In-Demand Mechanical Engineering Jobs in the US: Industries and Opportunities

Date: 25 May 2023

Look out the window: we live in a world where self-driving vehicles roam our streets and consumers can take professional-grade photos with their mid-range smartphone camera. Who is responsible for building this future? Mechanical engineers are at the top of the list.

Engineering isn’t just well-paid, it also enjoys relatively stable hiring demand. If you are on the hunt for mechanical engineering jobs in particular, then you have a field experiencing steady growth, too. And in terms of job satisfaction, you get to take part in developing our society’s most crucial technologies.

In this guide, we aim to discuss what the current demand for mechanical engineer jobs is. We’ll cover why these careers are in demand and what options are available to you.

Current Demand for Mechanical Engineering Jobs

Mechanical engineering jobs in the US will experience at least 2% growth per annum. This is not particularly high, but it is consistent compared to many other fields. Every year, approximately 18,000 job opportunities appear for mechanical engineers.

That said, some projections are more optimistic. The ASME predicts that there will be about 4% growth, and even larger quantities of job opportunities. We believe this statistic is more accurate, especially considering the future growth MS will experience.

Salaries for a certified mechanical engineer are quite high. On the low end, such as entry-level jobs, mechanical engineers can expect to make about $60,000 per year. But the median is $90,000 per year.

The highest end engineering jobs easily make over $100,000 per year, with some of them getting close to $200,000 per year. As you gain more experience, you will likely find these higher-paying opportunities.

Why Is Demand so High?

Mechanical engineers build and perfect mechanical systems. They take engineering disciplines and apply them to create intuitive and efficient mechanical/machine solutions. They perform some of the most important career roles in the country, such as the following:

  • Aerospace Engineering and Research
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Power plant engineering
  • Thermal engineering (i.e. HVAC systems)
  • Automotive engineering
  • Biomedical engineering

As you can see, many of these jobs are critical to the everyday function of the United States and its industries. Mechanical engineers are often pioneering the research that drives modern discoveries and innovations.

Further, the future potential for mechanical engineers is extremely high. New technologies, such as nanotechnology and additive manufacturing will likely create new fields and thousands of job opportunities. Clean, green energy solutions such as fusion and renewables will require a new class of mechanical and energy engineers.

With that said, let’s discuss individual fields where there are a plethora of mechanical engineer jobs.

Automotive Engineering: Driving Opportunities for Mechanical Engineers

Automotive engineers create both the systems and the components of modern vehicles. There is an approximately 4% projected growth for this specific subset.

The automotive industry alone is set to create tons of new opportunities with the rise of electric vehicles. Engineering EVs that can outcompete ICE vehicles is one of the largest undertakings of our time.3§

In addition to this, many major companies are racing towards fully autonomous self-driving vehicles. This is an incredibly difficult problem to solve and requires mechanical solutions as much as AI and software engineering.

Aerospace and Defense Sector: High-Flying Engineering Careers

The United States aviation industry and the military-industrial complex are massive. Defense and government contracts are incredibly lucrative. An excellent recent example would be the development of the F-35 fighter jet.

These contracts extend to the development of spacecraft and civilian aircraft for everyday air travel.

Energy and Renewable Resources: Powering the Future

Even the largest oil manufacturers know that the writing is on the wall for fossil fuels. There is a massive global investment in renewable energy of all forms, from solar to wind.

Nuclear power will still play a role as a transition energy source until renewables are perfected.

Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering: Optimizing Processes

The hot topic in the manufacturing sector is automation. Machines are steadily replacing humans in factory jobs. As a mechanical engineer, you will oversee this transition and optimize efficiency with these machines.

The emphasis these days is on lean manufacturing and perfecting manufacturing methodologies.

Biomedical Engineering: Merging Engineering and Healthcare

Healthcare is also reaping the benefits of modern technology. These include mechanical prosthetics and improved medical imaging.

Bioengineering is pushing medicine to new heights never before seen. Combined with the power of AI, engineers may be able to solve some of the most complex medical quandaries of our time.

HVAC and Building Systems: Creating Comfortable Environments

HVAC systems will always require maintenance and development. With climate change on the horizon, the emphasis now is on efficiency, sustainability, and integration with smart building technologies.

Your job as an HVAC engineer is to create ultra-low-power systems that still perform well. It also includes driving the adoption of new technologies, such as heat pumps.

Consumer Products and Electronics: Innovating Everyday Devices

If you want to be on the cutting edge of consumer electronics, then mechanical engineering is the field for you. You could be designing new smartphones and smart wearables. This is a lucrative field, as all major phone manufacturers release at least one new phone per year.

Even things like appliances and cars are getting smarter by the day–all courtesy of MS.

Research and Development (R&D): Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation

Research is where the rubber meets the road. It is here that groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting technologies are born. This could be in private research institutions, government labs, or universities.

Emerging Technologies and Future Opportunities

As we’ve mentioned, mechanical engineering is a burgeoning field for future technologies. Practically all of the major advancements happening right now have some relation to mechanical engineering. AI-enabled robotics, renewable energy solutions, and even additive manufacturing will require skilled, intuitive engineering.

Find a Job with the SSA Group

Mechanical engineering jobs provide critical services to our society at large and experience consistent demand. They tackle a diverse array of fields, from R&D to consumer electronic development. Whether you want to develop groundbreaking medical technologies or perfect automated manufacturing, there is a job for you.

SSA Group can help you find that dream career in mechanical engineering that you have always wanted. Take a look at our vacancies for mechanical engineering positions of all kinds.

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