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Jobs for mechanical engineers are expected to grow 4% between 2019 and 2029, as fast as the average rate for all occupations, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Having experience in the latest technological advances will be favorable to candidates, especially proficiency in software tools needed to create cutting-edge computational designs and simulations.
Having an up-to-date resume will be the best way to showcase all your mechanical engineering knowledge, and JobHero is there to help you with all your resume-writing questions.
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3 Tips for Writing Mechanical Engineering Resumes
1. Choose the right format for your resume
Before you start your resume, you should take into consideration the three main formats you can use depending on your career length and what you want to achieve with your resume.
The chronological format is recommended for professionals with five or more years of experience in the same role. If you’re a seasoned mechanical foreman, you would benefit from showcasing a sturdy list of previous roles and projects.
The hybrid format displays a combination of skills and experience, and is ideal if you have two to five years of experience or if you’re applying for a promotion.
For instance, if you have spent a few years gaining practical experience as a junior engineer and want to take on a higher role like lead mechanical engineer, use this format.
The functional format highlights your skills, which is why we recommend this format to candidates with two years or less of experience. This format is ideal for engineers who just completed their college education.
2. Promote your skills
Mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse fields in engineering, and professionals need a wide set of skill sets in technical knowledge, visualization, mathematics and analysis.
Include six to eight of the following skills that demonstrate the best of your abilities as a mechanical engineering professional.
One useful tip is to browse the job description and identify keywords and skills the company is already looking for in a candidate.
Some employers, for example, will want mechanical engineers specialized in heat transfer and energy systems, so tailoring your hard skills to this particular area of expertise is key.
Make sure you have the right information rather than overwhelming hiring managers with a long or irrelevant list of skills.
3. Use a template to make your resume organized
Making sure your resume is in tip-top shape requires organization, a good eye for design and lots of dedication. JobHero’s resume templates make this process much more straightforward.
Leave your design talents to blueprint drawings and 3D modeling — our templates have pre-formatted layouts, so you don’t have to waste any time rearranging your resume over and over.
Professionalism is the name of the game. To distinguish yourself from fellow engineers and technicians with similar abilities, presenting yourself as a leader will make you stand out.
Having a sleek and professional resume template is the first step in showing hiring managers you mean business. You can choose from JobHero’s wide variety of beautiful designs and pick the one that best conveys who you are as a professional.
If your analytical mind is curious about how to create exceptional-looking resumes, take a look at our Resume Builder. This builder guides you step-by-step through the resume-writing process in just minutes.
Besides being able to choose one of our resume templates, you’ll find pro tips that help you maximize each section of your resume, and auto-suggested phrasing based on your mechanical engineering occupation, so you sound like the total expert you are.
The builder was created with the input of industry experts for the most accurate advice, and offers the most complete and thorough personalized resume guide.
What should I put on my mechanical engineering resume?
First and foremost, each resume consists of five main sections: contact information, professional summary, work history, skills and education.
From there, you can customize your resume based on your career history as a mechanical engineering professional.
If your previous roles in mechanical engineering tend to be similar, you can always include numerical proof of your achievements to differentiate each work experience.
For example, a mechanical engineer could have these quantifiable achievements in their resume:
Numbers and percentages give legitimacy to your claims and help hiring managers see the practical benefits of having you on their team.
How much do mechanical engineering jobs pay?
Compared to the national average, mechanical engineers are doing pretty well. The median annual wage for mechanical engineers is $88,430, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Engineers’ wages will vary depending on which industry they work in. For example, the highest-paid mechanical engineers work in scientific research and development services, earning a median wage of $101,780.
Other top-paying industries include computer and electronic product manufacturing and architectural, engineering and related services, with median wages between $95,000 and $90,000, reports the BLS.
In the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook for Mechanical Engineering, you can also find the median salary for similar occupations like drafters and mechanical engineering technicians, which is a little less than $57,000.
What qualifications do I need to work in mechanical engineering?
There are different routes you can take to make it into the mechanical engineering industry. Which path you choose is determined by the type of level you want to reach as a professional and how much time you want to spend studying.
Mechanical engineers need to go the traditional route since most entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, and higher-level positions demand a master’s degree.
As you gain experience, you can take the licensure test which certifies you as a professional engineer (PE) and allows you to take on leadership roles, supervise other engineer’s work, and offer your services to the public.
Licenses for mechanical engineers vary by state and require you to have an ABET-accredited degree in engineering; you must have worked at least four years in the field, and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Professional Engineering (PE) exams.
Trade schools also offer an educational path for mechanical engineering technicians and similar professionals. These institutions offer practical education to prepare students for the workforce in the form of certificates or diplomas.
For all mechanical engineering occupations, you will need excellent mathematical skills, a creative mind and problem-solving skills, as well as being able to work with your hands to know how to design and build complex mechanical systems.
How do I list education on a mechanical engineering resume?
Your resume’s education section will look different depending on your preparation. For example, mechanical engineers will most likely include a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree.
Occupations like mechanical drafter, mechanical assembler or electro-mechanical technician can do just fine with an associate degree.
Here’s an example of how your education should look in your resume:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering
University of Massachusetts – Lowell Lowell, MA
Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering Technology
If you’re a college graduate, you should not include your high school education.
Nor should you include the year that you completed your college degree(s), this is no longer an accepted practice. Since hiring managers can calculate your age based on the year you graduated, we advise against including it to avoid any potential hiring bias.
Only list graduation dates if you have not yet graduated from an institution and you want to let employers know how long you attended a particular school.
Should I include a cover letter with my mechanical engineering resume?
Definitely. A cover letter is a useful companion to any resume. Although you might not see a requirement for one in a job description, it’s industry standard to include one in your application.
Mechanical engineering professionals can use a cover letter to showcase their personality and long-term professional goals, which can be hard to express in a resume for such a technical profession.
In a cover letter, professionals aspiring for management positions can talk about instances where they have managed a team, the struggles they faced, and any feedback of their leadership from colleagues.
For promotions, cover letters are indispensable since they allow you to make a connection between each previous role in your resume.
You can narrate how you became one of the lead engineers with the highest productivity levels in your team or any other important career progression milestones.
JobHero has a collection of mechanical engineering cover letters you can use to get an idea of how it’s done, so you can achieve your strongest job application yet.