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Mechanical Engineer

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

Related Video(s)
Mechanical Engineer (5:38)

  • Avg. Salary $107,815.00
  • Avg. Wage $52.87
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,300
  • In Demand Lower
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

21%
21%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Mechanical Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Mechanical Engineers
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Mechanical engineers work on a variety of mechanical systems, including:

  • industrial systems and processing (such as in refineries, petrochemical facilities, mines)
  • manufacturing systems, plants, and products
  • environmental control systems (such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning)
  • transportation equipment (for land, sea, air, or space)
  • utility systems and infrastructure (delivering water, gas, oil, and power)
  • emerging fields (such as robotics, biomedical engineering, commercial space travel, lasers, nanotechnology, telecommunications, and computer components and systems).

Mechanical engineers specialize in many areas.

Design engineers create the 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. Their goal is to create the best products at the best prices (to learn more, see the Manufacturing Engineer profile).

Sales engineers work in technical sales and service (to learn more, see the Technical Sales Representative profile).

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, 2018

Mechanical engineers may work in office, lab, shop, or field settings. They do field work to review site conditions and inspect design construction. They also may work in research and development labs. They can work in the production departments of factories where they supervise product testing and manufacturing. Many need to travel often (domestically and Internationally) for project management, project engineering, or technical sales.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Mechanical engineers need to possess:

  • the ability to do math and think in abstract terms
  • the ability to see objects in 3 dimensions when looking at drawings in two dimensions
  • a practical approach to tasks
  • comfort with mechanical things
  • an interest in technical processes
  • persistence and determination
  • strong speaking and writing skills
  • good people skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • a commitment to ethics and professionalism.

They should enjoy:

  • being innovative
  • doing precise, detail-oriented tasks.
  • following established review processes (to ensure safety of design and quality of work)
  • making decisions
  • supervising and delegating work to others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The minimum education requirement for mechanical engineers is a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Mechanical engineers must adapt to dramatic changes in skill requirements throughout their careers.


Required Education

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


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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], you must be a registered 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.

What You Need

Registration as a Professional Engineer in Alberta requires successful completion of:

  • a 4-year bachelor’s degree in a recognized engineering program and at least 4 years of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • a minimum of 3 acceptable references
  • successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism.

A new Provisional Member category has been introduced. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if the 2 jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies.

For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and APEGA.

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process [pdf] on the Opportunity Alberta website.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4A2
Canada

Call: 780-426-3990
Toll-free in North America: 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877
Email: email@apega.ca
Website: www.apega.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Mechanical engineers may work in a variety of fields, including:

  • natural resources (forestry, agriculture, oil and gas, mining)
  • energy conversion (thermal and hydroelectric power stations, solar, wind and biofuels)
  • processing (petrochemical refining, food and beverage production)
  • manufacturing (vehicles, appliances, furnishings, telecommunication equipment)
  • construction (mechanical systems such as elevators or air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems)
  • transportation (road, rail, air, marine, space vehicles and systems)
  • utility systems (water, natural gas, electricity)
  • consumer electronics (technology and automation).

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

In Alberta, 81% of people employed as mechanical engineers work in the following industries:

 The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up because of people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C032: Mechanical Engineers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 117 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Mechanical engineers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

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 $20.00 $69.84 $41.14 $35.67
Overall $29.22 $80.66 $52.87 $48.13
Top $31.00 $102.88 $63.54 $60.10

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

29%
29%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

21%
21%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

1%
1%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

Society of Mechanical Engineers website: www.sme.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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