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How to become a Mechanical Engineer

Because of this occupation involves a lot of numbers and detail, you must pursue a bachelors degree in either mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology to qualify. Some colleges and universities even require a 5- or 6-year program be completed before graduation. Employers hire candidates whose programs are accredited by the ABET—a non-profit organization that accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology—so make sure your potential program is certified before you begin.

From there, you may be eligible for an entry-level position upon graduation. However, if you are looking to excel beyond entry-level, you will need to earn additional licensing—passing scores from the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE) and Professional Engineer exam (PE) —to qualify for more advance positions. Lastly, just like any other field, mechanical engineering relies heavily on experience, so internships, training programs and years of work in this field will help you excel in your career.

How to become: Mechanical Designer · Engineer · Project Engineer · Design Engineer · Manufacturing Engineer
These qualifications are required: Driver's License · LEED Certification · Fundamentals of Engineering
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What skills help Mechanical Engineers find jobs?

  • ASME codes & standards
  • Analysis skills
  • Assembly
  • AutoCAD
  • CAD
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Construction
  • Creo
  • FEA
  • GD&T
  • HVAC
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Career progression for Mechanical Engineer

Education levels for Mechanical Engineers

Based on the requirements of Mechanical Engineer job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's degree64.9%
Master's degree16.9%
Associate's degree8.8%
High school diploma or GED8.2%
Doctoral degree1.2%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Mechanical Engineer in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$57,800
4 - 8$68,100
8 - 12$77,200
12 - 16$85,700
16 - 20$90,100
20 - 24$94,900
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Common qualifications for Mechanical Engineers

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications

Fundamentals of Engineering

Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy
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Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationProfessional Engineer
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Common questions about career advices for a Mechanical Engineer

What knowledge should a mechanical engineer have?

Every mechanical engineer should have knowledge of metal strength, fatigue strength, brittleness, homogeneity, and embrittlement.

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Is it a good choice if I choose HVAC as a career in mechanical engineering?

It is a good choice to specialize in HVAC as a mechanical engineer as jobs in this field is evolving and growing very quickly. The future job outlook for a career in HVAC is very encouraging.

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What is the job outlook for mechanical engineers?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 4% through 2028.

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What are the steps to become a mechanical engineer?

Is a degree needed to become a licensed mechanical engineer?

What keywords should a mechanical engineer put on their resume?

What certifications can a mechanical engineer pursue?

Do mechanical engineers need to know programming?

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