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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineers in Houston, Texas

If you want to be a mechanical engineer, the Houston, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 15,970 jobs for mechanical engineers in Texas and this is projected to grow 18% to about 18,870 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mechanical engineers are expected to grow by about 6.0%. In general, mechanical engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment.

A person working as a mechanical engineer can expect to earn about $39 per hour or $81,230 yearly on average in Texas and about $36 hourly or $74,920 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as mechanical engineers in Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Jobs in this field include: machine design engineer, plant engineer, and solar energy systems designer.

The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a mechanical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mechanical engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. They also oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

Mechanical engineers read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings and computer-generated reports. They also design and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to gauge feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications and necessity of modification. Equally important, mechanical engineers have to conduct research that tests and analyzes the feasibility, layout, operation and effectiveness of equipment, components and systems. Finally, mechanical engineers specify system components or direct modification of products to insure conformance with engineering layout and performance specifications.

Every day, mechanical engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for mechanical engineers to talk with engineers and other personnel to execute operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, and furnish technical data. They are often called upon to recommend layout modifications to remove machine or system malfunctions. They also research and maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems and processes to fit requirements, applying knowledge of engineering principles. They are sometimes expected to assist drafters in developing the structural layout of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted layout (CAD) or drafting equipment and software. Somewhat less frequently, mechanical engineers are also expected to estimate costs and submit bids for engineering or extraction projects, and ready contract documents.

Mechanical engineers sometimes are asked to layout test control apparatus and equipment and develop processes for testing products. They also have to be able to research and analyze customer layout proposals and other data to review the feasibility and maintenance requirements of designs or applications and solicit new business and furnish technical customer service. And finally, they sometimes have to solicit new business and furnish technical customer service.

Like many other jobs, mechanical engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Houston include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Architect. Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.
  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineer Training

Rice University - Houston, TX

Rice University, 6100 S Main, Houston, TX 77005-1827. Rice University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,337 students and an admission rate of 23%. Rice University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering which graduated forty-three, nine, and six students respectively in 2008.

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering which graduated sixty-two, thirteen, and four students respectively in 2008.


Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified in Plumbing Design: The Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) program is an international certification program for engineers and designers of plumbing systems.

For more information, see the American Society of Plumbing Engineers website.

Certified Associate in Materials Handling: MHMS is proud to offer a professional certification program for its members.

For more information, see the Materials Handling and Management Society website.

PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.


Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.