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.


  • 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.


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 the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Mechanical Engineers jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 31,550 $91,810
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 9,000 $100,980
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 8,470 $109,750
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 5,460 $100,950
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 5,040 $96,360
Columbus 4,550 $83,300
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 3,800 $121,470
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis 3,770 $77,060
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 3,470 $102,490
Pittsburgh 3,420 $87,960

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Mechanical Engineers

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2

Total employment and salary for professions similar to mechanical engineers

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

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Mechanical Engineers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment 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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  6
Matching School Ads
  • BS in Aeronautics
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
  • Recognized for academic excellence, meaningful research & graduate achievement
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission w/ programmatic accreditations
  • More than 200 majors with a beautiful campus location in Indiana
  • Top 5 public university in the U.S according to the Wall Street Journal
  • Has a helpful Academic Success Center to help students reach their potential
  • Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • Mechatronics - Bachelor's

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

What sets ECPI University apart? Just ask the employers who hire our graduates. Since 1966, more than 3,800 employers have looked to ECPI for talented professionals who are capable of entering the workplace and doing the job right on the very first day. That’s because our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of today’s highly-specialized job market.


What Are You Waiting For?

  • Industrial Design Technology (AS)
  • Industrial Design
  • Industrial Design (BS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
  • Join our next Open House on 10/21 (10/28 @ select locations)!

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.

Back to Top