Qualifying as a professional licensed mechanical engineer is hard work, but the rewards are great and the opportunities immense.
It really is rocket science!
Mechanical engineers do things that boggle most people’s minds, from making life-saving pacemakers to building satellites.
But it is a popular profession and you need to outshine other applicants when you apply for jobs. We’ve written a full sample resume to help you do just that.
Resume objective for mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering offers some of the broadest career options in the engineering industry. In general terms, they spend their working time researching, designing, developing, building, testing, and inspecting mechanical devices.
They analyze and troubleshoot problems related to thermal and mechanical devices and come up with solutions.
As the recruitment company Ziprecruiter says, the job options are varied and plentiful. Mechanical engineers work in the medical industry creating everything from robotic surgical assistants to artificial heart valves.
They work in the aerospace industry designing and building airplanes, rockets, missiles, and satellites for private companies and the US Government’s National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA).
They also work in manufacturing, processing, and power plants.
Perhaps you are looking for a better job in a particular industry, or maybe you want to change direction. Either way, because of the differing duties and responsibilities associated with job types, it’s a good idea to include an objective at the top of your resume.
To help you, we surveyed dozens of job postings for mechanical engineers to see what employers are looking for.
Generally, they want people who are dedicated, hard-working, knowledgeable, and experienced. They also want engineers who are focused, result-orientated, resourceful, and reliable.
Dedicated, detail-orientated mechanical engineer with five years of experience. Ready to use my extensive experience to improve aeronautical designs. I am a talented troubleshooter who enjoys solving problems. I thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Resume skills for mechanical engineering
Training, qualifications, and skills are paramount for mechanical engineers to improve their status within the industry.
The recruitment experts at Indeed highlight the importance of mentioning both hard and soft skills in mechanical engineering resumes.
Ideal hard skills include training and technical knowledge, while soft skills are people-orientated, like communication, integrity, dependability, and effective teamwork.
We scanned hundreds of job postings and some of the top skills required included design skills including CAD, AutoCAD, and 3D modeling, mathematics, knowledge of HVAC, construction experience, good communication, collaboration, creativity, and project management.
Your resume needs to show your potential employer that you have the required skills for the job. So focus on these.
To help ensure your application gets to the top of the stack, we looked at mid-level job postings for mechanical engineers and pulled out skills that are commonly required.
Accurate design and validation | Written and verbal communication | Dependable | 3D modeling | Autodesk, AutoCAD, and Mathcad | ISO and safety compliance | Process analysis | On- and off-line test development
Mechanical engineering work experience
The work experience on your resume will depend on the scope of the experience you have had.
If you are new in the field include any work you did while studying as well as internships. If you have worked as a professional for a long time, you could leave this out.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) tracks the possible career paths in mechanical engineering, showing what a good career choice it can be. The main industries for employment are:
- Engineering services with consulting companies doing design work and project management.
- Machinery manufacturing in assembly plants and suppliers that design and manufacture industrial and commercial machinery.
- Scientific R&D for public, government, corporate, and private laboratories and facilities.
- Aerospace manufacturing which involves working for facilities that design and build engines and a myriad of other components.
- The US federal government which employs mechanical engineers via NASA, the Department of Defence, and various other agencies.
The job positions available to mechanical engineers are vast and varied including becoming an HVAC engineer, bioengineer, systems engineer, waste management, nuclear, or automotive engineer. Agricultural, manufacturing, petroleum, robotics, aerospace, marine and ocean, environmental, materials, and design engineers are all qualified mechanical engineers.
Sample Work Experience
Mechanical Engineer, 2017 – 2020
Performed various engineering tasks that involved developing new products and reducing costs. Directed and performed standard product support activities including troubleshooting and initiating corrective action. Analyzed engineering change orders.
- Led more than 20 small new product development projects
- Participated in the identification of new product opportunities
- Proposed and developed the necessary technology required for more than 26 customers.
- I initiated action that helped the company reduce costs by about 30% between 2017 and 2020
Naval Nuclear Laboratory
Entry-level associate mechanical engineer, 2012 – 2016
Undertook concept development to see how new technologies could be leveraged in future naval nuclear propulsion plants. Completed feasibility assessments and designed and executed test programs. Documented technical work.
