Occupation Summary

Mechanical Engineers

O*NET 17-2141.00


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.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 18.84%.
Education Level:
Bachelor's Degree. According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.

  1. Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  2. Confer with engineers or other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, or provide technical information.
  3. Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals, or other data to evaluate the feasibility, cost, or maintenance requirements of designs or applications.
  4. Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems or needs.
  5. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, or repair to ensure that machines or equipment are installed and functioning according to specifications.
  6. Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, components, or systems.
  7. Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions.
  8. Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.
  9. Establish or coordinate the maintenance or safety procedures, service schedule, or supply of materials required to maintain machines or equipment in the prescribed condition.
  10. Write performance requirements for product development or engineering projects.
  11. Apply engineering principles or practices to emerging fields, such as robotics, waste management, or biomedical engineering.
  12. Design test control apparatus or equipment or develop procedures for testing products.
  13. Calculate energy losses for buildings, using equipment such as computers, combustion analyzers, or pressure gauges.
  14. Design integrated mechanical or alternative systems, such as mechanical cooling systems with natural ventilation systems, to improve energy efficiency.
  15. Direct the installation, operation, maintenance, or repair of renewable energy equipment, such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) or water systems.
  16. Evaluate mechanical designs or prototypes for energy performance or environmental impact.
  17. Recommend the use of utility or energy services that minimize carbon footprints.
  18. Select or install combined heat units, power units, cogeneration equipment, or trigeneration equipment that reduces energy use or pollution.
  19. Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, or maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems or processes to meet requirements.
  20. Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend remedial actions.
  21. Develop or test models of alternate designs or processing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, potential new applications, or necessity of modification.
  22. Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.
  23. Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products, using drafting tools or computer-assisted drafting equipment or software.
  24. Estimate costs or submit bids for engineering, construction, or extraction projects.
  25. Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, or other engineers.
  26. Solicit new business.
  27. Provide technical customer service.
  28. Study industrial processes to maximize the efficiency of equipment applications, including equipment placement.

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National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Mechanical Engineers employed Annual Growth Rate
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing 4.7 0.22
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 4.6 1.88
Electronic instrument manufacturing 3.7 -0.48
Other general purpose machinery manufacturing 3.6 0.83
Ag., construction, and mining machinery mfg. 2.4 1.38
Industrial machinery manufacturing 2.1 -1.05
Metalworking machinery manufacturing 2 1.87

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $50.75
2018 National average hourly wage $44.62
2016 National employment 288,800
2016 Texas employment 18,982
Texas projected employment by 2026 22,558
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 1,644

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
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.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
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.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems Evaluation
Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Mathematical Reasoning
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Number Facility
The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

