Mechanical Engineers research, design, and develop machinery and systems for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), power generation, transportation, processing, and manufacturing. They may also perform duties related to the evaluation, installation, operation, and maintenance of mechanical systems. Mechanical Engineers are usually employed by consulting firms, power-generating utilities, and in a wide range of manufacturing, processing, and transportation industries.
Mechanical Engineering can be defined as the study of three very important elements: motion, energy, and force. Mechanical Engineers strive to control these elements by using a combination of material, human, and economic resources to develop mechanical solutions in order to satisfy the needs and desires of society.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Mechanical Engineer are required to complete.
- Researching the feasibility, design, operation, and performance of mechanisms, components, and systems.
- Designing and fabricating power-producing machines (e.g. electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines), power-using machines (e.g. refrigeration and air-conditioning systems), and other machines (e.g. appliances, elevators, escalators, conveyor systems, and automated transfer stations), components, tools, fixtures, and equipment:
- Analyzing the dynamics and vibrations of mechanical systems and structures;
- using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create and analyze designs, run simulations, and test how a machine is likely to work, as well as to generate specifications for parts;
- preparing conceptual and detailed design calculations, layouts, sketches, specifications which comply with thorough Engineering practices and standards;
- developing and testing prototypes of the devices they design;
- investigating mechanical failures or unexpected maintenance problems and making the necessary design changes; and
- deciding the size, material, and shape of every part of the machine or mechanical device.
- Planning and managing projects:
- Preparing materials, costs, and timing estimates, as well as plans, reports, design requirements, design manuals, technical specifications, technical notes, and customer proposals;
- preparing contracts and evaluating estimates for industrial construction or maintenance;
- performing site surveys and field reviews and preparing reports in order to document new and existing construction conditions;
- designing and building the required machines;
- supervising and inspecting the installation, modification, and commissioning of mechanical systems at construction sites or in industrial facilities;
- developing maintenance standards, schedules, and programs, as well as providing guidance to industrial maintenance crews;
- following up on any project issues; and
- monitoring and controlling project progress and costs against the established schedule and budget.
- Providing mechanical Engineering design and analysis for industrial plants:
- Providing expert advice in piping design, pressure vessels selection and sizing, heat exchangers selection and sizing, and offering assessment/design/specifications of HVAC equipment and components;
- performing detailed calculations for pipe sizing, pump sizing, and heat transfer; and
- specifying and designing pipe supports.
- Managing the operations of a large system, such as a manufacturing facility or a power plant.
- Researching for new ideas and solutions that could be able to satisfy society’s demands or improving and expanding older ideas and solutions.
- Supervising and working with Technicians, Technologists, and other Engineers.
- Following and ensuring compliance with the Canadian National Building Code (NBC), plumbing and gas code, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, and industry practices, regulations, standards, and other applicable codes.
- Analyzing problems in order to solve them using mechanical and thermal devices.
- Designing or redesigning mechanical and thermal devices using analysis and CAD programs.
- Developing and testing prototypes of the devices they design.
- Analyzing the test results and changing the design as needed.
- Overseeing the manufacturing process of the device.
- Supervising and working alongside a multidisciplinary team of professionals.
The average Mechanical Engineer salary is $64,730 per year or $33 per hour. This is around 2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $45,000 while most experienced workers make up to $91,000. These results are based on 372 salaries extracted from job descriptions.