two years of coursework for a four-year mechanical engineering degree.


Typical Qualifications:

  • Firm grasp of engineering concepts, and experience desiging mechanical systems and products
  • Excellent math skills: ability to apply advanced mathematical principles and statistics to solve problems
  • Experience using CAD software such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or similar
  • Exceptional technical and problem-solving skills and reasoning ability

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