What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Mechanical engineers develop, design, build, test, and inspect mechanical devices and systems, such as machines, tools, and engines. Since mechanical engineering is a very broad field, they work in a variety of different industries designing a wide range of products. Most mechanical engineers work in manufacturing, research and development, or at companies that offer engineering services.

Typically, mechanical engineers have a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field such as mechanical engineering technology. They need advanced mathematical skills to perform calculations and they need to be able to think creatively.

What responsibilities are common for Mechanical Engineer jobs?
  • Plan, conceptualize, and create mechanical designs for new products
  • Develop testing processes, and perform testing and validation of new designs
  • Generate working prototypes for beta testing and customer demonstration
  • Perform engineering calculations to support design work
  • Create and review technical drawings, plans, and specifications using computer software
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary engineering teams, and work with vendors and contractors
  • Perform detailed documentation to track project development and design process
  • Ensure project timeline is met and project stays within budget
What are the typical qualifications for Mechanical Engineer jobs?
  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field
  • 2-5 years of experience working in engineering
  • Firm grasp of engineering concepts, and experience desiging mechanical systems and products
  • Excellent math skills: ability to apply advanced mathematical principles and statistics to solve problems
  • Experience using CAD software such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or similar
  • Exceptional technical and problem-solving skills and reasoning ability
  • Ability to communicate effectively and clearly
  • Must be self-motivated and a great team worker
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Mechanical Engineer Salaries near United Kingdom

Average Base Pay

£42,483 /yr
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Mechanical Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Mechanical Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Mechanical Engineer Insights

Read what Mechanical Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Johnson MattheyJohnson Matthey
Mechanical Design Engineer
27 Oct 2021

“Everyone I encountered at JM was friendly and welcoming which helped me settle in at the start of my career.”

InterOcean SystemsInterOcean Systems
Principal Mechanical Engineer
12 Oct 2023

“A fun and dynamic workplace where you get to take ownership of projects and are not buried in bureaucracy.”

Karolinska University HospitalKarolinska University Hospital
Laboratory Engineer
22 Aug 2023

“Not much opportunities of career advance if Swedish is not your first language or you are very proficient”

Mechanical Design Engineer II
16 Nov 2021

“My group is in a rough spot but overall the culture is good and I enjoy my work.”

InterLink EngineeringInterLink Engineering
Mechanical Engineer II
21 Jul 2021

“Overall a great place to work with endless opportunities to explore and advance your career.”

US Bureau of ReclamationUS Bureau of Reclamation
Mechanical Engineer
4 Sept 2021

“Most folks stay because it provides great satisfaction the projects we do and how we serve the American people.”

Mechanical Design Engineer
19 Jun 2023

“I was fortunate to work on some of the most interesting projects in the payment card and smart packaging industry.”

Ball AerospaceBall Aerospace
Mechanical Engineer 1
11 Jul 2022

“You have to meet “time and grade” which means coasters and top performers get promoted at the same time.”

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Mechanical Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of mechanical engineers

Mechanical engineers spend most of their day working on a computer, and solve problems by using math — lots of math. Mechanical engineers design, develop, and test mechanical devices such as engines, machines, or robots. They may specialise in particular fields including thermal engineering, manufacturing engineering, aerospace engineering, and biomedical engineering.

A career as a mechanical engineer can be very rewarding because you will be able to help people by designing machines that improve their quality of life. Mechanical engineering is also an excellent choice because it can lead to a career in other fields like business, manufacturing, and accounting if one chooses not to work as a mechanical engineer.

The median salary for a mechanical engineer in the UK is £42,483 per year. This salary figure is derived from all mechanical engineer salaries that have been submitted anonymously by Glassdoor users, and includes hourly wage data as well as earnings from self-employment.

Working as a mechanical engineer can be hard, and you may have to work long hours to meet deadlines or solve problems. You also have to be willing to do some physical work and spend a lot of time doing paperwork. Mechanical engineers are often required by law to pursue professional development by completing continuing education courses, even after obtaining their degree.

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