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Become A Mechanical Systems Engineer

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Working As A Mechanical Systems 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

  • $84,052

    Average Salary

What Does A Mechanical Systems 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 Mechanical Systems 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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Do you work as a Mechanical Systems Engineer?

Mechanical Systems Engineer Jobs

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Mechanical Systems Engineer Career Paths

Mechanical Systems Engineer
Project Engineer Systems Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Contract Project Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Mechanical Engineer Project Engineering Manager Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Contract Mechanical Engineer Product Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
System Design Engineer Project Engineer Facility Engineer
Facilities/Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
System Design Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Contract Mechanical Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Mechanical Engineer Lead Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineering Manager Product Development Manager
Research And Development Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Mechanical Systems Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.4%
Engineer 4.0%
Top Employers After
Engineer 4.5%

Do you work as a Mechanical Systems Engineer?

Mechanical Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.3%

Female

9.4%

Unknown

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Asian

13.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

9.8%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.2%

German

10.5%

French

10.5%

Chinese

7.9%

Carrier

7.9%

Portuguese

5.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

Russian

2.6%

Dakota

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Gujarati

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Italian

2.6%
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Mechanical Systems Engineer Education

Schools

University of Central Florida

8.7%

Purdue University

7.7%

Northeastern University

6.7%

Washington State University

5.8%

Clarkson University

5.8%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.8%

San Jose State University

4.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.8%

Brigham Young University

4.8%

Wichita State University

4.8%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Tennessee Technological University

4.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.8%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

University of Idaho

3.8%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.8%

University of Florida

3.8%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

60.0%

Business

5.5%

Aerospace Engineering

4.7%

Engineering

4.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

4.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.5%

Aviation

2.2%

Chemical Engineering

2.0%

Management

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Physics

1.7%

Systems Engineering

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Drafting And Design

1.2%

Nuclear Engineering

1.2%

Electrical Engineering

1.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.0%

Project Management

0.7%

Engineering Technology

0.7%

Engineering Physics

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.6%

Masters

31.5%

Other

7.6%

Associate

3.2%

Doctorate

2.6%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Mechanical Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Mechanical and Systems Engineer Molecular Devices Sunnyvale, CA Sep 18, 2015 $131,976
Mechanical Engineer, Vision Systems Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 20, 2016 $111,717 -
$128,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer CTS Technical Services, Inc. Everett, WA Sep 15, 2013 $108,524
Steering System and Mechanical Engineer Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI Apr 11, 2015 $106,496 -
$125,000
Electro-Mechanical Engineer, Vehicle Systems Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Jun 25, 2012 $105,000
Electro-Mechanical Engineer, Vehicle Systems Tesla Motors, Inc. Hawthorne, CA Dec 17, 2010 $105,000
Electro-Mechanical Engineer, Vehicle Systems Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 17, 2010 $105,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer Memsic, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 23, 2016 $98,000
Mechanical System Engineer Caitin, Inc. Fremont, CA Feb 23, 2011 $95,000
Mechanical Engineer-Door Systems Faiveley Transport North America, Inc. Greenville, SC Sep 09, 2015 $92,000
Mechanical Engineer-Door Systems Faiveley Transport North America, Inc. Greenville, SC Aug 28, 2015 $92,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer Entegee, Inc. Indianapolis, IN Nov 03, 2009 $91,828
Mechanical Systems Engineer Eclipse Aerospace Albuquerque, NM Nov 01, 2010 $90,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer (GR. 63) Learjet, Inc. Wichita, KS Sep 27, 2010 $82,400
Mechanical Systems Engineer (GR. 63) Learjet, Inc. Wichita, KS Feb 18, 2010 $82,400
Senior Micro-Mechanical Systems Development Engine Evigia Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI May 15, 2012 $81,600
Mechanical Engineer, Refrigeration Systems Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Inc. Columbus, GA May 13, 2009 $80,480
Fuel Systems Applied Mechanics Engineer Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Nov 24, 2014 $80,000 -
$97,300
Mechanized Systems-Manufacturing Process Engineer Hypertherm Hanover, NH Mar 05, 2015 $78,150
Mechanical Engineer, Climate Systems Stulz Air Technology Systems, Inc. Frederick, MD Jul 09, 2016 $76,315
Mechanical Engineer-Systems Ikhana Group, Inc. CA Mar 17, 2012 $75,920
Mechanical Systems Engineer 2 Dematic Corp Grand Rapids, MI Jan 09, 2012 $70,000
Mechanical Engineer-Battery Systems Lg Chem Power, Inc. Troy, MI Jul 25, 2014 $70,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer Computer Task Group, Inc. Parkton, NC Oct 01, 2015 $69,727
Engineer-Fuel Systems Applied Mechanics Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Nov 03, 2014 $68,500 -
$83,000
Engineer-Fuel Systems Applied Mechanics Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Mar 11, 2014 $68,500 -
$83,000
Mechanical Systems Engineer-SR. Specialist Rolls-Royce Energy Systems OH Sep 27, 2011 $67,320
Fuel Systems Applied Mechanical Engineer Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Nov 24, 2013 $67,122 -
$82,400
Mechanical Systems Engineer Quest Global Services-Na Inc. Houston, TX Jan 06, 2016 $67,080

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Top Skills for A Mechanical Systems Engineer

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  1. Test Plans
  2. Engineering Drawings
  3. Mechanical Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Authored test plans in accordance with customer requirements and Military standards.
  • Coordinated with vendors on engineering drawings and technical manuals.
  • Provided owner reviews for mechanical systems and component designs from design agency for technical adequacy and compliance with facility license.
  • Delivered Manufacturing & Quality Engineering leadership in a safety-critical and deadline-driven aerospace process and manufacturing environment.
  • Negotiated/coordinated new face lift for Cadillac 2000 series Bose radio with the customer including updating Customer Requirement Documentation and appearance approvals.

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Top 10 Best States for Mechanical Systems Engineers

  1. California
  2. New Mexico
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Alaska
  5. Texas
  6. Maryland
  7. Delaware
  8. Arizona
  9. Virginia
  10. New Hampshire
  • (7,563 jobs)
  • (314 jobs)
  • (535 jobs)
  • (75 jobs)
  • (3,528 jobs)
  • (2,009 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (849 jobs)
  • (3,529 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)

Top Mechanical Systems Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Mechanical Systems Engineer Employers

Mechanical Systems Engineer Videos

Day in the Life: Manufacturing Engineer

A Day in the Life of an Engineer (Real Footage, Not Propaganda)

Career Advice on becoming a Mechanical Engineer by Nicola S (Full Version)

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