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Become A Contract Mechanical Designer

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Working As A Contract Mechanical Designer

  • 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

  • $72,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Contract Mechanical Designer 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 Contract Mechanical Designer

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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Contract Mechanical Designer Career Paths

Contract Mechanical Designer
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Engineer Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Process Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contract Designer Project Manager Engineering Director
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Contractor-Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Contractor-Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Contractor-Design Engineer Senior Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer Senior Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Process Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Contract Mechanical Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Detailer/Designer 3.2 years
Contract Designer 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Contract Mechanical Designer
Draftsman 5.4%
Designer 4.6%
Top Careers After Contract Mechanical Designer
Designer 2.3%
Owner 1.9%
Engineer 1.7%

Do you work as a Contract Mechanical Designer?

Contract Mechanical Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

87.2%

Female

7.3%

Unknown

5.5%
Ethnicity

White

65.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

100.0%

Contract Mechanical Designer Education

Schools

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

8.2%

Brigham Young University

6.1%

A-Technical College

6.1%

University of Houston

6.1%

Austin Community College

6.1%

Kean University

6.1%

University of Utah

6.1%

Monroe Community College

6.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.1%

University of Wisconsin Extension

4.1%

California State University - Fullerton

4.1%

National University

4.1%

El Camino College

4.1%

Boise State University

4.1%

Madison Area Technical College

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

Naugatuck Valley Community College

4.1%

University of New Hampshire

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

De Anza College

4.1%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

34.3%

Mechanical Engineering

18.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

8.3%

Business

5.1%

Engineering Technology

4.2%

Engineering

3.7%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Project Management

3.2%

Education

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.8%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Management

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Architectural Engineering

1.4%

Civil Engineering

1.4%

Animation

1.4%

Architectural Technology

0.9%

Manufacturing Engineering

0.9%

Precision Metal Working

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.8%

Associate

27.2%

Other

24.1%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

7.3%

Diploma

1.9%
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Top Skills for A Contract Mechanical Designer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. Solid Models
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Originated new 3D CAD solid models and 2D detail drawings using AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
  • Designed and reverse-engineered precision surgical instruments for a new medical product line which utilized AutoCAD 2005.
  • Designed layouts and new configuration of factory processing equipment and upgraded quality control.
  • Used Pro/E Wildfire 2.0 for design and drafting of sheet metal, castings, and plastic parts.
  • Provide relief to existing designer during new product development.

How Would You Rate Working As a Contract Mechanical Designer?

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Top Contract Mechanical Designer Employers

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