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Become A Senior Mechanical Engineer

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $96,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs

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Senior Mechanical Engineer Career Paths

Senior Mechanical Engineer
Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Product Development Manager Research And Development Director
Vice President Of Research And Development
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Senior Project Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Senior Design Engineer Senior Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Unit Manager Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Reservoir Engineer Senior Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Mechanical Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Senior Mechanical Engineer
Engineer 4.3%
Top Careers After Senior Mechanical Engineer
Engineer 3.2%
Consultant 2.8%

Do you work as a Senior Mechanical Engineer?

Senior Mechanical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.3%

Unknown

9.6%

Female

6.1%
Ethnicity

White

55.3%

Asian

15.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

20.9%

Carrier

13.5%

Chinese

11.6%

Mandarin

9.8%

French

9.8%

German

7.0%

Russian

6.0%

Japanese

3.7%

Arabic

2.8%

Italian

2.3%

Hindi

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Cantonese

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Bulgarian

0.9%

Hungarian

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Romanian

0.9%

Greek

0.9%
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Senior Mechanical Engineer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

10.6%

Purdue University

7.3%

San Jose State University

7.0%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

5.8%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.7%

San Diego State University

4.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.2%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.0%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

University of Central Florida

3.9%

University of Houston

3.8%

University of Washington

3.7%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.5%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

66.9%

Business

6.2%

Engineering

4.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Drafting And Design

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Aerospace Engineering

2.0%

Management

1.7%

Project Management

1.6%

Industrial Technology

1.2%

Electrical Engineering

1.1%

Industrial Engineering

1.0%

Civil Engineering

0.9%

Engineering Technology

0.8%

Manufacturing Engineering

0.8%

Physics

0.8%

Computer Science

0.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.8%

Finance

0.8%

Engineering Mechanics

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.8%

Masters

30.7%

Other

8.7%

Doctorate

4.4%

Associate

3.0%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$96,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$73,000
Min 10%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$124,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
5.1 years
How much does a Senior Mechanical Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Mechanical Engineer in the United States is $96,215 per year or $46 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $73,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Senior Mechanical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Mechanical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Apr 25, 2016 $190,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Nov 09, 2016 $190,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer QPS Engineering, LLC Tulsa, OK Oct 10, 2016 $187,830 -
$438,270
Senior Mechanical Engineer QPS Engineering, LLC Ashville, OH Oct 10, 2016 $187,830 -
$438,270
Senior Mechanical Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 09, 2015 $186,768
Senior Mechanical Engineer Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Redmond, WA Feb 27, 2015 $181,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Redmond, WA May 11, 2015 $181,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Giant Magellan Telescope Organization Corp. Pasadena, CA Aug 29, 2016 $180,000
Senior Engineer Mechanical BW Offshore USA Management Inc. Houston, TX Jun 30, 2016 $180,000
Mechanical Senior Engineer BW Offshore USA Management Inc. Houston, TX Jan 19, 2015 $170,000 -
$210,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 15, 2016 $170,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Feb 08, 2016 $170,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 14, 2016 $170,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Cameron International Corporation Houston, TX Sep 15, 2015 $114,400
Senior Mechanical Engineer Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 24, 2015 $114,150 -
$122,900
Senior II-Mechanical Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Oct 16, 2015 $113,750
Senior II-Mechanical Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Dec 29, 2016 $113,750
Senior Mechanical Engineer National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX Oct 02, 2015 $113,558
Senior Mechanical Engineer Masimo Corporation Irvine, CA Aug 13, 2016 $113,131 -
$126,000
Senior Mechanical Analysis Engineer ASML Us, Inc. Wilton, CT Sep 10, 2015 $95,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Clarcor Inc. Columbia, TN Sep 13, 2016 $95,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer ARUP North America Ltd. San Francisco, CA Jul 12, 2015 $94,500
Senior Mechanical Engineer ARUP North America Ltd. San Francisco, CA Jul 24, 2015 $94,500
SR. Mechanical Engineer I CB&I Inc. Houston, TX May 02, 2016 $94,430
Senior Mechanical Engineer Arms Reliability Engineers LLC Austin, TX Jan 12, 2016 $94,082
Senior Mechanical Engineer Arms Reliability Engineers LLC Austin, TX Nov 30, 2016 $94,000 -
$100,000
Senior Mechanical Engineer Formosa Plastics Corporation, Texas Point Comfort, TX Jan 09, 2016 $94,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Mechanical Engineer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. New Product Development
  3. Mechanical Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Contract engineer assigned to the facilities mechanical engineering department as a Senior Mechanical Engineer.
  • Design of automated equipment and fixtures for manufacturing improvements, and supporting new product development.
  • Performed mechanical designs for various environmental projects throughout Florida Georgia, North and South Carolina.
  • Contract engineering services for multiple clients specializing in SolidWorks and Pro/ENGINEER design, technical leadership, and schedule/budget management.
  • Managed and utilized PhD consultants in materials, acoustics, mathematical modeling and finite element analysis.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Mechanical Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Alaska
  4. Texas
  5. New Mexico
  6. Delaware
  7. New Hampshire
  8. California
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Maryland
  • (1,293 jobs)
  • (351 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)
  • (2,994 jobs)
  • (188 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (386 jobs)
  • (7,080 jobs)
  • (1,618 jobs)
  • (850 jobs)

Top Senior Mechanical Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Mechanical Engineer Employers

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