Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineering is a broad field and these engineers can have a wide variety of roles depending on the job they are hired for and their interests. They are typically involved in design and manufacture, and can work on anything from electric generators to air-conditioning systems. They may also oversee the installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment and systems.

Also known as: Equipment Engineer, Product Engineer, Project Engineer, Test Engineer, Design Engineer, Design Maintenance Engineer, Research Engineer

Pay Scale

$99,030 in 2021 in WA

$95,300 in 2021 in U.S.


Bachelor’s, Master’s

Projected Opportunities

480 through 2030 in WA

17,900 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path to becoming a mechanical engineer begins with education- either a bachelors or masters degree, and job experience through internships and/or a position as a junior engineer. Mechanical engineers can go on to become building scientists, commercial construction managers, or project managers. They can even change directions a bit and become energy engineers, who can advance to senior operations managers.

mechanical engineer career path

Training & Requirements


Mechanical engineers hold a bachelor’s degree and some even go on to a masters. These degrees include courses in mathematics, physical science, engineering, and design. Though no other experience is typically required, internships can help prepare you for the workforce.

Required Skills

    • Analytical and computer aided design software usage
    • Critical thinking and problem solving
    • Knowledge of practical application of engineering science
    • Strong mathematics and reading comprehension


    • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, and schematics
    • Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, or maintain mechanical products or systems
    • Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend solutions