Mechanical Engineer Job Description and Salary [Mechanical engineering]

Mechanical Engineer Job Description and Salary

Mechanical Engineer Career Profile

Mechanical engineers need a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree is typically needed to conduct research. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.


Nearly all entry-level mechanical engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology.

Mechanical engineering degree programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. Programs typically last 4 years, but many students take between 4 and 5 years to earn a degree. Mechanical engineering degree programs may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with other engineers and professionals, such as architects. They must listen to and analyze different approaches to the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

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