What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Learn all about Mechanical Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Mechanical Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A mechanical engineer is someone who designs, builds, and maintains mechanical systems. This can include everything from small parts like gears and springs to large systems like engines and turbines. Mechanical engineers use their knowledge of physics and math to figure out how to make these systems work together efficiently.

Mechanical Engineer job duties include:

  • Research, design, develop, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices
  • Supervise and inspect the work of technicians, technologists, and other engineers
  • Plan and manage projects, ensuring they are completed on time and within budget
  • Conduct experimental tests and analyze data to investigate potential ways to improve existing products or develop new ones
  • Investigate problems that have arisen with products or manufacturing processes
  • Develop prototypes of products using 3D printers or other means
  • Write technical reports documenting findings from research or experiments
  • Present findings to colleagues, clients, or upper management
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 2D or 3D models of parts or assemblies

Mechanical Engineer Job Requirements

A mechanical engineer typically needs a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field. They must also have strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Many employers also require mechanical engineers to be certified through the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Some experienced mechanical engineers may also choose to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. in engineering.

Mechanical Engineer Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Detail oriented
  • Good communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Teamwork

Related: Top Mechanical Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Mechanical Engineer

There are many different types of engineers, but one of the most important and in-demand is the mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, building, and testing machines and mechanical systems. They work in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and power generation.

To become a mechanical engineer, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited university. During your studies, you will take courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science, as well as specialized courses in mechanical engineering. Once you have earned your degree, you will need to pass the Engineering Exam to become a licensed engineer.

After becoming a licensed engineer, you can work your way up the ladder at your chosen company. Many engineers start their careers as junior engineers or designers and then move into management positions. With experience, you can become a project manager or even a vice president.

If you want to become a mechanical engineer, you need to be good at problem solving and have strong analytical skills. You should also be able to communicate effectively and work well in teams. If you have these skills and attributes, then a career in mechanical engineering could be the right choice for you.

Related: Mechanical Engineer Resume Example

Related: Mechanical Engineer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)