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Become A Lead Mechanical Engineer

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Working As A Lead Mechanical 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

  • $99,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Mechanical 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 Lead Mechanical 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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Lead Mechanical Engineer Career Paths

Lead Mechanical Engineer
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineering Manager Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Plant Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Plant Engineering Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Unit Manager Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineering Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer Engineering Group Leader Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer Senior Mechanical Designer Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Mechanical Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Lead Mechanical Engineer
Engineer 4.8%
Top Careers After Lead Mechanical Engineer
Manager 3.0%
Engineer 2.8%

Do you work as a Lead Mechanical Engineer?

Lead Mechanical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.1%

Unknown

11.4%

Female

6.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Asian

12.3%

Black or African American

10.6%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.9%

Carrier

15.9%

German

7.2%

Chinese

5.8%

French

5.8%

Russian

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Ukrainian

2.9%

Korean

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Turkish

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Dakota

1.4%

Persian

1.4%

Xiang

1.4%
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Lead Mechanical Engineer Education

Schools

University of Central Florida

7.1%

University of Houston

7.1%

Purdue University

7.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.1%

Northeastern University

6.4%

University of Texas at Austin

6.0%

Stevens Institute of Technology

6.0%

Texas A&M University

5.6%

University of Utah

4.9%

University of Florida

4.9%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.1%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

University of Washington

3.7%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

3.7%

George Washington University

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Lamar University

3.4%

Drexel University

3.4%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

67.5%

Business

7.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.8%

Engineering

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Drafting And Design

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Aerospace Engineering

1.6%

Management

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Civil Engineering

1.3%

Chemical Engineering

1.0%

Automotive Technology

0.9%

Graphic Design

0.9%

Engineering Technology

0.7%

Industrial Technology

0.7%

Electrical Engineering

0.7%

Manufacturing Engineering

0.7%

Industrial Engineering

0.7%

Systems Engineering

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.0%

Masters

28.4%

Other

9.8%

Associate

2.5%

Certificate

2.2%

Doctorate

2.1%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$99,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$73,000
Min 10%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$134,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
McDermott International
Highest Paying City
Burlingame, CA
Highest Paying State
Colorado
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Lead Mechanical Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Mechanical Engineer in the United States is $99,193 per year or $48 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $73,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $134,000.

Real Lead Mechanical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Mechanical Commissioning Engineer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Apr 26, 2013 $255,000
Lead Mechanical Commissioning Engineer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Mar 27, 2012 $250,000
Lead Mechanical Commissioning Engineer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Mar 11, 2011 $250,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Vector Engineering, Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Dec 23, 2013 $199,430 -
$218,112
Mechanical Discipline Lead Engineer Kelly Services, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Mar 10, 2016 $171,134
Lead Mechanical Engineer Fitbit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 02, 2015 $160,000 -
$175,000
Lead Engineer Mechanisms and Kinematics-Body Systems Nextev LLC San Jose, CA Mar 25, 2016 $135,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Halcrow, Inc. New York, NY May 27, 2010 $135,000
Lead Discipline Engineer-Mechanical Cementation USA, Inc. Sandy, UT Jan 08, 2016 $130,000 -
$140,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Gyrodata, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $127,042
Lead Mechanical Engineer Fitbit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $123,386
Lead Mechanical Engineer G.A.S. Unlimited, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2012 $120,000
Process/Mechanical Lead Engineer Conocophillips Company Houston, TX Aug 18, 2014 $118,414 -
$137,395
Mechanical Engineer/Project Lead DPR Construction, A General Partnership Redwood City, CA Jan 14, 2015 $105,726
Team Leader In Mechanical Engineering Direxa Engineering, LLC Lakewood, CO Oct 01, 2013 $105,001
Lead Mechanical Engineer Gradiant Corporation Woburn, MA Feb 18, 2016 $105,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Novel Microdevices LLC Annapolis, MD Jan 13, 2015 $104,350
Mechanical Engineer/Leadperson USA Shade & Fabric Structures Inc. Dallas, TX May 02, 2008 $104,287
Lead Mechanical Engineer CRC-Evans Pipeline International, Inc. Tulsa, OK Sep 01, 2015 $103,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Broussard, LA Nov 22, 2016 $101,400
Mechanical Engineer Lead/Supervisor MWH Americas, Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 01, 2012 $100,813
Lead Mechanical Engineer Magna Electronics, Inc. Troy, MI Aug 01, 2011 $90,000
Lead Gradient Mechanical Engineer General Electric Company-Healthcare Florence, SC Sep 18, 2015 $90,000 -
$100,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer-Gradient Coils General Electric Company Florence, SC Aug 30, 2016 $90,000 -
$100,000
Team Leader In Mechanical Engineering Department Direxa Engineering, LLC Lakewood, CO Oct 01, 2010 $88,525
Mechanical Lead Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2016 $86,628
Lead Mechanical Project Engineer General Electric Company-Infrastructure Houston, TX Jul 07, 2011 $85,000
Lead Mechanical Engineer Midtronics, Inc. Willowbrook, IL Nov 15, 2013 $85,000 -
$95,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Mechanical Engineer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. CAD
  3. Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinate with Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering departments to design for product function according to customer specifications.
  • Developed and modify existing standard CADD drawings to reflect customer requirements.
  • Planned and implemented effective strategies to improve plant and facility processes, enhance reliability, and achieve organizational goals and objectives.
  • Traveled to international locations to provide project management, or for business development activities.
  • Provided technical support for the installation of core and non-core mechanical equipment and systems for continuous and electroplating galvanizing lines.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Mechanical Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New Mexico
  3. California
  4. Alaska
  5. Texas
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Delaware
  8. Arizona
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Virginia
  • (325 jobs)
  • (171 jobs)
  • (6,221 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (2,576 jobs)
  • (354 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (596 jobs)
  • (1,359 jobs)
  • (1,724 jobs)

Top Lead Mechanical Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Lead Mechanical Engineer Employers

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