  • 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.
Other Activities

  • Advise clients and customers on technical matters
  • Advise internal stakeholders on technical matters
  • Analyze business or organizational operating practices or procedures
  • Analyze current and historical utility costs
  • Analyze effectiveness of safety systems or procedures
  • Analyze engineering data
  • Analyze engineering design problems
  • Analyze project proposals to determine feasibility, cost, or time
  • Analyze residential or commercial energy performance
  • Analyze scientific or investigative findings
  • Analyze technical designs or specifications
  • Analyze technical feasibility of energy saving measures
  • Apply hazardous materials information
  • Approve changes to business processes
  • Attend professional conferences and events
  • Bid work projects
  • Calculate energy efficiency or power output of systems
  • Calculate engineering specifications
  • Calculate potential for energy savings
  • Calibrate mechanical equipment or instruments to specification
  • Collaborate with professionals or peers from other disciplines and backgrounds
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to incorporate requirements into contracts
  • Collect scientific or technical data
  • Communicate technical or scientific information
  • Compare findings with specifications and standards
  • Compile numerical or statistical data
  • Compute product or materials test results
  • Compute production, construction, or installation specifications
  • Conduct biological research
  • Conduct performance testing
  • Conduct physical science research
  • Conduct role-based assessments
  • Conduct tests to locate mechanical system malfunction
  • Confer with engineering personnel
  • Confer with manufacturing personnel
  • Confer with potential and existing customers about energy efficiency improvements
  • Confer with research personnel
  • Confer with vendor representative
  • Control HVAC equipment
  • Convert design specifications to cost estimates
  • Coordinate equipment or personnel in mechanical repair setting
  • Coordinate production maintenance activities
  • Coordinate project-related activities with employees and contractors
  • Coordinate social media activities with project stakeholders
  • Create drafting or mechanical drawings
  • Create mathematical or statistical diagrams, charts, or tables
  • Delegate authority for engineering activities
  • Demonstrate equipment assembly or use
  • Design construction projects
  • Design control systems
  • Design electro-mechanical equipment
  • Design electronic equipment
  • Design industrial or manufacturing machinery
  • Design manufacturing processes or methods
  • Design mechanical tools or devices
  • Design power equipment
  • Design transmission equipment
  • Design transporting processes
  • Detect machinery or equipment malfunctions by listening for abnormalities
  • Determine energy consumption of systems, structures, appliances, or devices
  • Determine equipment requirements
  • Determine factors affecting production processes
  • Determine material or tool requirements
  • Determine physical properties of materials
  • Determine project methods and procedures
  • Determine pump curves, size, and placement
  • Determine regulatory limitations on project
  • Determine specifications of product, project, or service
  • Determine tasks needed to complete machined products
  • Determine work priority, crew, or equipment requirements
  • Develop alternative energy sources
  • Develop complex computer databases
  • Develop energy projects to reduce utility costs
  • Develop engineering policies, procedures, or standards
  • Develop management control systems
  • Develop mathematical simulation models
  • Develop new chemical processing techniques or formulas
  • Develop plans for programs or projects
  • Develop project communication strategies
  • Develop project performance objectives
  • Develop safety procedures and regulations
  • Develop simple operational data repositories or databases
  • Develop supply chain strategies
  • Develop system requirements
  • Diagnose electrical or electronic systems or equipment
  • Diagnose engine problems using diagnostic equipment
  • Diagnose mechanical problems in machinery or equipment
  • Dispose of hazardous materials and waste
  • Draw prototypes, renderings, plans, or maps to scale
  • Edit documents for completeness, accuracy, or conformance to standards
  • Employ statistical process control procedures
  • Ensure equipment is operating to prescribed standards
  • Establish project closure requirements
  • Establish project teams
  • Estimate construction project costs
  • Estimate costs of design or construction materials
  • Estimate engineering project costs
  • Estimate materials or labor requirements
  • Estimate project costs
  • Estimate project time requirements
  • Evaluate costs of completed projects
  • Evaluate equipment for compliance with standards
  • Evaluate HVAC design and sizing
  • Evaluate manufacturing or processing systems
  • Evaluate material specifications
  • Evaluate new construction industry practices
  • Evaluate product design
  • Evaluate reliability of source information
  • Evaluate tool designs
  • Execute procurement contracts
  • Explain complex mathematical information
  • Follow safety procedures and regulations
  • Identify characteristics of metals and alloys
  • Identify problems using mathematical or statistical methods
  • Implement metal processing methodology
  • Implement pollution control techniques
  • Implement robotics systems technology
  • Improve quality by utilizing Total Quality Management or other quality techniques
  • Improve test devices or techniques in manufacturing, industrial or engineering setting
  • Inspect facilities or equipment for regulatory, fire code, or fire hazard compliance
  • Inspect materials to verify safety standards or ensure meeting of specifications
  • Inspect products or systems for regulatory compliance
  • Integrate field notes into technical drawings
  • Interpret information from blueprints, diagrams, schematics, or technical drawings
  • Judge quality of facilities or service
  • Lay out piping systems
  • Lead engineering teams
  • Maintain business or financial records, reports, or files
  • Maintain engineering records, reports, or files
  • Maintain physical security of classified data
  • Maintain specialized manufacturing or commercial equipment or machinery
  • Manage material resources
  • Manage project quality processes
  • Manage project teams
  • Manage projects to keep within time, cost, and quality guidelines
  • Measure air quality
  • Mentor individuals in the workplace
  • Modify work procedures to meet deadlines
  • Monitor equipment or machine operation to detect problems
  • Obtain approval for project plans
  • Obtain technical support instructions from scientists or engineers
  • Offer purchase, repair, or modification recommendations of furnishings or equipment
  • Operate computers to enter, calculate, access, and retrieve data
  • Operate industrial or nondestructive testing equipment
  • Operate optical manufacturing equipment
  • Operate pneumatic test equipment
  • Operate precision test equipment
  • Operate vehicle engine electrical systems test equipment
  • Oversee testing or construction of prototype
  • Perform chemical testing
  • Perform continuing education to maintain licenses, certifications, qualifications, and knowledge currency
  • Perform cost benefit analysis
  • Perform environmental assessment
  • Perform inspection of tools or equipment prior to use
  • Perform machining operations
  • Perform quality assurance testing
  • Perform sales calls to solicit new business
  • Perform scientific research
  • Perform statistical analysis or modeling
  • Perform statistical cost estimation
  • Perform tests to assess compliance with standards
  • Perform varied measurements including precision measurements
  • Plan construction of structures or facilities
  • Plan production processes
  • Plan testing of engineering methods
  • Position machines, equipment, or structures
  • Prepare contract documents
  • Prepare cost estimates
  • Prepare post project assessment report
  • Prepare procurement or purchase order documents
  • Prepare quality management plan
  • Prepare recommendations based upon research
  • Prepare technical or scientific reports
  • Process metals using power or hand tools
  • Program operation of computerized manufacturing equipment or machinery
  • Project currency futures
  • Provide expert testimony
  • Provide information about facilities
  • Read computer equipment operating manuals
  • Recommend improvements to work methods or procedures
  • Recommend materials for products
  • Recommend solar energy systems to meet customer specifications or requirements
  • Recommend solutions to technical problems
  • Record test or inspection results, procedures, or data
  • Repair computer controlled manufacturing systems
  • Repair mechanical controls
  • Repair mechanical equipment or machinery
  • Repair mechanical timing devices
  • Repair plastics manufacturing equipment
  • Repair refrigeration or HVAC equipment
  • Research information using library or Internet
  • Review codes and specifications
  • Review engineering information from data or reports
  • Select materials, tools, or accessories needed to complete project work
  • Set mechanical or electrical controls or components
  • Set-up computer numerical control machines
  • Size components of solar thermal systems
  • Solve engineering or science problems
  • Solve machine tool problems
  • Study structure or properties of submicroscopic matter
  • Supervise subordinate personnel or contractors
  • Test electrical or electronic wiring or fixtures
  • Test engineering project equipment
  • Test mechanical products or equipment
  • Test operation of malfunctioning machinery
  • Test operation of vehicles before or after repair
  • Test piping systems or equipment for leaks under pressure
  • Train others in work-related knowledge or skills
  • Train others in work-related procedures or techniques
  • Write business project or bid proposals
  • Write product performance requirements
  • Write research or project grant proposals
  • Write scholarly or technical research documents

