Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering Jobs: Salary & Job Descriptions

Those interested in beginning a career in the field of mechanical engineering have several jobs to choose from. Find out more about the available careers, their median salaries and expected job growth rates.

Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering Career Options

There are several entry-level mechanical engineering jobs that may require and/or utilize a degree in the field. These jobs typically do not require related work experience or on-the-job training, but vary in their specific job duties. Here we discuss a few of these entry-level positions.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Mechanical Engineers $84,190 9%
Mechanical Engineering Technicians $54,480 5%
Mechanical Drafters $54,480 5%
Materials Engineers $93,310 2%
Sales Engineers $100,000 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering Jobs

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers are not required to have any related work experience or on-the-job training to design and research a wide range of mechanical devices, such as a sensors and controllers. They also build and test these devices, which are usually developed to solve a particular problem. Mechanical engineers may specialize in heating and cooling systems, robotics or the automotive industry and work to correct any equipment failures and develop any needed updates to systems. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and eventually need to obtain a license to work with the public.

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

Mechanical engineering technicians do not need work experience or on-the-job training to assist mechanical engineers. These technicians help engineers design and test engines, machines and other devices to prepare the product for manufacturing. They conduct detailed tests, make calculations, analyze data, use software to create layouts and plans and present their findings in reports. Mechanical engineering technicians need a background in science and math and may hold an associate's degree or postsecondary training in mechanical engineering technology or a related field.

Mechanical Drafters

Mechanical drafters do not undergo any on-the-job training and do not need prior work experience to create technical drawings in their field. Mechanical drafters take the rough sketches from mechanical engineers and use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create detailed and accurate designs. Their drawings include various specifications, such as dimensions and materials, for machinery and mechanical devices. Mechanical drafters usually hold an associate's degree in drafting with an emphasis in mechanical drafting.

Materials Engineers

Materials engineers do not need related work experience or on-the-job training. Although materials engineering is its own field, some of these engineers specialize in working with metals and other materials that are needed for mechanical engineering, and these fields often overlap. Materials engineers develop and test a wide range of materials used to create an even wider range of products that meet mechanical, chemical and other specifications. They study how different materials function and break down to try and develop ways to prevent and overcome product failures, as well as look at how different materials affect the environment. They need at least a bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering or another related field in engineering, and although it is not required, experience through internships is valuable.

Sales Engineers

Sales engineers are not required to have work experience in a related job, but do typically need moderate-term on-the-job training. These engineers sell complex technological equipment and need to know how these complex machines and products work in order to fully explain it to their clients. They often present this information to clients in detailed presentations, oversee product orders and help address any issues with products. Sales engineers usually need a bachelor's degree in mechanical, electrical or other areas of engineering.

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