Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal devices such as tools, engines, machines, and heating systems. They may also oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment like gas, water, and steam systems.
Average Hourly Earnings
- Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve them
- Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices using analysis and computer-aided design
- Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
- Analyze the test results and change the design as needed
- Oversee the manufacturing process for devices
- Collaborate with engineers or others about operating procedures, fixing a system, or providing technical information
- Investigate equipment problems to diagnose faulty operations and to make recommendations to maintenance crew
- Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports
Mechanical engineers generally work in professional office settings. They may occasionally visit worksites when a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention. In most settings, they work with other engineers, engineering technicians, and other professionals as part of a team. Accuracy is fairly important in this job. Most mechanical engineers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours a week.
Investigative. Frequently requires working with ideas and involves an extensive amount of thinking. May involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.