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Fuel Cell Engineer Careers

Fuel cell engineers design and build structures known as fuel cells that generate electricity through a chemical hydrogen reaction. Many engineers, including fuel cell engineers, share some main tasks, including the responsibility for the production of design plans. They track the building of prototypes, test and adjust their products so that their development is carried out as desired. They also record their efforts and will take part in the manufacturing process until the product is finished.

On a daily basis, fuel cell engineers often write scientific papers or suggestions on engineering projects. They may also perform analysis using electromechanical or methodological diagnosis. Not only that, but they also provide professional advice and recommendations regarding the manufacturing of the systems.

If you are good at using statistical tools and enjoy hands-on activities, then becoming a fuel cell engineer may be the right career path. This requires an extensive amount of thinking and analyzing. You must also be ready to read a lot of research on fuel cells, attend seminars or workshops, and be good at discussing innovations and competitive goods with your colleagues. Being a creative thinker is a critical skill for this role.

What Does a Fuel Cell 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.

How To Become a Fuel Cell 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 Salary
$79,864
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
14,618
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Fuel Cell Engineer

Fuel Cell Engineers in America make an average salary of $79,864 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $101,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $62,000 per year.
Average Salary
$79,864
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Leandro, CA
Salary Range91k - 136k$111k$111,425
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range70k - 103k$86k$85,616
Albany, NY
Salary Range71k - 101k$85k$85,334
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range69k - 99k$83k$83,113
Pontiac, MI
Salary Range67k - 94k$80k$79,674
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range65k - 96k$79k$79,319
$57k
$136k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Engineer-Nand Cell
Engineer-Nand Cell
Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc.
03/16/2021
03/16/2021
$97,50003/16/2021
$97,500
Nand Cell Engineer
Nand Cell Engineer
Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc.
03/09/2021
03/09/2021
$100,00003/09/2021
$100,000
Battery Cell Engineer
Battery Cell Engineer
Rivian Automotive, LLC
Rivian Automotive, LLC
03/05/2021
03/05/2021
$100,00003/05/2021
$100,000
Engineer-Cell
Engineer-Cell
Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc.
02/11/2021
02/11/2021
$118,00002/11/2021
$118,000
Lithium ION Cell Engineer
Lithium ION Cell Engineer
FCA Us LLC
FCA Us LLC
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$105,00001/27/2021
$105,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Fuel Cell Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

77.0 %

female

15.9 %

unknown

7.1 %

Ethnicity

White

72.8 %

Asian

15.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

French

22.2 %

Spanish

22.2 %

Chinese

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Fuel Cell Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

64.2 %

Masters

20.0 %

Certificate

5.0 %

Top Colleges for Fuel Cell Engineers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Fuel Cell Engineer That You May Like

Equivalent Circuit Cell Model Simulation
coursera

This course can also be taken for academic credit as ECEA 5731, part of CU Boulder's Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. In this course, you will learn the purpose of each component in an equivalent-circuit model of a lithium-ion battery cell, how to determine their parameter values from lab-test data, and how to use them to simulate cell behaviors under different load profiles. By the end of the course, you will be able to: - State the purpose for each component in an equivalent...

Cell Biology: Mitochondria
edX (Global)

The cell is a powerful case study to help us explore the functional logic of living systems. All organisms, from single-celled algae to complex multicellular organisms like us, are made up of cells. In this course, you will learn the how and why of biology by exploring the function of the molecular components of cells, and how these cellular components are organized in a complex hierarchy. This course is designed to explore the fundamentals of cell biology. The overarching goal is for learners...

The Little Stuff: Energy, Cells, and Genetics
coursera

In this course, we will explore the smaller side of biology: molecular biology. We'll cover basic topics including cell biology and how cells can go "rogue" and turn into cancer, how energy from the sun is transferred to fuel our bodies, basics of genetics and inheritance, and genetic technologies. At the end of this course, we will discuss ethical and moral implications of several exciting and new genetic technologies...

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Top Skills For a Fuel Cell Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 33.9% of fuel cell engineers listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as mechanical skills and creativity are important as well.

Best States For a Fuel Cell Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a fuel cell engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nevada, and New Mexico. Fuel cell engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $101,998. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $93,353 and $90,374, respectively. While fuel cell engineers would only make an average of $87,180 in New Mexico, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Fuel Cell Engineer Jobs:
734
Highest 10% Earn:
$136,000
Location Quotient:
1.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Fuel Cell Engineer Jobs:
3,340
Highest 10% Earn:
$150,000
Location Quotient:
1.84
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Mexico

Total Fuel Cell Engineer Jobs:
118
Highest 10% Earn:
$122,000
Location Quotient:
0.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Fuel Cell Engineer Employers

1. Micron Technology
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$98,856
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
38+
2. General Motors
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$87,097
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
14+
3. Tesla
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$88,884
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
7+
4. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$106,143
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
6+
5. Plug Power
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$91,173
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
5+
6. Rivian Automotive
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$91,416
Fuel Cell Engineers Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020