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Become A Chief Engineer

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Working As A Chief Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $88,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Engineer Do

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Duties

Mechanical engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Mechanical engineers design and oversee the manufacture of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries.

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations.

Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Mechanical engineers are routinely responsible for the integration of sensors, controllers, and machinery. Computer technology helps mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, interact with connected systems, and generate specifications for parts.

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How To Become A Chief Engineer

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists. They must listen to and analyze different approaches made by other experts to complete the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific discoveries and use them to design and build useful products.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mechanical engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education to renew their licenses every year. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Several professional organizations offer a variety of certification programs for engineers to demonstrate competency in specific fields of mechanical engineering.

Advancement

A Ph.D. is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs. Mechanical engineers may earn graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance their project management skills. Mechanical engineers may become administrators or managers after obtaining the requisite experience.

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Average Length of Employment
Chief Engineer 5.0 years
Facility Engineer 3.9 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Hvac Engineer 3.4 years
Utility Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Chief Engineer
Engineer 14.7%
Owner 3.4%
Manager 2.5%
Top Careers After Chief Engineer
Engineer 10.3%
Owner 5.0%
Consultant 3.0%

Do you work as a Chief Engineer?

Chief Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.9%

Unknown

7.0%

Female

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.4%

Carrier

13.7%

French

9.6%

Russian

6.8%

German

4.8%

Chinese

3.6%

Italian

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Arabic

2.8%

Mandarin

2.4%

Portuguese

1.6%

Hindi

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Turkish

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Romanian

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Hungarian

0.8%

Norwegian

0.8%
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Chief Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

Ferris State University

7.5%

The Academy

6.7%

Purdue University

6.7%

Maine Maritime Academy

6.4%

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

5.8%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

Northeastern University

4.8%

Community College of the Air Force

4.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.2%

University of Washington

4.1%

More Tech Institute

4.1%

University of Houston

3.7%

A-Technical College

3.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.7%

Triton College

3.5%

National University

3.4%

Naval Postgraduate School

3.4%

Houston Community College

3.3%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

13.8%

Mechanical Engineering

13.7%

Business

13.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

8.8%

Engineering

8.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.8%

Civil Engineering

4.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.7%

Management

4.3%

Computer Science

3.3%

Marine Engineering

2.9%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Education

2.0%

General Studies

1.7%

Aerospace Engineering

1.7%

Project Management

1.6%

Communication

1.6%

Computer Engineering

1.5%

Automotive Technology

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

31.5%

Bachelors

28.6%

Masters

17.5%

Associate

9.3%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

3.2%

Doctorate

2.8%

License

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$88,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$125,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ball
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
5.4 years
How much does a Chief Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chief Engineer in the United States is $88,403 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Chief Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Engineer EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 12, 2013 $295,000
Chief Engineer X.Commerce San Jose, CA Sep 30, 2013 $295,000
Chief Engineer/Vice Oprona, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 15, 2015 $225,000
Chief Engineer/Vice Oprona, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 11, 2013 $225,000
Powertrain Chief Engineer Polaris Industries, Inc. Wyoming, MN Aug 18, 2014 $210,060
Chief Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Analyst Insidersreferral.com, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 04, 2015 $207,669
Chief Engineer Firebird Petroleum LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2013 $200,000
Chief Engineering Manager Rubicon Systems America, Inc. Fort Collins, CO Jul 01, 2013 $200,000 -
$240,000
Chief Engineer American Biocarbon LLC White Castle, LA Feb 05, 2016 $200,000
Chief Engineering Manager Rubicon Systems America, Inc. Fort Collins, CO Jun 30, 2015 $200,000 -
$240,000
Chief Engineer SGT, Inc. Greenbelt, MD Sep 04, 2015 $198,661
Chief Engineer Rrsat America-Global Communications Network Inc. Hawley, PA Jan 02, 2013 $180,000
Chief Engineering Officer 2253 Apparel Inc. Montebello, CA Aug 28, 2013 $175,000
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 18, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 01, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 15, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Declarativ, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 15, 2013 $125,000
Chief Engineer Declarativ, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 13, 2013 $125,000
Chief Engineer Phillips 66 Company Bartlesville, OK Oct 01, 2013 $123,440 -
$185,160
Chief Engineer Jason Fane DBA Ithaca Renting Company Ithaca, NY Apr 11, 2015 $122,678
Chief Engineer Complex Polygon, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 18, 2014 $103,787
Chief Underground Engineer Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Carlin, NV Aug 20, 2014 $102,752 -
$124,903
Chief Engineer Barrick Cortez, Inc. Crescent Valley, NV Jan 03, 2015 $100,000 -
$150,000
Chief Engineer-Underground Newmont USA Limited Carlin, NV Sep 28, 2013 $100,000 -
$175,000
Chief Chemical Engineering Quantum Materials Corp San Marcos, TX Sep 17, 2015 $100,000
Chief Chemical Engineering Quantum Materials Corp San Marcos, TX Sep 21, 2016 $100,000
Chief Engineer Blue Iron Foundations and Shoring, LLC Maitland, FL Mar 06, 2016 $100,000
Project Chief-Engineering Kyyba Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Jul 10, 2015 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Chief Engineer

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Life Safety Systems
  3. Hvac
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implement and handle preventative maintenance of all equipment and update/maintain appropriate logs.
  • Created and managed preventive maintenance and quality control programs, including fire/life safety systems and procedures.
  • Maintain and monitor facility systems including HVAC, security and telecommunications systems.
  • Maintain good working relationships with tenant Facility Managers as applicable through periodic visits and other activities.
  • Monitor and adjusted water treatment system for boilers, chilled water, closed loop secondary heating systems and domestic cold water.

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Top 10 Best States for Chief Engineers

  1. Texas
  2. Washington
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Wyoming
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Arizona
  9. Michigan
  10. New Hampshire
  • (1,967 jobs)
  • (798 jobs)
  • (1,071 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (4,779 jobs)
  • (584 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)
  • (444 jobs)
  • (689 jobs)
  • (231 jobs)

Top Chief Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Chief Engineer Employers

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