Mechanical engineers in the energy industry design and operate fossil fuel, hydroelectric, conventional, nuclear, and cogeneration power plants. They are involved in all aspects of the production and conversion of energy from one form to another. Mechanical engineers are responsible for the design of Gas Transmission and Distribution main and service networks, including the identification and siting of required metering and regulating stations. They also oversee the construction of those networks to meet design specifications. Mechanical engineers are also involved in exciting projects such as developing alternatives to thermal energy, power cycle devices, fuel cells, gas turbines, and innovative uses of coal, wind, and tidal flow.

Mechanical Engineer Skills:

  • Responsible for the safe and efficient operation of equipment such as internal combustion engines and steam and gas turbines.
  • Investigate equipment failures and difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and to make recommendations to maintenance crew.
  • Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted design (CAD) or drafting equipment and software.
  • Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems and needs.
  • Oversee the installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of machines and equipment to ensure they are installed and functioning according to specifications.

Mechanical Engineers also need to:

  • Communicate effectively verbally and through writing.
  • Have integrity and follow the standards of the company and engineering profession.
  • Understand the importance of hard work and have a positive attitude.
  • Anticipate what needs to be done and take action.
  • Work cooperatively with others.
  • Identify and solve problems in a systematic way.

Education/Experience Needed

An entry-level engineer needs a Bachelor of Science in Engineering or the equivalent. To view a list of available degree programs in your area, use the NEEN Program Locator.


Median Annual Mechanical Engineer Salary: $85,880
From O*NET 8/2018