  • Achievement
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Recognition
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.


Accelerometers: Accelerometers;

Acoustic sensors: Acoustic emission AE sensors;

Air compressors: Air compressors;

Coordinate measuring machines CMM: Optical laser scanners; Coordinate measuring machines CMM;

Dynamometers: Dynamometers;

Fatigue testers: Servohydraulic material testing machines;

Fiber sensors: Optical sensors;

Flow transmitters: Subsonic wind tunnels; Supersonic wind tunnels;

Flowmeters: Pitot tubes; Digital particle image velocimeters; Laser Doppler anemometers; Laser Doppler velocimeters LDV;

Force or torque sensors: Force transducers; Torque transducers;

Frequency analyzers: Spectrum analyzers;

Fused deposition modeling machine: Fused deposition modeling FDM machines;

Grinding or polishing machines: Chemical-mechanical polishing equipment;

Hardness testers: Nano indentation systems;

Heat exchangers: Heat exchangers;

High voltage cable detection: Contact testers;

Infrared imagers: Infrared thermography cameras;

Infrared spectrometers: Cryogenic apparatus;

Interferometers: Interferometers; Interferometric microscopes;

Machine mounts or vibration isolators: Vibration control systems; Vibration isolators;

Medical computed tomography CT or CAT complete stationary unit installation: Computed tomography CT systems;

Microcontrollers: Programmable logic controllers PLC;

Multimeters: Multimeters;

Oscilloscopes: Oscilloscopes;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Photoelastic testing instruments: Photoelastic testing machines;

