Careers Finding a Job Important Job Skills for Mechanical Engineers Share PINTEREST Email Print Monty Rakusen / Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Career Planning Table of Contents Expand Skills Mechanical Engineers Need Types of Mechanical Engineer Skills Problem Solving Creativity Communication and Leadership Teamwork Math and Computer Skills More Mechanical Engineering Skills Mechanical Engineer Resume Example By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Alison Doyle is a job search expert and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts. Alison brings extensive experience in corporate human resources, management, and career development, which she has adapted for her freelance work. She is also the founder of CareerToolBelt.com, which provides simple and straightforward advice for every step of your career. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 06/15/22 A career in mechanical engineering is both highly lucrative and intrinsically rewarding. However, engineers must have a solid educational background and training to get started on their career path. Therefore, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (or mechanical engineering technology) is essential. Many mechanical engineers also have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Certain jobs in mechanical engineering also require a license. What Skills Does a Mechanical Engineer Need? Mechanical engineers design, build, and test mechanical devices such as tools, engines, and machines. Considered the broadest engineering discipline, mechanical engineers work in engineering services, research facilities, manufacturing industries, and the federal government. A mechanical engineer should have specific hard skills, including a solid understanding of industry standards and excellent computer skills, because much time is spent designing, simulating, and testing. In addition, mechanical engineers should have soft skills, such as strong analytical thinking and communication capabilities. Types of Mechanical Engineering Skills These are some of the most important skills for mechanical engineers: Problem Solving Mechanical engineers need to be strong analytical thinkers who are capable of solving problems raised by clients or their employer. Analytical thinkingAnalyze test results and adjust design if neededDevelop and test prototypesDesign mechanical device projectsDetail-orientedDevelop design calculationsEnsure designs meet legal guidelines and safety requirementsIdentify potential design improvementsKnowledgeable in the machining and fabrication processPerform equipment and system calculationsProduct validation experienceProvide cost estimates for materials, equipment, and/or laborResearch materials for future design opportunities and usageSound knowledge of engineering fundamentalsTest building materialsTroubleshoot equipment to solve problemsWork to improve and maintain existing products A big part of a mechanical engineer’s job involves solving problems using mechanical or thermal devices. Creativity Mechanical engineering entails developing and designing products, which range from batteries to electric generators to medical devices. Inventing products involves a great deal of creativity, as does figuring out how to bring projects home within challenging timeframes. Work in 3D design (computer-aided design, or “CAD”)Devise alternative mechanical structuresDevelop new tools and systems to enhance productionComplete assigned tasks within time and budget restraintsConvert basic design information and requirements into working drawingsCreate blueprints using CAD (computer-aided design)Develop a scope and timeline for each projectDraft standards and geometric, dimension, & tolerancing (GD&T) specificationsPrepare designs and estimates Communication and Leadership Often, mechanical engineers develop a product for a client. They may have to explain complex machines or devices to people who are not familiar with mechanical engineering. They have to be able to convey their ideas clearly and effectively, and this takes strong communication skills. They also frequently leverage their communication talents to take the lead on mechanical design and manufacturing projects. Clearly explain design ideasComfortable writing technical reportsMake regular site visitsManage and monitor each stage of a projectOversee the project manufacturing processPrepare conclusions and analysis reportsRead and interpret drawings and specificationsRecommend modifications for design improvements and simplificationEffectively present proposals, status reports, and final project reports to groupsUse notes, sketches, and verbal instructions to complete project designsWrite and maintain operating procedures and standards Teamwork Mechanical engineering involves a lot of teamwork. Engineers might work with people who are not mechanical engineers, such as computer scientists or architects. As such, they need to be able to work with a diverse team of people to solve problems. Many engineers will need the leadership skills necessary to manage or lead groups. Assemble project deliverablesAssist with field and manufacturing problemsAssist with shipping of equipment before deploymentProactive and willing to take on new challengesWork effectively under pressureMentor junior staffResolve conflicts between team membersMotivate team members Engineers often work in groups to invent technologies and solve problems. Math and Computer Skills Mechanical engineers need to be comfortable using math to solve problems. The math skills required in mechanical engineering include calculus and statistics. They must be adept at applying these skills to analyze problems and design solutions. AutoCADAutomated model programmingCAD (computer-aided design)Engineering product data management software (EPDM)Microsoft office suite experiencePro-E CREO CAD softwareUnderstand diagrams, drafts, flowcharts, and other information and documentationUse software to design at the level of industry and government standardsGeometryTrigonometryCalculusStatistics More Mechanical Engineering Skills ComplianceInductive reasoningDeductive reasoningDesignEnvironmental awarenessWritten communicationVerbal communicationEntrepreneurshipIndependent thinkingInvestigationCommitment to ongoing improvementOrganizational approachProject managementStrategic planningStatisticsData analysisStructural analysisCausal relationshipsCollaborationDiagnostic approachEvaluation skillsIntegrationSound judgmentOptimization Mechanical Engineer Resume Example Review a resume sample for a mechanical engineer with tips and advice on what to include. How to Make Your Skills Stand Out ADD YOUR MOST RELEVANT SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME: Employers now frequently employ automated applicant tracking systems as the first stage in their candidate search process. These systems are programmed to search for industry-specific keyword phrases. If your resume doesn’t include these keywords, it may be immediately discounted. HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS IN YOUR COVER LETTER: Be sure to include industry-specific keywords in the body of your cover letter, accompanied by specific examples of times when you demonstrated these skills in the workplace. USE SKILL WORDS DURING JOB INTERVIEWS: You can use the skill words in this article in an interview. Make sure you have ready at least one example of a time you demonstrated each of the top skill sets listed in this article in class projects, internships, or work projects.