What does a Principal Mechanical Engineer do?
Mechanical engineers develop, design, build, test, and inspect mechanical devices and systems, such as machines, tools, and engines. Since mechanical engineering is a very broad field, they work in a variety of different industries designing a wide range of products. Most mechanical engineers work in manufacturing, research and development, or at companies that offer engineering services.
Typically, mechanical engineers have a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field such as mechanical engineering technology. They need advanced mathematical skills to perform calculations and they need to be able to think creatively.
- Plan, conceptualize, and create mechanical designs for new products
- Develop testing processes, and perform testing and validation of new designs
- Generate working prototypes for beta testing and customer demonstration
- Perform engineering calculations to support design work
- Create and review technical drawings, plans, and specifications using computer software
- Collaborate with multi-disciplinary engineering teams, and work with vendors and contractors
- Perform detailed documentation to track project development and design process
- Ensure project timeline is met and project stays within budget
- Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related field
- 2-5 years of experience working in engineering
- Firm grasp of engineering concepts, and experience desiging mechanical systems and products
- Excellent math skills: ability to apply advanced mathematical principles and statistics to solve problems
- Experience using CAD software such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or similar
- Exceptional technical and problem-solving skills and reasoning ability
- Ability to communicate effectively and clearly
- Must be self-motivated and a great team worker
Principal Mechanical Engineer Salaries
Average Base Pay
Principal Mechanical Engineer Career Path
Learn how to become a Principal Mechanical Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Principal Mechanical Engineer Insights
“Everyone is typically nice and supportive towards anything you don't know and support for your work.”
“Everyone I encountered at JM was friendly and welcoming which helped me settle in at the start of my career.”
“Long hours and sometimes not enough resources to do as good a job as you know you could”
“it is a highly flexible work enviroment and provides oportunities to work on a range of interesting projects”
“Everyone was so kind and didn't seem bothered no matter how many questions I had.”
“My group is in a rough spot but overall the culture is good and I enjoy my work.”
“It is a fair and secure job where one is given opportunities for promotion if one works well and shows enthusiasm toward the job.”
“Overall a great place to work with endless opportunities to explore and advance your career.”
Principal Mechanical Engineer Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of mechanical engineers
Mechanical engineersspend most of their day working on a computer, and solve problems by using math — lots of math. Mechanical engineers design, develop, and test mechanical devices such as engines, machines, or robots. They may specialize in particular fields including thermal engineering, manufacturing engineering, aerospace engineering, and biomedical engineering.
A career as a mechanical engineer can be very rewarding because you will be able to help people by designing machines that improve their quality of life. Mechanical engineering is also an excellent choice because it can lead to a career in other fields like business, manufacturing, and accounting if one chooses not to work as a mechanical engineer.
Yes, they do get paid well. The median salary for a mechanical engineer in the United States is €90,098 per year with the highest earners making more than six figures annually! This salary figure is derived from all mechanical engineer salaries that have been submitted anonymously by Glassdoor users, and includes hourly wage data as well as earnings from self-employment.
Working as a mechanical engineer can be hard, and you may have to work long hours to meet deadlines or solve problems. You also have to be willing to do some physical work and spend a lot of time doing paperwork. Mechanical engineers are often required by law to pursue professional development by completing continuing education courses, even after obtaining their degree.