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A senior mechanical engineer is responsible for designing and improving mechanical equipment, as well as industrial devices and machinery. Senior mechanical engineers verify the materials and resources, ensuring that the processes meet the budget goals from clients' specifications and requirements. They also monitor the manufacturing process, developing strategic procedures for operations improvement, and maximizing staff productivity. A senior mechanical engineer runs multiple diagnostic tests to guarantee the stability and efficiency of the item and coordinating with the client for any plan adjustments as needed.

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Senior Mechanical Engineer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real senior mechanical engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Create DFMEA documents to help manage risks and improve initial quality.
  • Set up and manage PCB manufacturing including all chemical baths, lasers, and exposure equipment.
  • Restructure VHDL code and chip/module hierarchy to achieve timing goals for the dual cache controller and the chip.
  • Achieve timely convergence of complex designs by building RTL models from validation area and integrating them, before official model release.
  • Lead FPGA development of key digital communication component used in successful demonstration of spacecraft radio link.
  • Manage mechanical design, stress analysis, and machine parts manufacturing processes with outside suppliers to satisfy test facility delivery requirements.
  • Facilitate product development by producing creative ultrasound test fixtures & the first generation targeting catheter designs using SolidWorks.
  • Accelerate the PSA vessel fatigue analysis by automating FEA model creations and standardizing the report template.
  • Perform high pressure accumulator nitrogen sizing calculations using both hand calculation and commercial software per API 16D.
  • Coordinate design efforts of mechanical and electrical designers to insure product compliance with regulatory agency (UL).
  • Train lab technicians in prototype assembly, ISO 14310 / API 11D1 testing methods, and troubleshooting procedures.
  • Assist test engineers in debugging test vectors, pinpoint design bugs and provide design change suggestion to RTL designer.
  • Design, prototyped, and test a novel tool-less attachment and grounding device for securing module level power electronics.
  • Perform novel CFD analysis of high rate gas flow and apply the results in a dynamic FEA on a metal sub-assembly.
  • Perform thermal analysis on new designs with natural convection and force air cooling using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software.

Senior Mechanical Engineer Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a Senior Mechanical Engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a Senior Mechanical Engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, Senior Mechanical Engineers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of Senior Mechanical Engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 12,800.

On average, the Senior Mechanical Engineer annual salary is $99,024 per year, which translates to $47.61 an hour. Generally speaking, Senior Mechanical Engineers earn anywhere from $77,000 to $126,000 a year, which means that the top-earning Senior Mechanical Engineers make $49,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a Senior Mechanical Engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a Lead Design Engineer, Design Engineer, Staff Engineer, and Tool Engineer.

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12 Senior Mechanical Engineer Resume Examples

Senior Mechanical Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 23% of Senior Mechanical Engineers are proficient in Engineering Design, CAD, and Solidworks. They’re also known for soft skills such as Creativity, Listening skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Senior Mechanical Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Engineering Design, 23%

    Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.

  • CAD, 7%

    Scrutinized the organization to determine the direction including allegiances to CAD, political complexities, future productivity and staffing complement.

  • Solidworks, 7%

    Create 3-dimensional designs and drawings with SolidWorks software of innovative safety equipment for new and existing product development and manufacturing.

  • Electrical Systems, 4%

    Manage construction and technical teams supporting retrofits, troubleshooting, maintenance and decommissioning of all mechanical and electrical systems.

  • Hvac, 4%

    Contributed to the development of new industrial HVAC systems in a global multidisciplinary work environment.

  • Creo, 3%

    Led the development CREO Advanced Model Rendering training course and taught class to all Mechanical Engineering Departments.

Most Senior Mechanical Engineers list "Engineering Design," "CAD," and "Solidworks" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important Senior Mechanical Engineer responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a Senior Mechanical Engineer to have happens to be Creativity. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that Senior Mechanical Engineers can use Creativity to "Utilized AutoCAD Inventor software and 3D modeling structural analysis techniques to increase drawing accuracy and reduce errors. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many Senior Mechanical Engineer duties rely on Listening skills. This example from a Senior Mechanical Engineer explains why: "Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists." This resume example is just one of many ways Senior Mechanical Engineers are able to utilize Listening skills: "Communicated with the end user and other engineering groups to ensure equipment was designed to fulfill project/customer requirements. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among Senior Mechanical Engineers is Math skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a Senior Mechanical Engineer resume: "Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "Modeled with CAD, FEA, Mathcad and Excel. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "Mechanical skills" is important to completing Senior Mechanical Engineer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way Senior Mechanical Engineers use this skill: "Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical Senior Mechanical Engineer tasks: "Designed and developed the mechanical aspects of new products under FDA guidelines. "
  • As part of the Senior Mechanical Engineer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "Problem-solving skills." A Senior Mechanical Engineer resume included this snippet: "Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific principles and discoveries and use them to design and build useful products." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "Delivered Mechanical design solutions in compliance to internal Standard Operating Procedures and Federal Regu-lation Association (FDA). "
  • See the full list of Senior Mechanical Engineer skills.

    Before becoming a Senior Mechanical Engineer, 72.6% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 17.6% Senior Mechanical Engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most Senior Mechanical Engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine Senior Mechanical Engineers didn't attend college at all.

    Those Senior Mechanical Engineers who do attend college, typically earn either Mechanical Engineering degrees or Engineering degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Senior Mechanical Engineers include Mechanical Engineering Technology degrees or Business degrees.

