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Become A Machine Designer

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Working As A Machine 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

  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Machine 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 Machine 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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Machine Designer Career Paths

Machine Designer
Mechanical Designer Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Piping Designer Lead Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Manager Quality Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Owner Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Product Designer Product Design Engineer
Senior Product Design Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Product Engineer Product Development Manager
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Process Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Machine Designer?

Machine Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.5%

Unknown

7.0%

Female

6.5%
Ethnicity

White

67.0%

Black or African American

10.8%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.8%

German

16.7%

Korean

16.7%

Chinese

11.1%

Nepali

5.6%

French

5.6%

Hindi

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Arabic

5.6%
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Machine Designer Education

Schools

Purdue University

11.8%

A-Technical College

7.1%

Ferris State University

7.1%

College of DuPage

5.9%

Delta College

5.9%

University of Toledo

5.9%

Greenville Technical College

5.9%

University of South Florida

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

4.7%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.7%

More Tech Institute

4.7%

Moraine Valley Community College

3.5%

Sinclair Community College

3.5%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

3.5%

San Antonio College

3.5%

Erie Community College

3.5%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

3.5%

Lawrence Technological University

3.5%

Rock Valley College

3.5%

Western Michigan University

3.5%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

28.4%

Drafting And Design

24.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

8.8%

Engineering

5.4%

Business

4.9%

Industrial Technology

3.7%

Precision Metal Working

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Management

2.5%

Project Management

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Education

1.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.5%

General Studies

1.2%

Industrial Engineering

1.2%

Manufacturing Engineering

1.2%

Engineering Technology

1.0%

Mathematics

1.0%

Mechatronics And Robotics

1.0%
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Degrees

Other

29.4%

Bachelors

28.0%

Associate

24.6%

Masters

8.9%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Highest Machine Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Hybrid Electric Machine Designer Remy Inc. Pendleton, IN Jan 30, 2012 $100,000
Machine Learning Algorithm Designer Complete Genomics Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 30, 2014 $95,790
Automated Machine Designer Impco Technologies, Inc. Santa Ana, CA Mar 01, 2014 $92,500 -
$108,000
Automated Machine Designer Impco Technologies Inc. Santa Ana, CA Mar 01, 2014 $92,500 -
$108,000
Machine Designer Becton, Dickinson and Company Columbus, NE Oct 17, 2016 $68,500
Machine Designer Energy Innovations, Inc. Poway, CA Jan 15, 2011 $52,208 -
$61,000

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Top Skills for A Machine Designer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. Assembly Line
  3. Autocad
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design assorted machinery to support semi -automated assembly lines.
  • Designed and made presentations of systems and did mechanical drawings of proposed robotic/automation solutions using AutoCAD.
  • Designed custom machinery and provided production manufacturing and engineering documentation.
  • Utilize SolidWorks to create 3D modeling to manage design and development of proprietary machine design.
  • Developed Crimp Hand Tool Design with Press Master Tooling to meet customer specifications.

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Top Machine Designer Employers

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