The work of a Mechanical Engineer consists mostly on the designing and development of machines that can serve various purposes. Some Mechanical Engineers specialize in vehicles, specialized machinery used in construction, and other sorts of technology that can be used to facilitate and optimize the quality of life and people as well as assisting in everyday endeavours. Mechanical Engineers out a lot of their work and effort into coming up with new and innovative machines as well as improving existing ones, finding alternative sources of energy, or in any way optimizing their functions and operations.
Physics and its properties and phenomena are one of the main pillars of study for any Mechanical Engineers. These professionals apply these principles when designing and building machines and appliances that facilitate every aspect of human life.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Mechanical Engineer are required to complete.
- Researching and evaluating the overall performance of existing machines, technologies, and systems.
- Designing and building machines that generate or convert a form of energy into motion (e.g. converting heat into kinetic energy to move vehicles):
- Analyzing the internal workings and dynamics of machines and other systems;
- using computer-aided design (CAD) software in order to simulate how a machine is expected to work on a theoretical level;
- preparing conceptual and detailed design calculations, layouts, sketches, specifications which comply with thorough engineering practices and standards;
- assembling prototypes for testing;
- detecting and solving mechanical failures or maintenance issues that may arise, making the appropriate design changes; and
- evaluating materials and dimensions for final versions of the project.
- Overseeing the development of projects and operations:
- Estimating budgets, costs and time lapses for projects, as well as considering specific client requests;
- designing and building the required machines;
- overseeing the installation and implementation process of commissioned mechanical systems;
- establishing maintenance procedures and protocols;
- monitoring and controlling project progress and costs against the established schedule and budget; and
- following up on any project issues.
- Conducting the necessary research to come up with new ideas and solutions, or improving older ones, that could be able to satisfy the demands of the current society.
- Liaising and working alongside colleagues and Engineers of other branches.
- Designing and assembling machines that convert a form of energy into another (e.g. converting kinetic energy into electricity or electricity into heat).
- Making the necessary changes to the design after analyzing the prototype results.
- Overseeing the design, assembly and installation process of mechanical systems.
- 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.
- Outstanding levels of imagination, creativity, and inventiveness in order to come up with solutions for technical and mechanical problems.
- Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills:
- Communicating clearly, both verbally and in writing, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with coworkers and clients;
- being able to read and write technical reports; and
- being able to work cohesively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
- Mathematical and mechanical skills:
- Using calculus and advanced mathematics in order to perform complex calculations; and
- applying basic engineering concepts and processes to all projects.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner using critical thinking and good judgment; and
- being precise and accurate in their calculations and analyses.
- Organizational and time management skills and great attention to detail:
- Avoiding disorganization in the workplace that can lead to legal problems, damage to equipment, and accidents;
- being able to work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced environment;
- handling various projects with aggressive deadlines; and
- being able to prioritize tasks and responsibilities accordingly.
Most Mechanical Engineer positions require an undergraduate degree (BEng) in Mechanical Engineering or other related engineering disciplines, such as Aeronautical or Manufacturing Engineering. Candidates with relevant postgraduate degrees, such as masters or Ph.D.’s, tend to have the advantage over other candidates when applying for a job in the area. Employers usually ask for 3 to 5 years of related Engineering experience.
All candidates applying for a job as a Mechanical Engineer must be proficient in computer-aided design (CAD) software, especially AutoCAD, as well as being a registered professional in their corresponding province. Only licensed Engineers can practice this career in Canada. The provincial and territorial regulatory bodies for all Engineering careers in this country are the ones associated to Engineers Canada, which is in charge of overseeing all matters related to this field, including licensing.
Furthermore, Engineers must follow and ensure 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. These professionals must also have a thorough understanding of quality standards relative to mechanical system analysis and have technical familiarity with calculation software applications and design methodologies, codes, and standards.
Generally, Mechanical Engineers work around 8 to 10 hours a day. However, when project deadlines are approaching or if they’re doing field-based work, they may be required to work additional hours on weekends and national holidays.