The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Sample of reported job titles:
Automation Engineer, Automation Specialist, Controls Engineer, Development Engineer, Equipment Engineer, Principal Engineer, Project Engineer, Senior Design Engineer, Senior Project Engineer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Design engineering systems for the automation of industrial tasks.
- Create mechanical design documents for parts, assemblies, or finished products.
- Maintain technical project files.
- Implement or test design solutions.
- Create mechanical models and tolerance analyses to simulate mechatronic design concepts.
- Conduct studies to determine the feasibility, costs, or performance benefits of new mechatronic equipment.
- Publish engineering reports documenting design details or qualification test results.
- Research, select, or apply sensors, communication technologies, or control devices for motion control, position sensing, pressure sensing, or electronic communication.
- Identify and select materials appropriate for mechatronic system designs.
- Apply mechatronic or automated solutions to the transfer of materials, components, or finished goods.
- Design advanced precision equipment for accurate or controlled applications.
- Upgrade the design of existing devices by adding mechatronic elements.
- Analyze existing development or manufacturing procedures and suggest improvements.
- Provide consultation or training on topics such as mechatronics or automated control.
- Oversee the work of contractors in accordance with project requirements.
- Design, develop, or implement control circuits or algorithms for electromechanical or pneumatic devices or systems.
- Design advanced electronic control systems for mechanical systems.
- Develop electronic, mechanical, or computerized processes to perform tasks in dangerous situations, such as underwater exploration or extraterrestrial mining.
- Design mechatronics components for computer-controlled products, such as cameras, video recorders, automobiles, or airplanes.
- Create embedded software design programs.
- Design or develop automated control systems for environmental applications, such as waste processing, air quality, or water quality systems.
- Design self-monitoring mechanical systems, such as gear systems that monitor loading or condition of systems to detect and prevent failures.
- Monitor or calibrate automated systems, industrial control systems, or system components to maximize efficiency of production.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Technology Design — Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Detailed Work Activities
- Design industrial processing systems.
- Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
- Maintain operational records or records systems.
- Design electromechanical equipment or systems.
- Design control systems for mechanical or other equipment.
- Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.
- Create physical models or prototypes.
- Estimate operational costs.
- Implement design or process improvements.
- Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
- Document design or operational test results.
- Research engineering applications of emerging technologies.
- Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Select project materials.
- Develop technical methods or processes.
- Develop software or computer applications.
- Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
- Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Design environmental control systems.
- Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Coordinate or Lead Others
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 17% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 18% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 17% responded “High responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 27% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 26% responded “Very important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 33% responded “Never.”
- Consequence of Error — 23% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Level of Competition — 51% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Interest code: IRC
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- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Engineers, All Other.
Employment data for Engineers, All Other.
Industry data for Engineers, All Other.
|Median wages (2020)||$49.70 hourly, $103,380 annual|
|Employment (2019)||170,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||
Slower than average (1% to 2%)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||10,300|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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