- Mentored by the lead engineer on the program
- Completed a challenging in-house training program
- Promoted to include technical interfacing with vendors on new technologies
- Undertook exploratory research for the Advanced Plant Concepts group within the company
Rosen Manufacturing Engineering Group
Mechanical design intern, 2011 (4 months)
Focused on the evaluation and structural redesign of equipment in cellular production areas. Participated in the evaluation and redesign of equipment. Did cost analysis and tracked the materials needed.
- Provided tangible products that were implemented into manufacturing processes
- Worked collaboratively with the manufacturing engineering team and other interns
- Responsible for ensuring our workspace was safe
- My final report and summary of work done was approved by my college for curriculum marks
Mechanical engineering education
Anyone who wants to become a mechanical engineer needs to concentrate on maths subjects in high school, including advanced algebra, trigonometry, and geometry, as well as chemistry and physics.
Other high school prep that is important includes reading, writing, and comprehension. Mechanical engineers need to think logically and write concisely and clearly with the correct grammar.
Universities and colleges offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates in mechanical engineering that vary in time frame. Some bachelor’s degrees can be completed in two to three years, others take up to five.
A good option is to work in co-operative education which combines study with working in an industry-related environment.
According to the ASME, an increasing number of US companies want interns, many of whom stay on afterward in permanent positions.
And it goes further than that. There is a trend in the industry to make internships a prerequisite for hiring. Companies like the engineering company, Barr which has hired hundreds of interns, say they treat interns as regular engineers and scientists.
Certainly, an internship offers the challenges of a regular job, and it not only provides hands-on education but can be listed as work experience in your resume as well.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Honors, 2012 – 2016
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science in Engineering, 2015 – 2016
- Core requirements included mechanical and mechanical and ocean engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
B&ME degree in Mechanical Engineering, 2012 – 2016
- This was an integrated two-in-one, five-year bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering
Since several years at college or university are mandatory for mechanical engineers, there isn’t usually any need for graduates to take additional courses. But there are so many software requirements in the industry, you might need to take additional courses to meet the needs of certain industry sectors.
We have mentioned some of the typical requirements already, and they will vary from job-to-job.
There are online courses you can take to improve your computer-aided design (CAD) and other software skills. Edx and Coursera offer free online mechanical engineering courses and suggest “in-demand” courses from institutions (including universities) all over the world. They may charge a small fee for the certificate.
- Mathcad and MAT LAB for maths skills
- Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
- Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
- Aeronautical Engineering (Delft University of Technology)
- A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations (Cornell University)
The engineering profession is highly regulated and unless an engineer has completed a four-year college degree and worked with a professional engineer (PE) for at least four years, he or she won’t get a professional license.
If you’ve earned a degree that took only two years to complete, then you’ll need to continue your studies and get a master’s degree to qualify for licensing and certification.
Educational programs must be accredited by ABET, the organization that sets standards for certification for professional engineers in the US.
To be licensed as a PE, qualified mechanical engineers with the required experience have to pass a couple of intense competency exams. The first is the Fundamentals of Engineering and the second, the Professional Engineering exam.
Although the principles are the same throughout the US, each state has its own specific requirements.
You can work without a license, but it’s regarded as a valuable seal of competence and assurance of quality. Furthermore, once you are a licensed PE, you’ll earn a lot more money and job opportunities will increase.
There are also certification programs offered by the producers of certain software programs like MATLAB, and computer-aided design programs like CREO and Solidworks.
Complete mechanical engineering resume sample
The best way to ascertain what companies want from mechanical engineers is to look at job posts. So we scanned through those currently offered by the best recruitment companies and singled out an ad for a mechanical engineer in the field of aeronautics.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are close to 100,000 engineering-related jobs in the state of Florida. So, even though this is a field that requires intense education and lots of experience, you’re going to need to make your resume shine.
You will see that the position offered is with Northrop Grumman, which is an American global aerospace and defense technology company. This is clearly a fantastic opportunity.
