Mechanical Engineers

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$96,310 Median Wage (2022)
19,200 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
10.00% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 4 years, up to and including 6 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

Detailed Work Activities

  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Direct installation activities.
  • Direct equipment maintenance or repair activities.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Direct industrial production activities.
  • Determine operational methods.
  • Coordinate safety or regulatory compliance activities.
  • Document technical design details.
  • Identify new applications for existing technologies.
  • Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Design industrial processing systems.
  • Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
  • Advise others regarding green practices or environmental concerns.
  • Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
  • Install production equipment or systems.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Design industrial equipment.
  • Investigate system, equipment, or product failures.
  • Create models of engineering designs or methods.
  • Implement design or process improvements.
  • Prepare proposal documents.
  • Supervise production or support personnel.
  • Perform marketing activities.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Research industrial processes or operations.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  • Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, or maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems or processes to meet requirements.
  • Confer with engineers or other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, or provide technical information.
  • Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.
  • Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend remedial actions.
  • Develop or test models of alternate designs or processing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, potential new applications, or necessity of modification.
  • Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.
  • Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions.
  • Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products, using drafting tools or computer-assisted drafting equipment or software.
  • Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, or repair to ensure that machines or equipment are installed and functioning according to specifications.
  • Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, components, or systems.
  • Design test control apparatus or equipment or develop procedures for testing products.
  • Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems or needs.
  • Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals, or other data to evaluate the feasibility, cost, or maintenance requirements of designs or applications.
  • Estimate costs or submit bids for engineering, construction, or extraction projects.
  • Recommend the use of utility or energy services that minimize carbon footprints.
  • Evaluate mechanical designs or prototypes for energy performance or environmental impact.
  • Direct the installation, operation, maintenance, or repair of renewable energy equipment, such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) or water systems.
  • Design integrated mechanical or alternative systems, such as mechanical cooling systems with natural ventilation systems, to improve energy efficiency.
  • Apply engineering principles or practices to emerging fields, such as robotics, waste management, or biomedical engineering.
  • Write performance requirements for product development or engineering projects.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, or other engineers.
  • Calculate energy losses for buildings, using equipment such as computers, combustion analyzers, or pressure gauges.
  • Solicit new business.
  • Provide technical customer service.
  • Study industrial processes to maximize the efficiency of equipment applications, including equipment placement.
  • Establish or coordinate the maintenance or safety procedures, service schedule, or supply of materials required to maintain machines or equipment in the prescribed condition.
  • Select or install combined heat units, power units, cogeneration equipment, or trigeneration equipment that reduces energy use or pollution.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.