Mechanical engineering jobs are critical in technical industry companies, and they are often demanding, challenging and rewarding positions. These professionals may work in fields ranging from automotive and aeronautics to energy and more, with jobs available from entry-level to advanced positions across the country. Mechanical engineers may maintain or oversee others performing maintenance or operational work with a wide range of equipment. This may include repairing, maintaining or operating energy systems, engines and other machines. It may also include designing and planning for tools and other types of mechanical equipment.
Mechanical Engineer Education
The majority of mechanical engineer jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field such as electromechanical engineering, and job applicants are typically strong in areas related to math, science and physics. However, there are a small number of entry level positions available in the field that only require an associate's degree or a high school diploma. For those professionals who wish to advance in their field or to obtain a managerial position, a master's degree is often required. Some highly advanced positions require a PhD.
Mechanical Engineer Job Market
Nationally, in 2012 there were approximately 258,000 job openings for mechanical engineers, and this includes entry level to advanced or managerial positions in a wide range of business environments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, this figure is expected to increase to over 269,000 job openings in 2022. This represents growth in the number of available jobs by approximately 5 percent.
Mechanical Engineer Salaries
The salary for mechanical engineering jobs may vary based on a number of factors, including the location of the position, the job requirements, the experience and education level of the candidate, if the position requires travel and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, the median annual salary for mechanical engineers across the country was $80,580. The top-earning professionals in the country earned more than $120,000 per year.