Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Mechanical engineers generally work in offices. They may occasionally visit worksites where a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention. Mechanical engineers work mostly in engineering services, research and development, and manufacturing.
How to Become a Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. All states and the District of Columbia require mechanical engineers who sell services to the public to be licensed.
Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology.
This occupation supported 258,100 jobs in 2012 and 277,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 7.5%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.5% in 2022 to 269,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 260,399, compared with an observed value of 277,500, 6.6% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.7% in 2024 to 292,100 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 272,000 jobs for 2024, 6.9% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.