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Mechanical Engineers picture    Mechanical Engineers image

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers research, design and develop machines, tools and a wide array of mechanical devices and components. Some of the devices and equipment mechanical engineers may work with are surgical instruments, robots, elevators, and refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. They also design tools utilized in other engineering fields.

Mechanical engineers oversee the installation, repair, maintenance and operation of various types of equipment including centralized heat, water, gas and steam systems. Many mechanical engineers work in manufacturing. They also work in maintenance and technical sales. Mechanical engineers usually have a specialty area. Some mechanical engineers specialize in a particular industry.

Some common job titles include design engineer, process engineer, mechanical design engineer, chassis systems engineer, product engineer, systems engineer and design maintenance engineer.

Responsibilities

  • Perform research that tests and analyzes the feasibility, design, operation and performance of systems, equipment and components
  • Study and interpret technical drawings, blueprints and schematics
  • Recommend design modifications to fix system or machine malfunctions
  • Help drafters in preparing the structural design of products utilizing computer-assisted design or drafting tools
  • Investigate equipment failures and problems and make diagnosis and recommendations to maintenance staff members
  • Consult with other engineers and other personnel to implement operating procedures and resolve system malfunctions
  • Specify system components or oversee modifications of products to ensure they conform with engineering design and performance specifications
  • Develop, coordinate and monitor the various aspects of production

Job Characteristics

Mechanical engineers should have good problem solving skills. They often work as part of a team. Good written and oral communications skills are beneficial for the occupation. A mechanical engineer should be creative, curious and innovative.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a 6 percent employment growth for mechanical engineers from 2008 to 2018 which is slower than the average for all occupations. Some new employment opportunities may be created from the effects of emerging technologies in material science, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

In 2008 the median annual earnings for mechanical engineers was $74,920. The highest paid 10 percent earned $114,740.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most mechanical engineer jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Some mechanical engineers earn an advanced degree in a specialized engineering field or in business administration.

Most mechanical engineering programs include a heavy course load in geometry, algebra, calculus and trigonometry. Science courses are also included in the programs. Computer programming and computer applications courses are beneficial.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology provides accreditation for college and university engineering programs. In addition, professional certification can be beneficial when looking for a job.

Every state requires licensure for engineers that offer their services directly to the public. Licensure typically requires a degree from an ABET accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience and passing a state examination.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are machine manufacturers, primary and fabricated materials manufacturers, electrical and transportation equipment manufacturers and consulting firms.

