If it has moving parts, there was probably a mechanical engineer managing the design, construction and testing of that object.

Do you enjoy your time in your basement workshop more than anything else? Are tools the best gift you could ever receive? As a mechanical engineer, you’ll work with machines all day, specifically those used for manufacturing processes. You’ll need a strong grasp of mathematical formulas and engineering principles.

You’ll be an expert on the manufacturing process and the individual machines that make it up. Every issue on the production line will be reported to you, and using your knowledge on the workings of each machine, you’ll find a solution. You’ll decide which machines are the most efficient for a specific production system, and you’ll also decide the sequence of the machines. Every decision will be made based on factors like budget, efficiency, energy, time, and quality.

You may be asked to get your hands dirty out on the production floor. You’ll interpret data from gauges and screens and make adjustments or repairs to keep the assembly line moving correctly. You’ll direct maintenance crew operations on complicated problems by creating technical drawings or writing down instructions. As an engineer, you’ll design tests that result in data on the operation of all the machines in the manufacturing plant.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering to secure a job. The program will involve courses in computer-aided design, engineering principles, math, and technical drawings composition. Additional experience and hands-on training is a great way to stand out in the field.

Also Known As:

Equipment Engineer, Mechanical Drafters, Mechatronics Engineer, Wind Energy Engineer

Critical Skills


  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Energy Systems
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical
  • Operations Analysis and Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance
  • Systems Analysis and Evaluation
  • Technology Design


  • Active Listening
  • Communication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking/Oral
  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Monitoring
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Troubleshooting

Key Responsibilities

  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports
  • Develop structural design of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted design (CAD)
  • Select, install, operate, and maintain mechanical systems and processes to meet requirements
  • Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions
  • Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of mechanical systems
  • Diagnose faulty equipment operation and make recommendations to maintenance crew
  • Develop and test models of alternate designs and processing methods
  • Specify modification of products and systems to ensure conformance with engineering design and performance specifications


  • Aerospace
  • Petroleum, Oil, Gas
  • Wind Energy

How to get this job

Must have some work experience to enter this level. Education is key. Jobs as mechanical or electrical technician are entry level to gain experience for this job.

Next Steps for this job

Bachelor's degree from ABET accredited college, PMP Certification, computer systems and software knowledge.

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.