    When you're ready to become a Senior Mechanical Engineer, you might wonder which companies hire Senior Mechanical Engineers. According to our research through Senior Mechanical Engineer resumes, Senior Mechanical Engineers are mostly hired by Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, and Raytheon. Now is a good time to apply as Black & Veatch has 52 Senior Mechanical Engineers job openings, and there are 45 at Burns & McDonnell and 32 at Raytheon.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, Senior Mechanical Engineers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Superpedestrian. Take Microsoft for example. The median Senior Mechanical Engineer salary is $157,566. At NVIDIA, Senior Mechanical Engineers earn an average of $140,747, while the average at Superpedestrian is $125,833. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on Senior Mechanical Engineer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire Senior Mechanical Engineers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company, and Northrop Grumman.

    In general, Senior Mechanical Engineers fulfill roles in the Technology and Manufacturing industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the Senior Mechanical Engineer annual salary is the highest in the Technology industry with $101,901 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the Energy and Construction industries pay $101,383 and $100,946 respectively. This means that Senior Mechanical Engineers who are employed in the Technology industry make 3.4% more than Senior Mechanical Engineers who work in the Manufacturing Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious senior mechanical engineers are:

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    What Lead Design Engineers Do

    A Lead Design Engineer produces design solutions that can be purchased, installed, and commissioned effectively. They are also responsible for the cost-effectiviness and safety of new designs.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take Lead Design Engineer for example. On average, the Lead Design Engineers annual salary is $3,343 higher than what Senior Mechanical Engineers make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between Senior Mechanical Engineers and Lead Design Engineers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like Engineering Design, CAD, and Solidworks.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A Senior Mechanical Engineer responsibility is more likely to require skills like "Electrical Systems," "Creo," "Facility," and "Autocad." Whereas a Lead Design Engineer requires skills like "Hardware," "Layout," "FEA," and "Matlab." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Lead Design Engineers receive the highest salaries in the Automotive industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $95,543. But Senior Mechanical Engineers are paid more in the Technology industry with an average salary of $101,901.

    The education levels that Lead Design Engineers earn is a bit different than that of Senior Mechanical Engineers. In particular, Lead Design Engineers are 4.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a Senior Mechanical Engineer. Additionally, they're 0.9% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Design Engineer?

    A design engineer is responsible for creating systems and applications based on their expertise. Design engineers work through client specifications based on business needs. A design engineer also provides recommendations on improving existing systems to boost its performance and increase efficiency. Design engineers must have an excellent command of computer systems, programming codes, and technical data to ensure the system's stability and high-quality processes. A design engineer should also have strong analytical and time-management skills to perform tasks and meet deadlines.

    The next role we're going to look at is the Design Engineer profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $19,352 lower salary than Senior Mechanical Engineers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both Senior Mechanical Engineers and Design Engineers are known to have skills such as "Engineering Design," "CAD," and "Hvac. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, Senior Mechanical Engineer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "Solidworks," "Electrical Systems," "Facility," and "Autocad." Meanwhile, a Design Engineer might be skilled in areas such as "Layout," "Hardware," "C++," and "IP." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Design Engineers may earn a lower salary than Senior Mechanical Engineers, but Design Engineers earn the most pay in the Technology industry with an average salary of $85,904. On the other side of things, Senior Mechanical Engineers receive higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $101,901.

    In general, Design Engineers study at lower levels of education than Senior Mechanical Engineers. They're 6.1% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.9% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Staff Engineer Compares

    Staff engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and inspecting various products, equipment, or structures. These professionals may perform varied duties depending on their specialization that includes overseeing the design and construction of buildings, bridges, sewer systems, and other infrastructure, estimating the financial costs of construction projects, and ensuring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations. Other duties include designing and developing machinery, tools, and engines, solving design problems, and building the manufacturing equipment needed to create their products.

    The Staff Engineer profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of Senior Mechanical Engineers. The difference in salaries is Staff Engineers making $14,136 higher than Senior Mechanical Engineers.

    While looking through the resumes of several Senior Mechanical Engineers and Staff Engineers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "Engineering Design," "CAD," and "Hvac," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from Senior Mechanical Engineers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "Solidworks," "Electrical Systems," "Creo," and "Autocad." But a Staff Engineer might have skills like "Python," "Architecture," "Java," and "Hardware."

    Staff Engineers make a very good living in the Technology industry with an average annual salary of $124,217. Whereas Senior Mechanical Engineers are paid the highest salary in the Technology industry with the average being $101,901.

    Staff Engineers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to Senior Mechanical Engineers. Additionally, they're 1.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Tool Engineer

    A tooling engineer is responsible for creating and adjusting tools or parts for cars, heavy equipment, and other products that need customized or personalized components. Your duties and responsibilities will include creating design blueprints, using computer-aided (CAD) software to develop two- and three-dimensional prints, and validating and evaluating products. As a tooling engineer, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with operational standards such as the ISO 9000. You also have to provide technical assistance to manufacturing personnel and quality assurance.

    Tool Engineers tend to earn a higher pay than Senior Mechanical Engineers by about $1,548 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, Senior Mechanical Engineers and Tool Engineers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "CAD," "Solidworks," and "Project Management. "

    Each job requires different skills like "Engineering Design," "Electrical Systems," "Hvac," and "Creo," which might show up on a Senior Mechanical Engineer resume. Whereas Tool Engineer might include skills like "Python," "Linux," "Java," and "Jenkins."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The Transportation industry tends to pay more for Tool Engineers with an average of $109,718. While the highest Senior Mechanical Engineer annual salary comes from the Technology industry.

    In general, Tool Engineers reach lower levels of education when compared to Senior Mechanical Engineers resumes. Tool Engineers are 10.1% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Senior Mechanical Engineer Does 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.

    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.

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