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Mechanical Engineer

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What Do Mechanical Engineer Do?

Career Description Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.

Life As a Mechanical Engineer: What Do They Do?

  • Develop or test models of alternate designs or processing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, potential new applications, or necessity of modification.
  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  • Write performance requirements for product development or engineering projects.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, or other engineers.
  • Solicit new business.
  • Confer with engineers or other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, or provide technical information.

What Every Mechanical Engineer Should Know

Mechanical Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Mechanical Engineer Jobs

  • Roller Coaster Designer
  • Auto Research Engineer
  • Body Engineer
  • Wind Turbine Mechanical Engineer
  • Weapons Designer

Are There Job Opportunities for Mechanical Engineers?

There were about 288,800 jobs for Mechanical Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,300 new jobs for Mechanical Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 21,200 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Mechanical Engineer are Nevada, Utah, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Mechanical Engineers Salary

The salary for Mechanical Engineers ranges between about $56,270 and $136,550 a year.

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Mechanical Engineers who work in District of Columbia, New Mexico, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Mechanical Engineers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $90,030
Alaska $128,690
Arizona $98,390
Arkansas $71,730
California $107,370
Colorado $104,220
Connecticut $94,270
Delaware $106,220
District of Columbia $112,780
Florida $87,770
Georgia $84,870
Hawaii $81,730
Idaho $86,010
Illinois $92,030
Indiana $82,510
Iowa $80,530
Kansas $82,210
Kentucky $84,380
Louisiana $101,810
Maine $93,310
Maryland $109,960
Massachusetts $98,190
Michigan $91,100
Minnesota $87,030
Mississippi $85,570
Missouri $85,450
Montana $77,140
Nebraska $80,650
Nevada $88,950
New Hampshire $97,270
New Jersey $95,680
New Mexico $110,210
New York $91,820
North Carolina $87,470
North Dakota $75,770
Ohio $81,020
Oklahoma $88,190
Oregon $85,890
Pennsylvania $85,740
Rhode Island $94,520
South Carolina $93,730
South Dakota $76,220
Tennessee $87,990
Texas $105,570
Utah $88,150
Vermont $94,580
Virginia $100,540
Washington $96,860
West Virginia $84,070
Wisconsin $79,360
Wyoming $84,200

Tools & Technologies Used by Mechanical Engineers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Mechanical Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Minitab

How do I Become a Mechanical Engineer?

What education is needed to be a Mechanical Engineer?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Mechanical Engineers Are Employed

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Mechanical Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Michel Villeneuve via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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