Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Mechanical Engineers in San Francisco

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Mechanical Engineers in San Francisco

Current Environment

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.

Will COVID-19 Affect the mechanical engineering 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.

How will Recruiting mechanical engineers Help Your Company?

How will Hiring mechanical engineers Help Your Company?

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.

Fill the Talent Gap

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. 

mechanical engineer Details


Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best mechanical engineers in San Francisco, 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:

  • Electrical and electronic engineers to add embedded capabilities.
  • Manufacturing engineers to optimize design for production.
  • Purchasing and marketing teams to ensure the product meets cost, service, and functional goals.

The main job responsibilities include:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and to recommend remedies
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in San Francisco, 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.

Top Schools

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Stanford University

Salary Range

mechanical engineers in the U.S.


Total mechanical engineers Employed in the U.S.





mechanical engineer Salary Comparison


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 Francisco, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in San Francisco

Do mechanical engineers find the beautiful seaside city of San Francisco a good place to live and work? Most people say yes, although some of that is based on good-paying, steady employment. Those with high-paying jobs love the city, and those without struggle financially with the high cost of living.

As the de facto national hub of tech and innovation, jobs in these fields are highly valued and in demand. Companies regularly entice the best candidates with the lure of living in this picturesque and diverse city, and for those top-notch candidates, the salaries are some of the heftiest in the U.S.

Here are a few first-hand comments about the pros and cons of living and working in the City by the Bay.


    • Tech leadership: From startups to established industry leaders,  like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Salesforce, the city attracts world-class business, capital, and talent from all over the world.
    • 350,000 tech jobs. Between San Francisco and its close neighbor San Jose, 200,000 digital services jobs have been added since 2010, concentrating 11% of the nation’s digital services employment, equalling nearly 350,000 of the nation’s 3.1 million total tech jobs, according to Brookings Institution research.
    • Dog culture. If you have a special, four-legged friend, you will love San Francisco. From dog parks to dog hotels and even dog-friendly workplaces, accommodations for your furry friend are everywhere.
    • Ethnic diversity. A minority-majority city, it boasts an ethnically diverse population and celebrates the culture and history of Chinese-Americans, Latinos, Italians, and more. The LGBTQ+ community is a driving force of this community, and its members and supporters are loud and proud.
    • Beauty and history. The cityscape of San Franciso and its surrounding communities is magnificent, from the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, and historic Fisherman’s Warf, and so many cultural attractions, it’s a great place to spend time.

However, living in this urban paradise comes at a price. The con that stands out the most for San Francisco’s current and wanna-be residents is housing costs, and a few more.


    • Housing: It’s one of the most expensive areas in the world to live. It has a staggering average monthly rent of $3,111. The median home value is a staggering more than $1.3M.
    • The homelessness crisis. San Francisco’s homeless problem is also more visible than it is in other cities and an especially stark contrast with the wealth in the city.
    • Not great for kids. San Francisco, population 865,000, has roughly the same number of dogs as children: 120,000.
    • Weather. Although this is not a con for all, the city is notoriously foggy, creating what some consider bone-chilling cold in the winter.

Current Weather

Not your city? View other cities where we place mechanical engineers.

Demand for mechanical engineers in San Francisco

Demand for mechanical engineers in San Francisco

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:

  • Digital Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing, aka Additive Manufacturing
  • Interconnected Machines
  • Nano-Technology
  • Internet of Things
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Robotics
  • Automation and Intelligent System
  • CAD-CAM Sustainability

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 Francisco, California below.

How to Hire the Best mechanical engineers

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.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

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 Francisco is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

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.

Characteristics of mechanical engineers

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:

  • Find candidates who have a knowledge set in one of the newest areas of the field, such as Interconnected Machines or Nano-Technology.
  • Look for candidates who revel in analyzing and solving problems.
  • The best candidates enjoy being focused, self-motivated, and innovative.
  • Consider candidates who will best fit your engineering environment.
  • Partner with a recruiting agency that specializes in mechanical engineering to find the best candidates that can do the job, and become a valued member of your team.

How to Screen Candidates

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.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

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.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best mechanical engineers

Free Interview Guide