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Occupational Profile

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 $111,810.00
  • Avg. Wage $54.99
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 7,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Design Engineer, Engineer, Professional Engineer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Mechanical Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Mechanical Engineers
NOC code: 2132
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 Dec 19, 2016

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

  • industrial systems and processing (for example, in refineries, petrochemical facilities, mines)
  • manufacturing systems, plants and products
  • environmental control systems (heating, ventilating and air conditioning)
  • transportation equipment (land, sea, air, 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.

There are many different specializations in mechanical engineering. The following illustrate some of the possibilities:

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

Development engineers analyze proposed products or processes, test them out and attempt to improve them.

Manufacturing engineers plan, develop and research the tools, processes, machines and equipment needed to produce quality products economically (for more information, see the Manufacturing Engineer occupational profile).

Sales engineers are involved in technical sales and service (for more information, see the Technical Sales Representative profile).

Research engineers investigate and develop new materials, processes, engineering tools and phenomena that may enable the creation of new products, systems and applications.

Project engineers are responsible for the design, purchasing, installation and startup of mechanical equipment. 

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Mechanical engineers may work in office, laboratory, shop or field environments. Field work is required to review site conditions and inspect the construction of designs. Mechanical engineers also may work in research and development laboratories, or the production departments of factories where they supervise the testing and manufacture of products.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Mechanical engineers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think in mathematical and abstract terms
  • the ability to visualize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings
  • a practical, mechanical inclination
  • an interest in technical processes
  • persistence and determination
  • well developed oral and written communication skills
  • good interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

They should enjoy being innovative, doing work that requires precision, making decisions and supervising others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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


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

Mount Royal University

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

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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, you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a professional engineer. You do not have to be registered 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.

Education

Registration as a Professional Engineer requires: (1) 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, (2) a minimum of 3 acceptable references and (3) 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, visit APEGA's website or 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 registered engineers in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process on AlbertaCanada.com.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 4A2
Phone number: 780-426-3990
Toll-free phone number (within North America): 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877
Email: email@apega.ca
Website: www.apega.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Mechanical engineers may be employed in a wide variety of industries, 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).

Experienced engineers may advance to administrative or management positions, or become self-employed consultants. Those who have 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 7,800 Albertans are employed in the Mechanical engineers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 117 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Mechanical engineers
NOC code: 2132

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 $24.04 $64.18 $40.25 $37.00
Overall $30.55 $86.77 $54.99 $52.53
Top $36.06 $130.72 $77.59 $68.27

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.

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.


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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

17%
17%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

1%
1%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 13, 2014. 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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