Mechanical Designer / Engineer

Mechanical designers typically work in an office setting, reviewing specifications and other data to develop mechanical layouts. Designers typically have working knowledge of mechanical parts as well as computer-aided design (CAD) software, such as AutoCAD. Some mechanical designers may travel to job sites or factories to measure physical dimensions for machinery and observe production lines.

Mechanical Designer Duties

Mechanical designers typically begin a project by meeting with project managers, engineers, and clients to understand the needs and requirements for a new product or mechanical system. For example, designers working on a project to create an automobile engine may consult engineers regarding which structural materials to use or clients regarding engine efficiency requirements. Once materials and specifications have been determined, designers begin using CAD software to plan and develop models. This may include testing and modifying models under different conditions, such as temperature or humidity.

Once a preliminary model is set, mechanical designers may be responsible for presenting it to a project engineer. If the model is approved, designers may then finalize designs and sent prints to the production department. Other duties may include reproducing and archiving designs.

Requirements for a Mechanical Designer

Junior colleges and technical institutes offer certificate and associate’s degrees in mechanical design technology or a related field. While certificate programs last 6-12 months and focus more on mechanical design principles and manufacturing process, associate’s degree programs may take up to 1-2 years to complete and include advanced courses in mathematics and engineering technologies. Topics may range from designing machinery parts like fasteners and clutches, to analyzing material strengths and stress factors.

Most programs include at least one CAD laboratory course. Students in these courses become familiarized with CAD interfaces, inputs and concepts. Experienced students may be responsible for developing 2- and 3-dimensional designs of mechanical devices, including system calculations and project budgets.

Salary Range: $60,000 annual plus health benefits
Full-time position
Advanced experience with Solidworks 2021 is required.

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