Are you interested in a career as a mechanical engineer? Here's information on becoming a mechanical engineer, including a job overview, training and education requirements, the best colleges and universities for engineering majors, salary information and the hiring outlook for mechanical engineers.
Mechanical Engineer Job Description
Mechanical engineers design and modify mechanized devices. These devices are often utilized within a manufacturing environment as part the production process.
Mechanical engineers create, build and test prototypes of machines and equipment. They oversee the installation of machinery and resolve problems once the systems are up and running. Mechanical engineers often use computer-aided design (CAD) packages to produce blueprints containing the specifications for their projects. They also work on evaluating and testing designs and redesigning and upgrading systems.
Mechanical engineers most often work for engineering firms, manufacturers, government entities and research centers. Here’s a list of skills employers expect Mechanical Engineers to have.
Education, Training and Licensing Requirements
You will need a bachelor’s degree to start a mechanical engineering career. To grow your career, a graduate degree (Master’s or PhD) is typically needed for promotion into managerial positions.
There are licensing requirements in the United States. Mechanical engineers selling services must pass a state-specific exam to get a license in all states and in the District of Columbia.
Mechanical Engineer Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mechanical Engineers earned $80,580 on average in 2012. The bottom 10% of Mechanical Engineers earned $52,030 or less in 2012 and the top 10% earned at least $121,530.
The projected hiring outlook for Mechanical Engineers is slower than average through 2022, with job growth expected to 5%.
Overall job growth is estimated at 11% for the same time period. However, the unemployment rate is low for and jobs are considered hard to fill.
Best Companies to Work For
Review this list of the top mechanical engineering companies to get a sense of which employers hire the most engineers. When you're job searching, you can search for and apply for jobs directly on company websites as well as on job sites.
If there are companies that are of interest, check the “career” or “jobs section” of the company website to search for available positions. You may also be able to set up email alerts to get notified of new jobs as they are posted.