As a senior mechanical engineer, you must design and upgrade mechanical devices together with industrial equipment and mechanisms. You are expected to also validate the materials and substance, ensure the operation satisfies the economic objective from clients' designation and demands, and track the manufacturing operation. Furthermore, you must come up with tactical methods for enhancement in operations and boosting workers' efficiency.

As a senior mechanical engineer, you will conduct a series of analytical tests to ensure the durability and proficiency of the team and work together with clients towards any plan modification if required. You will also direct mechanical plans, carry out tension examinations, and oversee machine performance conditions. You must demonstrate good analytical, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills.

In addition, you must be creative and be a team player. You must as well acquire a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in mechanical engineering, engineering technology or a related field. With this, you will conveniently earn a yearly average salary of $91,928 or $44.2 per hour.

What Does a Senior Mechanical Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many senior mechanical engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, listening skills and math skills.

Learn more about what a Senior Mechanical Engineer does

How To Become a Senior Mechanical Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a senior mechanical engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 72.6% of senior mechanical engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 17.6% of senior mechanical engineers have master's degrees. Even though most senior mechanical engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Senior Mechanical Engineer Job Description

A senior mechanical engineer is a highly experienced and trained engineering professional in charge of managing junior employees as well as designing and handling new mechanical devices and systems. Their duties also include tutoring new employees and conducting tests and repairs as necessary.

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Senior Mechanical Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Senior Mechanical Engineer

Senior Mechanical Engineers in America make an average salary of $103,836 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $136,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $79,000 per year.
Average Senior Mechanical Engineer Salary
$103,836 Yearly
$49.92 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Senior Mechanical Engineer

The role of a senior mechanical engineer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general senior mechanical engineer responsibilities:

  • Design and develop physics-based thermo-fluid models of hvac components, including refrigerant properties
  • Uses standard and advanced technical and mathematical principles, theories, concepts, techniques, processes,
  • Research and analyze data such as customer design proposal, specifications,

There are several types of senior mechanical engineer, including:

Project Engineer


A project engineer is responsible for the planning and implementation of a project. In collaboration with the management of the enterprise, they review proposals and come up with project goals. They break down the process and create a viable schedule, and then coordinate and monitor the work.

The project, as such, sounds vague because it depends on the industry they work for. In any case, they go on regular meetings with clients to make sure the the evolution of the work matches their vision. It is their responsibility to carry out the work within the budget or to propose adjustments to it if they see fit.

The project engineer will analyze the performance of their team and present progress reports to stakeholders to make sure everyone is at the top of their game.

  • Average Salary: $75,050
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Design Engineer


Do you love technical work and want to pursue your creative side at the same time? Maybe now's the time to take your sketch pads out of your shoebox and see those designs come to life. If you feel excited, guess you're on track to being a design engineer in the future.

A design engineer sounds fun, if you love research and innovation. I mean, who wouldn't want to see their discoveries and projects come alive, right? Recognition is another thing, but self-accomplishment matters the most. Apart from that, design engineers build their careers around traveling (no, not a vacation, though), interacting with people, and more... more technical duties. They are computer-savvy humans who would throw a fit over a system crash and computer virus (Like, who doesn't?). Their schedules are, well, usually messed-up. They work like regular employees during weekdays but could go over weekends and holidays as their job requires. So if you're planning to have a coffee date with a design engineer, just don't expect too much as they may meet a client in that coffee shop, too.

Generally, this job sounds fun, regardless of the pile of work and deadlines that have to be done. If you're someone who's always up for new things and discoveries, this might be the sign you're waiting for.

  • Average Salary: $77,134
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Mechanical Engineer


Mechanical engineers are those who can work on designing and planning engines and other equipment for the company. You will be in charge of maintenance, installation, operation, and repair of equipment. You will get the customer design proposals and will investigate failures and diagnose faulty equipment and report to the maintenance team. You will also handle discussions and solve problems together with manufacturing departments, suppliers, and customers. This means you will work with personnel within and outside the engineering team. Similarly, you will make sure the products are more reliable and perform well in the specific operating environments.

There is a list of accredited engineering courses you must have taken for you to be eligible for the post. A Master's or doctorate degree will be a plus. You must be creative, have a great team spirit and be able to work under pressure. In addition, you need to have good interpersonal skills and verbal and written communication skills. You will earn an average of $72,056 a year.

  • Average Salary: $75,352
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active senior mechanical engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where senior mechanical engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs By State

Senior Mechanical Engineer Education

Senior Mechanical Engineer Majors

Senior Mechanical Engineer Degrees


72.6 %


17.6 %


5.8 %

Top Colleges for Senior Mechanical Engineers

1. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Ames, IA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Senior Mechanical Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.6% of senior mechanical engineers listed mechanical engineering on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and listening skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Mechanical Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Senior Mechanical Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Senior Mechanical Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Senior Mechanical Engineer diversity

Senior Mechanical Engineer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among senior mechanical engineers, 5.8% of them are women, while 94.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among senior mechanical engineers is White, which makes up 68.0% of all senior mechanical engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among senior mechanical engineers is Spanish at 20.9%.

Online Courses For Senior Mechanical Engineer That You May Like

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Best States For a Senior Mechanical Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior mechanical engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Nevada, and Idaho. Senior mechanical engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $127,983. Whereas in California and Nevada, they would average $126,108 and $111,979, respectively. While senior mechanical engineers would only make an average of $109,506 in Idaho, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs: 1,627
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs: 8,168
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Nevada

Total Senior Mechanical Engineer Jobs: 279
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Senior Mechanical Engineers

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Top Senior Mechanical Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Senior Mechanical Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Applied Materials$120,635$58.0025
3Bechtel Corporation$113,385$54.5178
5TRW Automotive Holdings$106,045$50.9826
7Westinghouse Appliances Australia$104,566$50.2722
8ASM International N.V.$103,420$49.72101
10General Electric$101,473$48.7923

Senior Mechanical Engineer Videos

Becoming a Senior Mechanical Engineer FAQs

How Many Years Does It Take To Be A Senior Engineer?

It takes about ten years to become a senior engineer. First, you must meet the educational requirements and then gain sufficient work experience in your industry.

To become a senior engineer requires, at minimum, a four-year bachelor's degree in an engineering field. For some more competitive senior engineering positions, however, a master's degree may be required.

Is 35 Too Old To Become A Mechanical Engineer?

No, 35 is not too old to become a mechanical engineer. The only requirements are based on hard and soft skills and do not rely on age as a factor. As long as a candidate is willing to follow through with education and training, their prospects are just as promising as a younger candidate with similar experience.

What Is The Highest Salary For A Mechanical Engineer?

The highest salary for a mechanical engineer falls around $110,000 per year. Depending on the candidate's experience level, employer, and location, that number could increase, though that is wholly at the employer's discretion.

What Makes A Senior Mechanical Engineer?

The leadership aspect of the position is what makes a senior mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers are responsible for building, researching, and maintaining a specific piece of machinery or group of machinery. Senior mechanical engineers supervise their teams, overseeing projects or offering assistance.

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