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Become A Mechanical Designer

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Working As A 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

  • $61,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Mechanical Designer Jobs

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Mechanical Designer Career Paths

Mechanical Designer
Senior Designer Art Director Freelance Designer
Contract Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Plant Engineer Facility Engineer
Facilities/Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Lead Technician Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Senior Industrial Engineer
Industrial Engineering Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Consultant
13 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Principal Design Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Principal Mechanical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Senior Process Engineer Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Leader
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Drafter Design Drafter
Senior Drafter
6 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Facility Engineer
Senior Facilities Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Field Service Technician Maintenance Engineer
Senior Maintenance Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer Process Engineer
Senior Manufacturing Process Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Project Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer Senior Engineer
Staff Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Staff Mechanical Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Mechanical Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Machine Designer 4.3 years
Senior Designer 4.1 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Detailer/Designer 3.0 years
Contract Designer 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Mechanical Designer
Designer 9.7%
Drafter 6.9%
Draftsman 5.0%
Engineer 2.5%
Top Careers After Mechanical Designer
Designer 7.8%
Engineer 3.4%
Drafter 2.6%

Do you work as a Mechanical Designer?

Mechanical Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.7%

Female

10.9%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.8%

Carrier

11.6%

Chinese

7.2%

German

6.8%

Mandarin

6.3%

French

5.3%

Portuguese

4.8%

Japanese

3.9%

Russian

3.4%

Italian

2.9%

Vietnamese

2.4%

Cantonese

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Romanian

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Gujarati

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Bulgarian

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Malay

1.0%
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Mechanical Designer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

9.2%

Pennsylvania State University

6.5%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

6.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.9%

University of Houston

5.5%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

5.3%

Houston Community College

5.1%

Purdue University

4.7%

Fox Valley Technical College

4.5%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

4.5%

San Jose State University

4.5%

A-Technical College

4.5%

Hennepin Technical College

4.3%

Greenville Technical College

4.3%

Ferris State University

3.9%

Porter and Chester Institute

3.9%

State University of New York College of Technology at Alfred

3.7%

Weber State University

3.7%

Wake Technical Community College

3.5%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

33.4%

Mechanical Engineering

24.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

8.6%

Business

4.8%

Engineering

4.5%

Industrial Technology

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Engineering Technology

3.0%

Project Management

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

1.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Management

1.4%

Computer Science

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Manufacturing Engineering

1.0%

Architecture

0.9%

Precision Metal Working

0.9%

Education

0.9%

Computer Applications

0.9%

Civil Engineering

0.8%
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Degrees

Associate

30.7%

Bachelors

28.4%

Other

25.7%

Masters

6.7%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Real Mechanical Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mechanical Design 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 28, 2016 $140,000 -
$160,000
Hvac Mechanical Designer The Greenbusch Group, Inc. Seattle, WA Nov 30, 2016 $91,936 -
$100,000
Principal Mechanical Designer BISN Oil Tools LLC Houston, TX Aug 17, 2015 $85,000
Mechanical Designer Emergent Systems Corporation Farmington Hills, MI Sep 01, 2015 $83,000 -
$90,000
Mechanical Drafters Tata Consultancy Services Limited San Jose, CA Apr 10, 2015 $83,000
Mechanical Designer New Era Converting MacHinery, Inc. Paterson, NJ Oct 10, 2013 $82,228
Mechanical Designer Vercet, LLC Carrollton, TX Jun 01, 2015 $80,000
Mechanical Designer McCain Inc. Vista, CA Sep 28, 2015 $80,000
Mechanical Designer TME, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 15, 2015 $80,000
Mechanical Drafter South Texas Industries, Inc. Rosenberg, TX Apr 03, 2016 $79,269
Mechanical Designer Crane Co. Los Angeles, CA Sep 19, 2016 $78,000
Mechanical Designer McCain Inc. Vista, CA Oct 27, 2016 $77,106 -
$80,000
Mechanical Drafters TEC5USA, Inc. Plainview, NY Jul 08, 2014 $76,898
Mechanical Drafter Inline Design LLC Seattle, WA Jun 01, 2015 $66,000 -
$70,000
Mechanical Drafter Tata Consultancy Services Limited Houston, TX Nov 07, 2013 $66,000
Structural Analyst/Mechanical Designer Quest Global Services-Na Inc. Greenville, SC Jan 10, 2015 $65,941
Mechanical Designer Amistco Separations Products Inc. DBA Amacs Houston, TX Dec 08, 2014 $65,874
Mechanical Designer Martin Associates, Inc. Garden City Park, NY Jan 05, 2016 $65,000
Mechanical Designer Glumac San Francisco, CA Sep 13, 2014 $64,979
Mechanical Engineering Designer Symmes, Maini & McKee Associates, Inc. Cambridge, MA May 16, 2016 $64,917
Mechanical Designer Glumac Portland, OR Sep 12, 2013 $58,968
Mechanical Designer Seville Classics, Inc. Torrance, CA Sep 15, 2016 $58,000
Mechanical Designer CP Manufacturing, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 18, 2013 $57,893
Mechanical Designer CP Manufacturing, Inc. San Diego, CA Nov 13, 2014 $57,262
Mechanical Designer Jordan & Skala Engineers, Inc. Norcross, GA Aug 22, 2016 $57,262 -
$63,000
Mechanical Designer I Integrated Design Group, Inc. Boston, MA Aug 01, 2015 $57,000 -
$62,000
Mechanical Drafter Shapes Group Ltd. Co. Palm Bay, FL Sep 18, 2014 $55,994

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Mechanical Designer

Average Yearly Salary
$61,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$47,000
Min 10%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Lynnwood, WA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Mechanical Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mechanical Designer in the United States is $61,864 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $81,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Mechanical Designer?

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Top Skills for A Mechanical Designer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. CAD
  3. Solid Models
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Partnered closely with the Engineering Department, Quality Department and outside modification shops.
  • Designed multiple 3D/2D prototypes utilizing AutoCAD/Inventor to introduce concept visualization to other team members.
  • Researched assignments and developed complex mechanical designs including development of associated three dimensional solid models and manufacturing drawings.
  • Reviewed drawings, layouts, updated documentation and worked closely with manufacturing to ensure proper assembly procedures for newly acquired equipment.
  • Worked on Engineering Change Orders including modeling, detailing and making model/drawing revisions to current product designs and documentation.

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Top 10 Best States for Mechanical Designers

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. Delaware
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Alaska
  6. Louisiana
  7. Michigan
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Massachusetts
  10. New Mexico
  • (271 jobs)
  • (943 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (367 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (488 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)

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