Occupation Overview: Mechanical Engineers

Occupation Overview: Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineering is a profession that deals with the design, development, construction, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is a branch of engineering that focuses on the creation of machinery, vehicles, and other mechanical devices.

Examples of Mechanical Engineering Jobs

Mechanical engineers work in a diverse range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, energy, manufacturing, and robotics. Some examples of mechanical engineering jobs include:

  • Designing and developing engines and turbines for power plants
  • Creating prototypes for new products, such as medical devices
  • Designing and testing HVAC systems for buildings
  • Developing and improving manufacturing processes
  • Designing and developing robots for various applications

Education and Training

To become a mechanical engineer, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field. Some employers may prefer or require a master’s degree, especially for more advanced or research-oriented positions. In addition to formal education, mechanical engineers may also benefit from on-the-job training and experience.

Career Progression

Mechanical engineers may progress through various levels of responsibility and leadership over time. Starting positions may include entry-level design or testing roles, while more experienced engineers may become project managers or team leaders. Some mechanical engineers may also go on to pursue advanced degrees or certifications to specialize in certain areas of the field.

Getting Started in the Field

If you are interested in becoming a mechanical engineer, there are several ways to get started. Consider pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering or a related field, gaining relevant experience through internships or co-op programs, and networking with professionals in the field. You may also want to consider pursuing professional certification through organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).


Mechanical engineering offers a range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities in a variety of industries. With the right education, training, and experience, you can build a successful career as a mechanical engineer and contribute to the development of new and innovative mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing mechanical devices. They also analyze problems and find solutions to improve products or processes. The salary for mechanical engineers varies depending on their job level and experience. The US national average salary for mechanical engineers ranges from $71,323.20 to $154,024.00.

Entry-level mechanical engineers earn an average salary of $82,180.80, while experienced mechanical engineers earn an average salary of $126,692.80. The salary data also shows that full-time mechanical engineers earn an average salary of $100,422.40, with level 07 and level 08 being the lowest paid full-time levels and level 12 being the highest paid full-time level.

The presence of a union can affect the job and salary of mechanical engineers. Non-unionized mechanical engineers earn an average salary of $100,734.40, while time-based pay mechanical engineers earn an average salary of $100,464.00. It is worth noting that being unionized does not necessarily guarantee a higher salary.

The geography where mechanical engineers work can also affect their salary. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA area is the best-paid region for mechanical engineers, with nonunionized mechanical engineers earning an average salary of $140,878.40. Conversely, the Kansas nonmetropolitan area is the least paid region, with full-time mechanical engineers earning an average salary of $75,316.80.

Overall, mechanical engineering is a lucrative career with a salary that varies depending on factors such as job level, experience, and geographic location.

| Job Level | Salary Range |
| — | — |
| Entry | $82,180.80 – |
| Experienced | $126,692.80 – |
| Level 07 | $71,427.20 – $73,424.00 |
| Level 08 | $74,776.00 – $71,489.60 |
| Level 09 | $89,211.20 – $87,131.20 |
| Level 10 | $94,328.00 – $96,824.00 |
| Level 11 | $113,484.80 – $109,886.40 |
| Level 12 | $153,940.80 – $141,481.60 |
| Not able to be leveled | $101,961.60 -$90,438.40 |