Mechanical Engineers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Wind Turbine Mechanical Engineer
  • Weapons Engineer
  • Weapons Designer
  • Ventilating Expert
  • Ventilating Engineer
  • Utilization Engineer
  • Tooling Engineer
  • Tool Engineer
  • Tool Designer
  • Tool Design Engineer
View All

What They Do

  • Select or install combined heat units, power units, cogeneration equipment, or trigeneration equipment that reduces energy use or pollution.
  • Establish or coordinate the maintenance or safety procedures, service schedule, or supply of materials required to maintain machines or equipment in the prescribed condition.
  • Study industrial processes to maximize the efficiency of equipment applications, including equipment placement.
  • Provide technical customer service.
  • Solicit new business.
  • Calculate energy losses for buildings, using equipment such as computers, combustion analyzers, or pressure gauges.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, or other engineers.
  • Write performance requirements for product development or engineering projects.
  • Apply engineering principles or practices to emerging fields, such as robotics, waste management, or biomedical engineering.
  • Design integrated mechanical or alternative systems, such as mechanical cooling systems with natural ventilation systems, to improve energy efficiency.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Recognition, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $86,270 with most people making between $52,410 and $126,690


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 10,390 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 11,160 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 77 openings due to growth and about 333 replacement openings for approximately 410 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education