Schools for Mechanical Engineers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Mechanical Engineers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Mechanical Engineers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 1180 $90,490
Hoover 620 $75,850
Birmingham 620 $75,850
Mobile 290 $91,400
Decatur 260 $92,680
Tuscaloosa 160 $95,920
Montgomery 130 $87,400
Jacksonville 120 $82,310
Oxford 120 $82,310
Anniston 120 $82,310
Auburn 90 $66,280
Opelika 90 $66,280
Florence 80 $89,250
Muscle Shoals 80 $89,250
Daphne 50 $68,320
Foley 50 $68,320
Fairhope 50 $68,320
Gadsden 40 $78,710
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 530 $128,460
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 2610 $88,610
Scottsdale 2610 $88,610
Mesa 2610 $88,610
Yuma 80 $82,180
Tucson N/A $80,380
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 270 $69,620
North Little Rock 270 $69,620
Little Rock 270 $69,620
Hot Springs 40 $66,530
Jonesboro N/A $54,990
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 8880 $94,490
Los Angeles 8880 $94,490
Anaheim 8880 $94,490
San Jose 3860 $115,130
Santa Clara 3860 $115,130
Sunnyvale 3860 $115,130
San Diego 3050 $87,830
Carlsbad 3050 $87,830
San Francisco 2920 $99,550
Hayward 2920 $99,550
Oakland 2920 $99,550
Arden 1150 $92,070
Arcade 1150 $92,070
Sacramento 1150 $92,070
Roseville 1150 $92,070
Riverside 930 $78,210
Ontario 930 $78,210
San Bernardino 930 $78,210
Thousand Oaks 570 $93,650
Oxnard 570 $93,650
Ventura 570 $93,650
Santa Barbara 540 $95,430
Santa Maria 540 $95,430
Bakersfield 530 $87,020
Vallejo 220 $90,380
Fairfield 220 $90,380
Arroyo Grande 170 $76,270
Paso Robles 170 $76,270
San Luis Obispo 170 $76,270
Fresno 150 $87,850
Santa Rosa 140 $95,520
Stockton 110 $80,200
Lodi 110 $80,200
Salinas 110 $89,650
Modesto 90 $77,520
Santa Cruz 60 $76,770
Watsonville 60 $76,770
Visalia 50 $92,390
Porterville 50 $92,390
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 3970 $85,480
Lakewood 3970 $85,480
Denver 3970 $85,480
Boulder 810 $93,190
Colorado Springs 660 $68,760
Fort Collins 450 $75,270
Pueblo 80 $82,220
Grand Junction 30 $73,970
Greeley N/A $75,620
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 1770 $81,320
East Hartford 1770 $81,320
West Hartford 1770 $81,320
Bridgeport 830 $82,230
Norwalk 830 $82,230
Stamford 830 $82,230
New Haven 510 $70,720
Danbury 220 $85,580
Waterbury 100 $82,120
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 1780 $84,670
Fort Lauderdale 1780 $84,670
West Palm Beach 1780 $84,670
Orlando 1170 $89,260
Sanford 1170 $89,260
Kissimmee 1170 $89,260
Tampa 990 $70,440
Clearwater 990 $70,440
St. Petersburg 990 $70,440
Titusville 660 $91,550
Melbourne 660 $91,550
Palm Bay 660 $91,550
Jacksonville 420 $88,010
Panama City 350 $95,970
Crestview 150 $89,030
Fort Walton Beach 150 $89,030
Destin 150 $89,030
North Port 120 $65,780
Sarasota 120 $65,780
Bradenton 120 $65,780
Port St. Lucie 100 $55,730
Winter Haven 100 $68,380
Lakeland 100 $68,380
Pensacola 90 $105,190
Ferry Pass 90 $105,190
Brent 90 $105,190
Daytona Beach 70 $68,140
Deltona 70 $68,140
Ormond Beach 70 $68,140
Tallahassee 70 $90,670
Gainesville 40 $67,690
Ocala N/A $75,100
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 3150 $77,540
Atlanta 3150 $77,540
Roswell 3150 $77,540
Savannah 420 $74,910
Warner Robins 280 $86,570
Gainesville 120 $63,820
Athens 50 $77,060
Clarke County 50 $77,060
Macon N/A $69,870
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 530 $78,470
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 440 $72,820
Idaho Falls 200 $104,550
Coeur d'Alene 80 $77,660
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 2660 N/A
Rockford 600 $74,290
Urbana 140 $62,780
Champaign 140 $62,780
Bloomington 80 $79,820
Danville 50 $75,190
Springfield 40 $60,730
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 3040 $77,280
Carmel 3040 $77,280
Indianapolis 3040 $77,280
Columbus 1910 $76,510
Fort Wayne 620 $72,670
Elkhart 400 $67,390
Goshen 400 $67,390
Lafayette 290 $93,100
West Lafayette 290 $93,100
Muncie 90 $63,190
La Porte 50 $71,790
Michigan City 50 $71,790
Terre Haute N/A $58,250
Bloomington N/A $74,760
Kokomo N/A $77,470
