Mechanical engineers


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Mechanical engineers undertake research and design, direct the manufacture and manage the operation and maintenance of engines, machines, aircraft, vehicle and ships’ structures, building services and other mechanical items.


Mechanical engineers usually possess an accredited university degree. After qualifying, periods of appropriate training and experience are required before membership of a chartered engineering institution is attainable. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4, followed by periods of training and relevant experience.

Typical tasks

  • undertakes research and advises on energy use, materials handling, thermodynamic processes, fluid mechanics, vehicles and environmental controls;
  • determines materials, equipment, piping, capacities, layout of plant or system and specification for manufacture;
  • designs mechanical equipment, such as steam, internal combustion and other non-electrical motors for railway locomotives, road vehicles, aeroplanes and other machinery;
  • ensures that equipment, operation and maintenance comply with design specifications and safety standards;
  • organises and establishes control systems to monitor operational efficiency and performance of materials and systems.

Common job titles

Engineer, heavy
Officer, engineering (government)
Engineer, mechanical and electrical
Engineer, automobile
Inspector, engineering, chief
Engineer, plant
Engineer, marine, chief
Constructor, naval
Engineer, chief, area (coal mine)
Engineer, incorporated (mechanical engineering)
Engineer, marine, superintendent
Officer, research
Architect, naval
Engineer, marine, senior
Inspector of fighting vehicles
Inspector, engineering (Jobcentre Plus)
Officer, inspection (Dept for Business Innovation and Skills)
Surveyor, design (Civil Aviation Authority)
Engineer, mechanical
Engineer, aeronautical
Engineer, locomotive
Expert, salvage, marine
Surveyor, aircraft
Engineer, welding
Engineer, mechanical, chief
Engineer, mechanical, group (coal mine)
Engineer, mechanical, area (coal mine)
Engineer, operations (electricity supplier)
Engineer, aerospace
Engineer, chassis
Engineer, stress, aircraft
Assistant, research
Engineer, diesel
Engineer, mechanisation
Officer, technical, principal
Engineer, mechanical, unit (coal mine)
Engineer, chief
Engineer, motorsport
Designer, aircraft
Officer, certifying (DETR)
Officer, transport, mechanical, chief
Engineer, stress (aircraft mfr)
Engineer, hydraulic
Engineer, services, building, mechanical
Officer, scientific
Engineer, stress, aeronautical
Engineer, works
Designer, naval
Consultant, engineering
Engineer, textile
Associate, research
Designer, nautical
Engineer, stress
Engineer, tool, machine
Inspector, chief (engineering,
Engineer, automotive
Engineer, salvage, marine
Engineer, aviation
Engineer, marine
Engineer, mill

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.