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Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers research, design, and evaluate machines, devices, equipment, systems, and processes. They plan and oversee their development, installation, operation, and maintenance.

Also Known As

Design Engineer, Engineer, Professional Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Mechanical Engineers (2132) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Mechanical Engineers (C032) 
  • 2011 NOC: Mechanical engineers (2132) 
  • 2016 NOC: Mechanical engineers (2132) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Mechanical Engineers
2006 NOC : 2132

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to develop maintenance standards, schedules and programs, and to investigate mechanical failures and unexpected maintenance problems

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to design power plants, machines, components, tools, fixtures and equipment; and to analyze the dynamics and vibrations of mechanical systems and structures

DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising technicians, technologists and other engineers; and in overseeing the installation, modification and commissioning of mechanical systems at construction sites and in industrial facilities, in providing guidance to industrial maintenance crews, and in approving designs, calculations and cost estimates

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mechanical engineers work on a variety of systems, including:

  • Industrial systems and processing such as in refineries, petrochemical facilities, and mines
  • Manufacturing systems, plants, and products
  • Environmental control systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Transportation equipment for land, sea, air, or space
  • Utility systems and infrastructure delivering water, gas, oil, and power

They can work in emerging fields such as:

  • Robotics
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Commercial space travel
  • Lasers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Telecommunications
  • Computer components and systems

This field is diverse and broad. Mechanical engineers can specialize in many different areas.

Design engineers create plans for new products, machines, industrial equipment, instruments, processes, and systems. They provide technical support when making changes to existing systems.

Development engineers analyze, test, and improve proposed products or processes.

Manufacturing engineers plan, develop, and research tools, processes, machines, and equipment. They strive to create the best products at the best prices.

Sales engineers work in technical sales and service.

Research engineers explore and develop new materials, processes, and engineering tools. These may lead to the creation of new products, systems, and applications.

Project engineers design, purchase, test, inspect, approve, install, and start mechanical equipment.

Piping engineers ensure safe operation of pipe and pipelines. They design and maintain piping and pipeline systems within and between industrial sites, and within commercial buildings. They also perform stress analysis of piping systems.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Mechanical engineers may work in office, lab, shop, or field settings. They do field work to review site conditions and inspect design construction. They may work in research and development labs. In the production departments of factories, they may supervise product testing and manufacturing.

Many need to travel often for project management, engineering, or technical sales. This may include domestic or international travel.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mechanical engineers need:

  • Persistence and determination
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • People skills
  • The ability to do math and think in abstract terms
  • The ability to visualize 3D objects from 2D drawings
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Comfort with mechanical things
  • A practical approach to tasks
  • An interest in technical processes
  • A commitment to ethics and professionalism

They should enjoy:

  • Being innovative
  • Doing precise, detail-oriented tasks
  • Following established processes
  • Making decisions
  • Supervising and delegating work to others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Mechanical engineers need at least a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

They must adapt to dramatic changes in skill requirements throughout their careers. They must be comfortable understanding and working with codes and standards.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Engineer

Professional engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor, and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes, and structures.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and Engineering and Geoscience Professions General Regulation [pdf], you must register as a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering.

You do not have to register if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a Professional Engineer or use the word “engineer” in your job title.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Engineer.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mechanical engineers work in:

  • Natural resources such as forestry, agriculture, oil and gas, and mining
  • Energy conversion such as thermal and hydroelectric power stations, solar, wind, and biofuels
  • Processing such as petrochemical refining and food and beverage production
  • Manufacturing such as vehicles, appliances, furnishings, and telecommunication equipment
  • Construction of mechanical systems such as elevators, air conditioning, heating, or ventilation systems
  • Transportation systems such as road, rail, air, marine, and space vehicles
  • Utility systems such as water, natural gas, and electricity
  • Consumer electronics such as technology and automation
  • Engineering consulting firms

Engineers may advance to administrative or management positions. They may become self-employed consultants. Those with graduate degrees may teach at the post-secondary level or conduct research.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2132: Mechanical engineers occupational group, 79.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2132: Mechanical engineers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 116 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Mechanical engineers

2016 NOC : 2132
Average Wage
$47.42
Per Hour
Average Salary
$97,209.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2132 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.04 $62.31 $35.43 $31.25
Overall $31.58 $68.99 $47.42 $40.87
Top $37.67 $87.18 $58.65 $55.29

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

37%
37%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

19%
19%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website: www.apega.ca

Society of Mechanical Engineers website: www.sme.org

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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