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waterloo 500 $74,170
Cedar Falls 500 $74,170
Cedar Rapids 300 $73,440
West Des Moines 250 $76,100
Des Moines 250 $76,100
Dubuque 180 $72,240
Iowa City 140 $86,390
Ames 80 $74,960
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 500 $72,360
Manhattan 110 $58,860
Lawrence 50 $52,270
Topeka 50 $82,380
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 640 $75,180
Fayette 640 $75,180
Bowling Green 150 $79,690
Fort Knox 120 $70,470
Elizabethtown 120 $70,470
Owensboro 70 $83,620
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 890 $90,980
Metairie 890 $90,980
Baton Rouge 620 $98,850
Lafayette 350 $69,460
Shreveport 230 $83,130
Bossier City 230 $83,130
Lake Charles 230 $90,970
Houma 170 $90,440
Thibodaux 170 $90,440
Monroe 40 $82,460
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 340 $81,460
Portland 340 $81,460
Auburn N/A $79,180
Lewiston N/A $79,180
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 2660 $85,670
Towson 2660 $85,670
Columbia 2660 $85,670
Lexington Park 440 $91,600
California 440 $91,600
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsfield 120 $77,750
Barnstable Town 110 $80,980
Gardner 100 $69,920
Leominster 100 $69,920
New Bedford 70 $83,140
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 30390 $92,550
Detroit 30390 $92,550
Dearborn 30390 $92,550
Grand Rapids 2400 $69,790
Wyoming 2400 $69,790
Ann Arbor 1560 $93,710
Jackson 1040 $84,970
Niles 940 $93,370
Benton Harbor 940 $93,370
Kalamazoo 630 $77,880
Portage 630 $77,880
Saginaw 610 $76,130
Lansing 410 $69,620
East Lansing 410 $69,620
Battle Creek 270 $88,980
Muskegon 240 $74,000
Flint 220 $76,530
Monroe 180 $76,370
Midland 130 $50,410
Bay City 70 $78,730
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 140 $75,500
Mankato 120 $69,310
North Mankato 120 $69,310
St. Cloud 60 $72,160
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 290 $91,830
Biloxi 290 $91,830
Gulfport 290 $91,830
Jackson 100 $68,510
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 120 $71,480
Columbia 70 $67,270
Joplin 50 $71,630
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 110 $73,520
Missoula 40 $79,030
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 260 $77,240
Grand Island N/A $69,290
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 290 $80,120
Henderson 290 $80,120
Las Vegas 290 $80,120
Reno 150 $79,920
Carson City 40 $74,140
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 140 $77,640
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 360 $107,890
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 840 $105,670
Las Cruces 70 $84,630
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1470 $78,690
Cheektowaga 1100 $72,970
Buffalo 1100 $72,970
Niagara Falls 1100 $72,970
Schenectady 990 $91,580
Troy 990 $91,580
Albany 990 $91,580
Syracuse 560 $83,040
Rome 200 $66,660
Utica 200 $66,660
Binghamton 200 $90,610
Ithaca 120 $87,810
Elmira 100 $76,270
Kingston 70 $67,170
Glens Falls 40 $80,140
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1200 $86,460
Greensboro 490 $76,380
High Point 490 $76,380
Chapel Hill 490 $79,460
Durham 490 $79,460
Winston 480 $82,460
Salem 480 $82,460
Rocky Mount 360 $71,750
Asheville 190 $72,580
New Bern 160 $73,370
Morganton 160 $75,270
Lenoir 160 $75,270
Hickory 160 $75,270
Fayetteville 100 $87,780
Wilmington 80 $91,260
Goldsboro 70 $68,540
Burlington 60 $76,300
Greenville 50 $78,210
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 30 $80,870
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 4110 $76,270
Elyria 2500 $73,360
Cleveland 2500 $73,360
Dayton 1160 $71,140
Akron 740 $72,930
Toledo 720 $71,990
Canton 250 $69,050
Massillon 250 $69,050
Springfield 100 $58,680
Mansfield 90 $62,840
Lima 60 $72,810
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 1120 $80,620
Oklahoma City 740 $81,900
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 160 $72,570
Corvallis 80 $94,080
Salem 70 $70,330
Albany 50 $71,110
Bend 50 $81,540
Redmond 50 $81,540
Medford 40 $74,310
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 2810 $84,810
York 590 $71,800
Hanover 590 $71,800
Lancaster 380 $73,350
Erie 370 $68,400
Reading 330 $75,630
