Of all engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering is considered the broadest. The field overlaps with other areas of the field, such as civil, chemical, and industrial engineering. As a result, Mechanical Engineers are needed as part of multidisciplinary teams in many different industries and on an almost limitless number of products from medical devices to new batteries.
The versatility of this field has buoyed expectations for future growth. Employment for mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 4% annually between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The caveat, though is that staying abreast of the latest advances in technology is imperative.
During the recession of 2008, companies reduced staff and many moved engineering work to less costly nations overseas. Post-recession, companies still running very lean engineering teams, and that trend is not likely to reverse.
However, experts say specialization in new technologies and AI-driven software tools that increase productivity will drive employment and growth in the field.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment and the job market, however many sectors of the engineering field have played a critical role in combatting the virus.
National Academy of Engineering President John Anderson pointed out that critical new areas of specialization in mechanical engineering, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and risk modeling, played a vital role in developing diagnostic tests and vaccines, contact tracing methods, and many other aspects of medical and scientific research.
Recruiting the top mechanical engineers can ensure you have the expertise and know-how needed to plan, manage, and complete projects on time and on budget.
However, hiring the best mechanical engineers in itself won’t distinguish one company from another. Aligning those engineers and other team members to work toward a central mission or purpose will make the best use of talent and resources. Consider the USA Olympic basketball team, the first-year pro athletes were allowed to compete. They were the best players, but they failed to play well together as a team. Teams with lesser talent beat the U.S. because they played better together.
Technology is another area that is key for engineers. When you are looking for recruits, be prepared with specific questions about a candidate’s expertise with the latest technology systems and software to give your organization critical expertise.
Also, if there are talent gaps in your current team, you can source candidates that excel with a particular skill. For example, companies that need a boost in innovation can source candidates who have been a part of “innovation jams” or other programs that teach companies how to incorporate innovation into company culture.
Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best mechanical engineers in San Diego, here are some of the details of the job.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mechanical engineering is a very broad field, so many types of companies in a variety of industries need mechanical engineers.
Some examples of this cross-collaboration, mechanical engineers commonly work with:
The main job responsibilities include:
Looking for another position? View other positions we place in San Diego, California.
Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for most mechanical engineering jobs, including entry-level jobs.
US News & World Report ranked the top 3 undergraduate college programs for mechanical engineering. These programs train students to research, design, develop, build, and test equipment and devices, including tools, engines, machines, and electronics. Armed with a degree, graduates have a multitude of opportunities working in the public or private sector.
These are the top undergraduate schools where the highest mechanical engineering degree offered is a doctorate.
Nationally, compensation for mechanical engineers ranges between $57,000 for entry-level positions and $138,000 for those with more experience and in higher level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 351,000 mechanical engineers employed in 2019, with only 6.6% of those positions being women. The ethnic makeup of the field is estimated as: 80.4% white, 8.4% Hispanic or Latino, 5.1% African American, and 11.6% Asian.
According to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for mechanical engineers in 2019 was $88,000, compared with $94,500, the median annual wage for all engineers.
The average annual salary for mechanical engineers in California was 108k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $51.88.
For more detailed compensation information for mechanical engineers in San Diego, download our free compensation/salary report below.
Do mechanical engineers consider San Diego, California a great place to work? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are recruiting for a mechanical engineers in San Diego.
The city lies along Southern California’s Pacific Ocean coast. It is directly adjacent to the Mexico border and is located about 120 miles south of the metro area of Los Angeles. It’s home to approximately 1.5 million people, making it the eighth-largest city in the U.S.
San Diego is famous for its almost perfect climate, natural beauty, magnificent beaches, and a vibrant downtown with culture, restaurants, and nightlife.
However, like many Southern California coastal cities, it has a high cost of living and expensive real estate. This may affect a company’s ability to hire top candidates unless compensation is commensurate.
A study by Kisi ranked San Diego as the number one location for work-life balance in 2019. The factors considered in this study were work intensity, society and institutions, and city livability. Data suggests that workers who have a good work-life balance are more loyal to employers and more productive.
On the other hand, there are a few common complaints about living and working in San Diego.
Not your city? View other cities where we place mechanical engineers.
The BLS has projected that the employment rate for mechanical engineers will go up by 9% by 2026. Expertise with core mechanical engineering principles, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and machine design are considered table stakes in the field, but specialties in composites, mechatronics, and nanotechnology are in increasingly high demand, according to the BLS.
Some of the additional job trends and industries for mechanical engineers are:
The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for mechanical engineers in San Diego, California below.
Finding and hiring the best mechanical engineer candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.
The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.
The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.
When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in California. If working in San Diego is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.
When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.
Mechanical engineering is a field that is evolving. And in the field, there are specializations and nuances. The lack of understanding of the subtle differences in mechanical engineering skillsets and the latest technology can cause recruiters to misidentify candidates and as a result, create a backlog in hiring.
If you need to recruit the sharpest engineering professionals:
You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?
It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.
An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.
At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.
Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.
Get the info you need to hire the best mechanical engineersFree Interview Guide