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Summary Report for:
17-2141.00 - Mechanical Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.

Sample of reported job titles: Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer, Product Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Process Engineer, Equipment Engineer, Design Maintenance Engineer, Systems Engineer, Chassis Systems Engineer, Commissioning Engineer

Also see: Fuel Cell Engineers, Automotive Engineers

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  • Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted design (CAD) or drafting equipment and software.
  • Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, and maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems and processes to meet requirements, applying knowledge of engineering principles.
  • Confer with engineers or other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, or provide technical information.
  • Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions.
  • Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, components, or systems.
  • Investigate equipment failures and difficulties to diagnose faulty operation, and to make recommendations to maintenance crew.
  • Develop and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to assess feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications and necessity of modification.
  • Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.
  • Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design and performance specifications.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Flowmeters — Digital particle image velocimeters; Laser Doppler anemometers; Laser Doppler velocimeters LDV; Pitot tubes
Machine mounts or vibration isolators — Vibration control systems; Vibration isolators
Semiconductor process systems — Plasma etchers; Rapid thermal processing systems; Wafer dicing saws; Wire bonders
Signal generators — Function generators; Pattern generators
Voltage comparator integrated circuits — Analog to digital converters; Digital to analog converters

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — MAYA Nastran; ReliaSoft Weibull++ 6; Sigmetrix CETOL 6 Sigma; The MathWorks MATLAB
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; SolidWorks CAD software; UGS I-DEAS; Zeemax software
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Rapid prototyping software
Development environment software — Ladder Logic; Microsoft Visual Basic; National Instruments LabVIEW; Rockwell Software
Object or component oriented development software — C++; G-code

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Knowledge

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Skills

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Tool Designer; Tool Design

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
46   Bachelor's degree
23   Master's degree
14   Associate's degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Mechanical Engineering

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Interests

Interest code: IRC

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Work Values

Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

13-1081.01 Logistics Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
17-2011.00 Aerospace Engineers   Green Occupation Green
17-2071.00 Electrical Engineers Green Occupation
17-2072.00 Electronics Engineers, Except Computer Green Occupation
17-2111.03 Product Safety Engineers
17-2112.00 Industrial Engineers Green Occupation
17-2199.02 Validation Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
17-2199.07 Photonics Engineers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
17-3026.00 Industrial Engineering Technicians Green Occupation
17-3029.06 Manufacturing Engineering Technologists Bright Outlook Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $38.74 hourly, $80,580 annual
Employment (2012) 258,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 99,700
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Mechanical Engineers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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