Mechanical Designer

Draw designs that are used to manufacture new products.
picture of Mechanical Designer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Mechanical Designers do?

Mechanical Designers draw detailed plans for future products and building systems. The blueprints you make are used by other people, like Mechanical Engineers and manufacturers, to create different machines—from computers and electronics to heating and cooling units.

When a company wants a new product, they call a Mechanical Engineer and you. As the Mechanical Designer, you create the picture the Engineer and everyone involved in the production will use. The pictures you make give them a direction to follow and an idea of what they’re working to create. Because of the dual nature of this job, you need not only some serious mechanical know-how, but also the drawing skills of an Artist.

Different manufacturing industries employ Mechanical Designers. You can work on drawings of buildings, cars, and airplanes, to name just a few. Where you work will dictate what you need to focus on. If you’re in construction, for example, you need to know how to make plumbing and fire protection units—things that won’t be relevant at all if you’re in the automotive field helping to create the next green car.

You do most of your drawings using computers and a highly specialized software known as CAD (computer aided drafting). This software helps you show different angles, and displays close-ups of your designs all with the touch of a button. Using CAD software, you can fulfill one of your biggest responsibilities, which is to change your designs as needed. Since your designs serve as the beginnings of sophisticated machines, they need to be as perfect as possible. CAD helps you test your designs so you can find flaws and fix them without taking up too much time.


Should I be a Mechanical Designer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become a Mechanical Designer

    Most Mechanical Designers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:xo9mda&chl=no+college+%2814%25%29|certificate+%2824%25%29|associate%27s+%2837%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2823%25%29|master%27s+%282%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,14,37
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