MECHANICAL ENGINEERS research, develop, design, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. They are involved with the production, transmission, and use of mechanical power and heat. They design and develop power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, steam and gas turbines, and jet and rocket engines. They also design and develop power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, materials handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. They design the tools needed by other engineers for their work.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $80,500 average per year ($38.75 per hour)
- A large occupation (234,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.6% per year)
A bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program is usually required for beginning MECHANICAL ENGINEER jobs. Some employers prefer a master's degree. Graduate training is essential for engineering faculty positions. High school courses should include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and physics. Courses in mechanical drawing and drafting, computer science, machine shop, and business administration will also be helpful. Many engineers obtain graduate degrees to learn new technology and broaden their education, and enhance promotion opportunities.