Harrisburg 310 $78,080
Carlisle 310 $78,080
Waynesboro 280 $64,850
Chambersburg 280 $64,850
Wilkes 260 $72,560
Hazleton 260 $72,560
Barre 260 $72,560
Scranton 260 $72,560
Johnstown 90 $74,300
Berwick 90 $78,750
Bloomsburg 90 $78,750
State College 90 $83,870
East Stroudsburg 70 $79,160
Williamsport 60 $63,670
Lebanon 40 $73,140
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 270 $45,460
Carolina 270 $45,460
San Juan 270 $45,460
Ponce N/A $86,780
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mauldin 1300 $89,000
Anderson 1300 $89,000
Greenville 1300 $89,000
Columbia 570 $63,370
North Charleston 570 $89,670
Charleston 570 $89,670
Spartanburg 350 $79,850
Florence 140 $82,530
Sumter 80 $67,840
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 140 $69,330
Rapid City 60 $76,300
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 950 $87,090
Franklin 830 $74,640
Murfreesboro 830 $74,640
Nashville 830 $74,640
Davidson 830 $74,640
Johnson City 70 $66,100
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 8760 $97,140
Houston 8760 $97,140
The Woodlands 8760 $97,140
Dallas 5260 $92,180
Arlington 5260 $92,180
Fort Worth 5260 $92,180
Round Rock 1400 $91,290
Austin 1400 $91,290
San Antonio 920 $75,990
New Braunfels 920 $75,990
Port Arthur 460 $94,310
Beaumont 460 $94,310
Corpus Christi 270 $91,840
Waco 210 $77,990
Longview 200 $75,080
El Paso 190 N/A
Midland 190 N/A
Victoria 100 $70,440
Odessa 100 $77,700
Amarillo 100 $80,380
Bryan 90 $71,190
College Station 90 $71,190
Temple 80 $79,920
Killeen 80 $79,920
Tyler 80 $88,000
Lubbock 70 $63,220
Mission 40 $58,280
McAllen 40 $58,280
Edinburg 40 $58,280
Sherman 40 $84,480
Denison 40 $84,480
Wichita Falls N/A $89,130
Harlingen N/A $92,860
Brownsville N/A $92,860
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1580 $74,410
Clearfield 960 $81,010
Ogden 960 $81,010
Provo 370 $74,690
Orem 370 $74,690
St. George 40 $77,000
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 340 $78,910
Burlington 340 $78,910
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 630 $75,670
Roanoke 350 $73,000
Blacksburg 120 $86,730
Radford 120 $86,730
Christiansburg 120 $86,730
Charlottesville 80 $84,550
Harrisonburg 40 $71,430
Lynchburg N/A $92,220
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 4550 $91,770
Bellevue 4550 $91,770
Tacoma 4550 $91,770
Silverdale 550 $84,900
Bremerton 550 $84,900
Kennewick 450 $91,470
Richland 450 $91,470
Spokane Valley 300 $69,160
Spokane 300 $69,160
Bellingham 110 $72,870
Mount Vernon 90 $75,050
Anacortes 90 $75,050
Longview 90 $78,310
Yakima 60 $57,480
Olympia 60 $87,820
Tumwater 60 $87,820
Wenatchee 40 $89,030
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 80 $81,670
Morgantown 40 $98,720
Parkersburg N/A $77,950
Vienna N/A $77,950
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 3700 $71,900
West Allis 3700 $71,900
Milwaukee 3700 $71,900
Madison 1120 $74,840
Green Bay 460 $71,050
Appleton 450 $71,710
Neenah 410 $59,020
Oshkosh 410 $59,020
Racine 310 $70,220
Sheboygan 260 $72,150
Wausau 250 $67,180
Fond du Lac 220 $70,020
Eau Claire 110 $59,340
Beloit 110 $65,030
Janesville 110 $65,030
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Casper 50 $76,960
Cheyenne N/A $80,030

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Mechanical Engineers

To find out more about building a career as Mechanical Engineers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Mechanical Engineers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 69,520 29% $79,060
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 32,180 13% $75,650
Machinery 29,390 12% $66,440
Electronics And Computer 22,300 9% $80,330
Metal Products 14,470 6% $64,590
Government 11,330 4% $86,810
Business Management 6,280 2% $83,970
Office Services And Staffing 6,240 2% $76,200
Electrical Appliance 5,920 2% $69,960
Durable Goods Wholesale 5,690 2% $70,970
Plastics And Rubber 4,950 2% $69,200
Miscellaneous Manufacturing 4,640 1% $70,950
Metals 2,480 1% $68,240
Chemicals 2,340 1% $75,930
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Mechanical Engineers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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