They want someone with experience.
While the responsibilities are clearly stated, the company hasn’t detailed its requirements in terms of education, experience, or certifications. But it isn’t rocket science to realize that they want all of what you have to offer and more.
We’re going to use this ad to show you how to craft a good, solid resume for a mechanical engineer qualified to work in the aerospace industry.
Aerospace Mechanical Engineer
Highly qualified mechanical engineer specializing in aeronautics. Eight years of intense experience. Proficient in computer-aided engineering and manufacturing software. Driven to succeed. Ready to exceed your expectations and climb to new heights. Loyal company employee.
Responsible and competent | CAD including NX-Teamcenter tool suite | CREO | Extensive design skills | Excellent detail drawing abilities | Communication | Attention to detail | Collaboration
Aeronautical Engineer Associate, 2017 – 2020
Part of the team responsible for estimating and controlling air vehicle mass properties. Worked through the whole process from conceptual design to delivery of aircraft.
- Developed weight production methodology
- Organized, promoted, and managed weight reduction efforts
- Created and maintained weight tracking and developed new database systems
- Handled mass modeling to determine mass distribution and inertia characteristics of aircraft
Systems Engineer, 2014 – 2016
Involved in numerous activities required to develop, test, produce, and sustain the company’s aircraft. Created technical plans and monitored project progress. Ensured projects adhered to airworthiness and safety standards.
- Collaborated with the company’s engineering teams to resolve and integrate technical requirements
- Studied the International Council on Systems engineering’s Systems Engineering processes, the Naval Air Systems Command, and Military Standards MIL-STD-499
- Developed leading technical reviews with customers that supported our work
- Offered an in-company transfer to the position of aeronautical engineer associate.
Mechanical Engineering Intern, 2013 (3 months)
Worked with experienced engineers researching, planning, designing, and developing mechanical and structural components and assemblies and systems for a wide range of systems, engines, and payloads.
- Learned how to do 3D pro/engineer modeling in CREO
- Created drawings in CREO
- Expanded my knowledge of propulsion, structures, and mechanisms
- Awarded the New Space Age Intern of the Month twice
- Current PE
- MAT LAB
- Non-destructive testing
University of Florida
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 2009 – 2012
- Majored in aerospace with B+ grades
Miami Dade College
Dual enrollment year, 2008
- Awarded a Florida Engineering Society Junior College Scholarship for my final year at school to study engineering courses towards high school and my college degree
There are very varied job opportunities for mechanical engineers but both educational and experience requirements are majorly important. Whatever job you are punting for, you need to make sure that your qualities, skills, and abilities stand out on your resume.
- To work as a mechanical engineer you need a scientific degree as well as very specific computed aided design and 3D modeling skills.
- The primary certification is professional engineer (PE). There are also other more specialized certifications, for robotics for example. Officially becoming a PE looks good on a resume and will help you go places.
- Internships offer invaluable work experience that often leads to permanent employment opportunities. Add work you did as an intern to your resume work experience.
Tips from Experts
“A resume is there to market you as a professional, and get you your dream job.” – Jake Voorhees, speaker coach and presenter of The Engineer Show
“When applying for a job as an engineer, you want to emphasize your technical skills and experience while also writing a clear and easy-to-understand resume.” – University of Colorado Career Services
“Mechanical engineering students hired after an internship tend to stay with the company beyond typical industry turnover rates,” – Sam Smith, Wood Group Mustang manager
“Our interns bill their time to specific projects and truly contribute to the success of their projects. This is a challenging expectation at times but provides valuable insights into the consulting industry. Over the years, we have hired 147 former interns as full-time employees.” – Claire Moreau, Barr Engineering
Job opportunities are Immensely varied for mechanical engineers. But whether you are sticking within the same sector or you want to expand your career into robotics, rocket science, or something completely different, you will benefit by boosting your mechanical engineering resume.
You may have a resume that you’ve used before. Use it again by all means, but first tailor it to highlight the skills and experience required for the new position you are applying for – even if it’s in the same company. It really is worth putting in a few extra hours to create a winning resume.