What is a mechanical engineer?

Are you looking for a job as a Mechanical Engineer? Whether you are new to the job market, or searching for a different career, we can provide the resources and information you need to make a well-informed decision. As a leader in changing the way talent and employers find each other, we provide the knowledge and resources you need to choose your next role. From skillset and job responsibilities to interview tips and salary information, find everything you need to ensure a field in Mechanical Engineering is the right job for you.

What does a mechanical engineer do?

According to Michigan Tech, “Mechanical engineering careers center on creating technologies to meet human needs.” Mechanical Engineers use the principles of science and math to design and manufacture products, as well as solve complex mechanical problems. There are a variety of mechanical engineering fields, from materials science to thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to manufacturing and engineering economics. Mechanical engineering is a broad field of study. If you’d like more details, here is a mock job description from Glassdoor that employers use to create their own advertisements:

  • Plan, conceptualize, and create mechanical designs for new products
  • Develop testing processes, and perform testing and validation of new designs
  • Generate working prototypes for beta testing and customer demonstration
  • Perform engineering calculations to support design work
  • Create and review technical drawings, plans, and specifications using computer software
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary engineering teams, and work with vendors and contractors
  • Perform detailed documentation to track project development and design process
  • Ensure project timeline is met and project stays within budget

Qualifications for mechanical engineers

  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field
  • 2-5 years of experience working in engineering
  • Firm grasp of engineering concepts, and experience designing mechanical systems and products
  • Excellent math skills: ability to apply advanced mathematical principles and statistics to solve problems
  • Experience using CAD software such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or similar
  • Exceptional technical and problem-solving skills and reasoning ability
  • Ability to communicate effectively and clearly
  • Must be self-motivated and a great team worker

Employers searching for Mechanical Engineers are looking for highly creative, collaborative, analytical candidates with problem-solving skills to help them develop, build, and test the next big product or tool.

How much do mechanical engineers make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mechanical Engineers made an average of about $95,300 annually, and $45.82 hourly in 2021. Of course, this varies based on location and employer. If you have extensive experience in the field, you may be able to negotiate your salary and other benefits. Keep in mind when job searching that pay, benefits, and time off are often negotiable.

Where do they work?

Woman working on a computer. The screen is showing detailed drawings of machinery.If you are looking for a new job as a Mechanical Engineer, there are plenty of vacant positions. The field of mechanical engineering is projected to grow 2% by 2031, According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most Mechanical Engineers work in manufacturing, research and development, and engineering companies. If you’re considering moving to a different location, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics for states with the highest employment levels.

  1. Michigan: 32,520 employed, $44.04/hour
  2. California: 28,450 employed, $54.39/hour
  3. Texas: 20,840 employed, $53.54/hour
  4. Pennsylvania: 17,420 employed, $44.00/hour
  5. Ohio: 13,650 employed, $41.82/hour

Who hires mechanical engineers?

Think of a company that requires mechanical parts to operate or produce any sort of machine as a product. Chances are, they employ Mechanical Engineers. We know that statement can be broad and daunting, so we’ve taken the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and compiled it into three shortlists for you:

Industry with the highest number of employed Mechanical Engineers:

  • Architectural, engineering, and related services
  • Machinery manufacturing
  • Scientific research and development services

Industries with the most competitive candidate pool for Mechanical Engineering:

  • Engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing
  • Machinery manufacturing
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services

Top paying industries for Mechanical Engineers:

  • Pipeline transportation of crude oil
  • Other pipeline transportation
  • Oil and gas extraction

How to find a job in mechanical engineering

You have done the research. Now it is time to start applying for a job. Enlisting the help of a Staffing Firm, such as Nesco Resource can help take the legwork out of perusing job boards and applying online. Staffing organizations have relationships with many companies across a wide array of industries. A staffing firm can help narrow your search based on your requirements and submit your resume to the hiring manager, saving you time and energy.

Getting ready for an interview

No matter how confident you feel, preparation is necessary. A good interview could mean the difference between you and another qualified candidate.

To prepare for your interview, look over the mock job description listed above and make a list of possible questions an employer may ask you. Practice answering those questions with a friend. The more you practice, the more confidence you will display during your interview.

Come prepared with a few questions of your own. What do you need to know? Are you confused about the specific responsibilities related to your position, shift information, or any required certifications for this role?

Take the opportunity when asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” to uncover more about the role, culture, and organization. Now is your time to interview the interviewer and decide if this is the right fit for you.

Come prepared with a list of previous experience and completed projects. If you are new to the field and do not bring years of experience, bring copies of your relevant work.

Never leave home without a printed copy of your resume. Your resume should detail your previous work experience and any courses or certifications that may help you land your dream job. Make yourself stand out. Good luck!

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