What Does A Mechanical Engineer Do?

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A mechanical engineer is typically tasked with designing, building and testing mechanical devices, power-producing machines, and power-using machines. These engineers play an important role in many industries including automotive, computer and electronics, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. What does a mechanical engineer do?

What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering is an engineering branch that deals with the construction and production of a wide variety of machines and systems. It is one of the most diverse and versatile engineering fields.

The focus in mechanical engineering is primarily on information and automation technology. The demands on machines are becoming increasingly diverse and complex, which is why there are always new tasks for trained mechanical engineers and their profession.

Tasks, skills, background and salary of a mechanical engineer
Role overview of a mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers develop all the devices and production systems that provide efficient services in various industries. 

Responsibilities of a mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers are primarily responsible for producing specifications for the design, development and installation of mechanical components, tools and systems. Mechanical engineering is a very broad field but the majority of engineers in it work in manufacturing, research and development.

They are required to assess project requirements and then plan and create mechanical designs for new products. They also measure the performance of mechanical components, develop testing processes, and perform testing of new designs. 

Tasks of a mechanical engineer
Tasks of a mechanical engineer

These engineers maintain and modify equipment when needed and create construction concepts. They also manufacture prototypes and are typically involved in the research and development of mechanical designs.

They create detailed documentation to track the progress of a design process and collaborate with other engineering teams, when necessary.

What are the responsibilities of a mechanical engineer?

  • Producing specifications for the design, development and installation of mechanical components, tools and systems
  • Assess project requirements 
  • Plan and create mechanical designs for new products
  • Measure the performance of mechanical components
  • Develop testing processes
  • Perform testing of new designs
  • Maintain and modify equipment when needed
  • Create construction concepts
  • Manufacture prototypes
  • Research and develop mechanical designs
  • Create detailed documentation to track the progress of a design process
  • Collaborate with other engineering teams

Looking for mechanical engineers?
Skills of a mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers have extensive knowledge of engineering concepts as well as a high level of technical and scientific knowledge. They have excellent mathematical skills and have the ability to write clear technical documentation.

They also possess strong computer skills, and have experience working with engineering platforms such as CAD, CAM, and Matlab.

Skills of a mechanical engineer
Skills of a mechanical engineer

These engineers are extremely creative when it comes to solving problems and are able to work well in a team. They also possess strong planning and organizational skills and have a basic understanding of concepts related to IT.

These engineers work well under pressure, have effective technical skills and are able to run simulations and analyze test data.

What are the skills of a mechanical engineer?

  • Extensive knowledge of engineering concepts 
  • High level of technical and scientific knowledge
  • Excellent mathematical skills 
  • Ability to write clear technical documentation
  • Strong computer skills
  • Experience working with engineering platforms such as CAD, CAM and Matlab
  • Strong creative ability
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong planning and organizational skills
  • Basic understanding of IT concepts
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Effective technical skills
  • Ability to run simulations and analyze test data

Background

A Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is the first step to working as a mechanical engineer. However, you can also have a degree in other engineering subjects such as aeronautical, agricultural, manufacturing engineering or nuclear. 

Some employers may also require you to have a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

You can also boost your career prospects by completing online courses and achieving certification. A few options for these are as follows:

Salary

The salary of a mechanical engineer depends on a few factors. From industry to position, lots of factors can affect pay. 

Entry-level engineers can earn approximately $70,200 annually. The average salary for engineers with a few years of experience is $88,400 whereas for senior engineers, the salary can go up to $111,900.

The salary range in Germany for mechanical engineers is between €49.600 to €71.000 while in the UK, it ranges from £22,000 to £48,000.

How much do mechanical engineers make?

Junior $70,200
Average $88,400
Senior $111,900

How much do freelance mechanical engineers make?

The average hourly rate of a freelance mechanical engineer is $ 56.
Average hourly rate of a freelance mechanical engineer (freelancermap rate index, July 2021)

Find mechanical engineering jobs here:
> Mechanical Engineering jobs (opens in a new tab)”>>> Mechanical Engineering jobs

Stefania Volpe

Stefania joined the international team at freelancermap in 2020. She loves marketing, the digital world, foreign languages and meeting different cultures. She moved from Italy to Germany thanks to an exchange program at the university and worked as marketing manager for several startups. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com.

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