Career Definition of a Mechanical Test Engineer
Mechanical test engineers work in the mechanical engineering field. This means that the type of products they may work with can vary widely. Some may work with engines while others may be involved with producing things like power tools or air conditioning equipment. Their main objective is to ensure that the products they work on are safe, comply with regulations and are ready for production.
Mechanical test engineers will determine the appropriate criteria for testing the type of products they work on. They may need to determine if the equipment can perform specific functions under different types of conditions. These engineers create a testing plan and then implement it. They oversee the testing process and collect the data needed to evaluate the product. Once they have that data they assess it and use it to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the product. They may provide recommendations for how to revise the product design to address specific issues. These professionals prepare reports and may collaborate with other engineers on design modifications. They may also be responsible for producing a testing budget and staying within the designated budget.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Problem-solving, teamwork skills, working well independently, communication strengths, computer abilities, analytical skills, mathematical strengths, budgeting skills|
|Mean Salary (2020)*||$71,478|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)**||4% (all mechanical engineers)|
Sources: *Glassdoor.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Mechanical test engineers must have a bachelor's degree. Employers will typically seek applicants who have a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, although they may also consider applicants with a degree in electrical engineering. Many positions require relevant work experience, so academic programs that include internships may give those pursuing a career in this field an advantage when seeking work. A Professional Engineer (PE) license isn't required, but it may also help increase job prospects.
Mechanical test engineers must be capable of working independently to complete tasks. Teamwork skills are also necessary to collaborate with other engineers on specific product issues. These engineers also should be excellent problem solvers to determine ways for addressing performance issues with the products they evaluate. They need solid analytical skills to effectively process the data they collect from testing and must be strong communicators to clearly explain their conclusions and recommendations.
Career Outlook and Salary
Glassdoor.com provides salary information for mechanical test engineers. As of 2020, this group of engineers reportedly earned an annual average salary of $71,478. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes mechanical test engineers with their listing for mechanical engineers. Over the ten year period from 2018 to 2028 the BLS expects mechanical engineers to see their job opportunities increase by 4%. This is about as fast the average rate of job growth expected for all occupations during that same time period, which the BLS predicts will be 5%.
Other engineering careers may also appeal to those considering a future as a mechanical test engineer. Use the links here to learn more about the work of other engineers.