What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Information Last Verified: August 24, 2021 by Jordan Fabel

Are you considering going to school to become a mechanical engineer? If so, do you really know everything that a mechanical engineer does?

Many things people use every day include an item that was the product of mechanical engineering. So whether it’s an HVAC system or the energy used to cook a meal, mechanical engineering was a part of making that possible.

From the buildings we call home to the cars we drive, you’ll find a mechanical engineer behind them.

Those seeking a challenging career that pays well should consider a mechanical engineering degree. But, first, let’s look at what a mechanical engineer does and a bit more about this field.

What does a Mechanical Engineer do

What is Mechanical Engineering?

One of the main things you’ll encounter in mechanical engineering is problem-solving. If you go into this field, you will use science and math to solve problems. It’s also common for mechanical engineers to improve the efficiency of a past accomplishment or product.

When you go to school and get a degree in mechanical engineering, you’ll likely work in one of many different industries, including:

There are many industries you work in if you become a mechanical engineer. This field is very broad as mechanical engineers play a very important role in product design and manufacturing. As a result, you’ll have a very diverse set of career opportunities to enjoy in this field.

Top Mechanical Engineer Jobs to Consider

Automotive Engineer

With a degree in mechanical engineering, you can work as an automotive engineer. This type of engineer works in the auto industry and helps to design new vehicles. Typically, an automotive engineer will work with consumer vehicles. However, you may also work with military vehicles and other types of vehicles.

Some mechanical engineers in the automotive industry may also work with alternative fuels. For example, you could work to develop new safety features or to make vehicles more aerodynamic.

Manufacturing Engineer

One of the most common positions someone with a degree in mechanical engineering can hold is a manufacturing engineer. This type of engineer helps to design machines to create products. So when a machine creates a part or product, a mechanical engineer was behind it.

You can work with many types of products in a variety of industries as a manufacturing engineer. So whether you want to work with food products, appliances, or another type of product, this position allows it.

Robotics Engineer

Another position you can enjoy with a degree in mechanical engineering is a job as a robotics engineer. This position will be in charge of developing robots for the manufacturing process. You will end up planning robotics and helping to build robots for many different reasons.

It’s common to find these robots in the design and technology field. Some are even used in the medical field.

Construction Engineer

Mechanical engineers can go into the construction industry to help develop ways to create buildings better. For example, they can work to improve systems for heating, ventilation, and cooling. Often, construction engineers also work to make sure buildings are safe for those inside them.

Process Engineer

Logical thinkers with a degree in mechanical engineering can become process engineers. This type of position will help to improve the way things are done. They work to ensure the safety and efficiency of a process is as good as possible.

As a process engineer, you can work in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and power or water supplies.

Common Duties of a Mechanical Engineer

No matter the industry you go into or the job you take, there are certain duties you’ll perform as a mechanical engineer. Some of the duties of a mechanical engineer include:

All of these duties and more are found with many of the positions a mechanical engineer can hold.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mechanical Engineers

How much can a mechanical engineer make?

According to indeed.com, the average annual salary of a mechanical engineer is about $92K. This position also comes with many common benefits, including health insurance, a 401(k), and more.

BLS.gov puts the average salary from 2020 for mechanical engineers at just over $90K. The average per hour pay is $43.35, according to this source.

What types of skills are necessary to become a mechanical engineer?

If you want to become a mechanical engineer, you should have a good idea of how to use current technology. It’s also good to have excellent problem-solving skills and creativity. Mechanical engineers should also possess good communication skills and the ability to work with a team.

What degrees are necessary to become a mechanical engineer?

If you want to become a mechanical engineer, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions will require an undergraduate degree. However, earning a graduate degree may qualify you for higher-paying positions, including higher education positions.

You will also need to get an engineering license in most jurisdictions. This may include passing the right licensing tests and having the right work experience.

How many hours will a mechanical engineer work?

Typically, mechanical engineers are hired to work a full-time job. This includes a 40-hour workweek or 8 hours per day. Some positions may require you to work overtime or additional hours.


Becoming a mechanical engineer can put you into a very rewarding career. If you want to design new devices, help create new products, and solve problems, this may be the perfect career for you.

Many students choose to become mechanical engineers due to the many different industries they can work in. With so many job opportunities and a high salary, it’s one of the most popular bachelor’s degrees for those with good math and science skills.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story takes more time. Coming soon!