Mechanical Engineers

(NOC 2132)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Mechanical engineers research, design and develop machinery and systems for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, power generation, transportation, processing and manufacturing. They also perform duties related to the evaluation, installation, operation and maintenance of mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers are employed by consulting firms, by power-generating utilities and in a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Mechanical Engineers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 71% of Mechanical Engineers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $85,723. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$29.67

Minimum

$46.63

Median

$76.92

Maximum

Annual Pay

$21,249

Minimum

$79,210

Median

$139,015

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Mechanical engineers research, design and develop machinery and systems for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, power generation, transportation, processing and manufacturing. They also perform duties related to the evaluation, installation, operation and maintenance of mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers are employed by consulting firms, by power-generating utilities and in a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Mechanical engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct research into the feasibility, design, operation and performance of mechanisms, components and systems.
  • Plan and manage projects, and prepare material, cost and timing estimates, reports and design specifications for machinery and systems.
  • Design power plants, machines, components, tools, fixtures and equipment.
  • Analyze dynamics and vibrations of mechanical systems and structures.
  • Supervise and inspect the installation, modification and commissioning of mechanical systems at construction sites or in industrial facilities.
  • Develop maintenance standards, schedules and programs and provide guidance to industrial maintenance crews.
  • Investigate mechanical failures or unexpected maintenance problems.
  • Prepare contract documents and evaluate tenders for industrial construction or maintenance.
  • Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates.

Sample job titles

  • acoustical engineer
  • automotive engineer
  • building systems engineer
  • energy conservation engineer
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer
  • mechanical engineer
  • nuclear engineer
  • power plant engineer
  • refrigeration engineer
  • robotics engineer

Skills

To work in this field, you should have an interest in the design and operation of machines and mechanical processes. Persistence, good judgement, and the ability to think analytically and logically are important. You must be able to communicate and work well with others, as engineers often work in teams. Leadership and problem-solving skills are also expected. Computer experience would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Other considerations

There is considerable mobility between mechanical engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience. Mechanical engineers work closely with civil, electrical, aerospace, chemical, industrial and other engineers, and mobility is possible between some fields of specialization in these disciplines. Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

By the numbers

Quick look

765

employed in 2016

92.7%

employed full-time

7.2%

self employed

8.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
91.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.1

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

70.2%

Halifax

9.4%

Northern

8.8%

Annapolis Valley

7.6%

Cape Breton

4.1%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

32.0%

Professional Business Services

12.4%

Public Administration

7.2%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

5.9%

Construction

5.2%

Rubber, Plastics & Chemical Manufacturing

What is the age of Employment?

36.0%

25-34

26.6%

35-44

15.8%

45-54

10.1%

55-64

6.5%

15-24

4.3%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

51.8%

Bachelor's degree

$76,194 median annual income
13.3%

College certificate or diploma

$74,960 median annual income
10.8%

Doctorate

N/A
6.0%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$84,000 median annual income
5.4%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Mathematics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. These programs include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Mechanical engineering

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of physical systems used in manufacturing and end-product systems used for specific uses, including machine tools, jigs and other manufacturing equipment; stationary power units and appliances; engines; self-propelled vehicles; housings and containers; hydraulic and electric systems for controlling movement; and the integration of computers and remote control with operating systems.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
PO Box 613, Station "M"
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 461-1325
Fax: (902) 461-1321
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 420
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
Tel: (613) 236-0569
Fax: (613) 236-6193
Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
PO Box 280
Merrickville, ON K0G 1N0
Tel: (613) 924-0429

Additional resources

Job postings

Mechanical Engineer- Building Systems

Chief Operating Engineer

Junior Mechanical Engineers (ILS Analyst)

Junior Mechanical Engineers (ILS Analyst)

Junior Mechanical Engineers (ILS Analyst)

Associate Tooling & Equipment Engineer

Senior Mechanical Designer

View all job postings