Mechanical Engineer Career

Job Description: 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.


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Mechanical Engineer Career

What Mechanical Engineers do:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  • 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.
  • Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products, using drafting tools or computer-assisted drafting equipment or software.
  • Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, components, or systems.
  • Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals, or other data to evaluate the feasibility, cost, or maintenance requirements of designs or applications.
  • Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, or maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems or processes to meet requirements.
  • Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.
  • Develop or test models of alternate designs or processing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, potential new applications, or necessity of modification.
  • Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend remedial actions.
  • Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.
  • Estimate costs or submit bids for engineering, construction, or extraction projects.
  • Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems or needs.
  • Design test control apparatus or equipment or develop procedures for testing products.
  • Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, or repair to ensure that machines or equipment are installed and functioning according to specifications.
  • 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.
  • Provide technical customer service.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, or other engineers.
  • Solicit new business.
  • 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.
  • Evaluate mechanical designs or prototypes for energy performance or environmental impact.
  • Calculate energy losses for buildings, using equipment such as computers, combustion analyzers, or pressure gauges.
  • Design integrated mechanical or alternative systems, such as mechanical cooling systems with natural ventilation systems, to improve energy efficiency.
  • Recommend the use of utility or energy services that minimize carbon footprints.
  • Direct the installation, operation, maintenance, or repair of renewable energy equipment, such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) or water systems.
  • Select or install combined heat units, power units, cogeneration equipment, or trigeneration equipment that reduces energy use or pollution.

What work activities are most important?

Importance 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.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Holland Code Chart for a Mechanical Engineer

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