Graduate Certificates in Engineering

Career summary: Mechanical Engineers

Average Salary


National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook


5% job growth by 2022, which is below average

Earn a degree in engineering from an accredited college

One of the best ways to prepare for a career in engineering is through a college education. A Graduate Certificate will help you develop entry level skills, general engineering know how and the basic engineering experience you need to start your career off right. You may also consider a Master's in Engineering to help you take your education and career to the next level. Please select engineering school below.


Engineering original

Why would I want a mechanical engineering degree?

A degree in mechanical engineering will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to have an exciting career in a field with interesting specialties and good salaries. If you are technically oriented, if you like math and physics, and if you like creating things, then a degree in mechanical engineering may be just the degree you are looking for.

Job Description

What do mechanical engineers do?

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. The things they design and make are used in everyday life. They also design and make tools and machines that are used by engineers in other fields. Another sign of their diversity is that they work in all phases of business, which includes design, production, operations, research and development, teaching, sales, and management.

There are a wide range of machines, tools, and equipment that mechanical engineers work on. Some of the power-producing machines that they produce include electric generators, steam and gas turbines, internal combustion engines, and other large motors. They also work on power using machines such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, material-handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots. They also work on gadgets, which includes technical tools which are used by mechanics, technicians, and other engineers.

Often times mechanical engineers will specialize in a particular area in their field. Some of these specialties include energy systems; applied mechanics; automotive design; manufacturing; materials; plant engineering and maintenance; pressure vessels and piping; and heating, refrigeration, and air-conditioning systems. Other mechanical engineers may work as administrators or go into teaching and research. The industries that employ the highest amount of mechanical engineers are listed below.

  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Federal Executive Branch
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing

Other industries that employ a high amount of mechanical engineers include engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing; industrial machinery manufacturing; and motor vehicle manufacturing.


How much do mechanical engineers make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for mechanical engineers in May, 2010 was $78,160. The middle 50 percent earned between $62,360 and $98,150. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,550, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,480. The median hourly wage for mechanical engineers in 2010 was $37.58.

The states with the highest average annual salaries for mechanical engineers were Alaska, District of Columbia, Virginia, Colorado, and California. They paid out a combined average annual salary of $94,622.

Career Outlook

How popular are mechanical engineering jobs?

Jobs in mechanical engineering have always been quite popular, and they will continue to be steady into the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this industry will increase by 6 percent through the year 2018, which is a little slower than the average growth rate among all jobs. With that said, there are jobs in business and other industries that aren’t directly related to mechanical engineering which are available to mechanical engineers, so the job outlook for mechanical engineers is actually better than what the numbers show.

Growth in the mechanical engineering field will come from new technologies in biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology. Growth will also come through continued improvement of products and systems which are designed by mechanical engineers.

Career Path

How do I become a mechanical engineer?

In order to become a mechanical engineer you must earn at least a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited college or university. Courses for mechanical engineering degrees include calculus, physics, and life sciences along with mechanical engineering specialty courses. In order to do research, teach, or more easily obtain career advances, a master’s or doctorate degree in mechanical engineering is required.

Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learning Format



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