Plotter printers: Multi-pen plotters;

Programmable tube furnaces: Vapor deposition tube furnaces;

Proximity sensors: Position transducers; Radio frequency sensors;

Refrigerated and heated reach in environmental or growth chambers: Environmental testing chambers;

Roughness measuring instruments: Surface profilometers; Stylus profilometers;

Scanners: Laser digitizers;

Scanning electron microscopes: Scanning electron microscopes SEM;

Scanning probe microscopes: Scanning probe microscopes SPM; Scanning tunneling microscopes STM;

Semiconductor process systems: Wafer bonding systems; Wafer dicing saws; Wire bonders; Spin-coaters; Sputtering systems; Plasma etchers; Precision positioning tables; Projection lithography equipment; Rapid thermal processing systems; Anodic wafer bonding systems; Aligners; Contact lithography equipment; Deep reactive ion etchers DRIE; Evaporation systems; Flip-chip wafer bonding systems;

Signal generators: Function generators; Pattern generators;

Spectrometers: Fluorescence spectrometers;

Speed sensors: Velocity transducers;

Step drive or stepper drive or step indexer: Steppers;

Strain gauges: Strain gauges; Dynamic strain indicators;

Thickness measuring devices: Ellipsometers;

Torque converters: Torsional converters;

Vibration testers: Vibration testers;

Video editors: Video editing equipment;

Voltage comparator integrated circuits: Digital to analog converters; Analog to digital converters;

Wire cathode electrode discharge machine: Wire electrical discharge machines;

X ray radiography examination equipment: X ray radiographic systems; X ray tubes;


Analytical or scientific software: ANSYS software; Accelerated life testing software; Blue Ridge Numerics CFDesign; Computational fluid dynamics CFD software; Data acquisition software; Design of experiments DOE software; Failure mode and effects analysis FMEA software; Finite element method FEM software; Grid generation software; Life cycle cost software; MAYA Nastran; Mesh generation software; Minitab software; Modal analysis software; Motion analysis software; ReliaSoft Alta 6 Pro; ReliaSoft BlockSim; ReliaSoft Weibull++ 6; Reliability analysis software; Statistical energy analysis SEA software; Statistical software; The MathWorks MATLAB; Sigmetrix CETOL 6 Sigma; Video analysis software;

Computer aided design CAD software: Zeemax software; SolidWorks CAD software; Mathsoft Mathcad; UGS I-DEAS; Reverse engineering software; Optical analysis software; PTC Creo Parametric; Metrix Imageware Surfacer; Lambda Research OSLO; InnovMetric PolyWorks; Intergraph Plant Design System PDS; Failure assessment software; Dassault Systemes CATIA software; COSMOSWorks software; Autodesk AutoCAD software; Autodesk Revit; Bentley MicroStation;

Computer aided manufacturing CAM software: 1CadCam Unigraphics; Computer aided manufacturing CAM software; Rapid prototyping software;

Data base user interface and query software: Microsoft Access;

Development environment software: Microsoft Visual Basic; Ladder Logic; Hewlett-Packard HP Graphics Language HPGL; MUMPS M; C; National Instruments LabVIEW; Rockwell Software; Verilog;

Electronic mail software: IBM Notes;

Enterprise resource planning ERP software: SAP software;

Financial analysis software: Cost estimation software;

Industrial control software: Computer numerical control CNC software; Human machine interface HMI software;

Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software: Bill of materials software;

Object or component oriented development software: C++; G-code;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint;

Project management software: Microsoft Project; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management software;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Mechanical Engineers include:
  • 17-2011.00 Aerospace Engineers
  • 17-2071.00 Electrical Engineers
  • 17-2072.00 Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
  • 17-3026.00 Industrial Engineering Technicians
  • 17-2112.00 Industrial Engineers
  • 13-1081.01 Logistics Engineers
  • 17-3029.06 Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
  • 17-2199.07 Photonics Engineers
  • 17-2111.03 Product Safety Engineers
  • 17-2199.02 Validation Engineers

Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information about general engineering education and mechanical engineering career resources, visit: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Technology Student Association
  • For more information about accredited engineering programs, visit: ABET
  • For more information about licensure as a mechanical engineer, visit: National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Automotive Engineers
  • Fuel Cell Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.