As a new or experienced mechanical engineer, you cannot underestimate the value of professional certifications. Successful completion of certification exams can help you grow as a professional engineer, as they serve as explicit evidence of your comprehensive knowledge. Mechanical engineering certifications are the best way to give yourself a leg up in a competitive job market.
In this article, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the different professional certifications for mechanical engineering. You’ll also get to discover the highest-paying mechanical engineering certification jobs, their salaries, as well as the certification prep courses and other professional education resources you can use to get ready for exams.
What Is a Professional Certification?
A professional certification is the formal proof of a professional’s comprehensive knowledge, experience, and skills in a particular discipline. Each industry has various certifications that new and experienced professionals can earn as evidence of their skills. Each certification has its own education requirements, experience requirements, and licensure requirements applicants need to meet to qualify.
What’s the Difference Between Certification and a Certificate?
The difference between certification and a certificate is that certification is awarded to a professional of a certain level after an assessment process and is awarded by a regulatory body in the industry, while a certificate is a diploma awarded by a college or university for the completion of an academic program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Why Is Certification in Mechanical Engineering Important?
Certification in mechanical engineering is important because it will help you grow in the industry and achieve your career goals. Earning certifications allows you to move up from entry-level positions to mid and senior-level roles as a professional engineer. Certification proves to prospective employers that you can carry out the day-to-day tasks of a mechanical engineer.
Best Mechanical Engineering Certifications by Salary
|Certified Professional in Engineering Management (CPEM)||American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM)||$150,865||$325 (nonmember); $275 (member)|
|Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP)||INCOSE – International Council on Systems Engineering||$131,000||$350|
|Certified Associate in Engineering Management (CAEM)||American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM)||$119,225||$275 (nonmember); $175 (member)|
|Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP)||INCOSE – International Council on Systems Engineering||$109,985||$630|
|Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE)||SME||$95,407||$520 (online exam, nonmember); $550 (paper exam, nonmember); $275 (online exam, member); $305 (paper exam, member)|
|Certified Energy Manager||Association of Energy Engineers||$89,000||$400 (exam); $200 (retest); $300 (renewal)|
|Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)||American Society for Quality (ASQ)||$89,000||$498 (exam); $298 (retake)|
|Certified Residential Geothermal Designer||International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA)||$85,000||$100 for one year of validity; $300 for three years of validity|
|Autodesk Certified Professional in Inventor for Mechanical Design||Autodesk, Inc||$71,000||$200|
|Certified HVAC Designer (CHD)||ASHRAE||$61,443||$395 (ASHRAE member); $235 (ASHRAE developing economies member); $595 (nonmember)|
Best Mechanical Engineering Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Mechanical Engineering Certification for Your Career
In order to choose the best mechanical engineering certifications for your professional career, there are certain factors that you should carefully consider such as your desired career path, the reason you want to get certified, and the value of the career paths you have available to you. The following section includes tips to help make your decision-making process easier.
Determine the Purpose of Becoming Certified
When choosing the best mechanical engineering certification for you, the first thing you should consider is your reasons for needing to be certified. This can help you determine which certifications will serve this purpose and help you achieve your goals. With the myriad of certification options available, knowing your goals will help you narrow down your options.
Consider Your Career Path
Everyone should have an idea of the career path they plan to follow to achieve their career goals. Depending on where you are along your career path, a certification designed for a mid-level mechanical engineer may be more beneficial than one designed for a senior-level project management professional and vice-versa.
Research the Value of the Different Available Certifications
Researching the value of available certifications will help you determine which one will best allow you to achieve your career goals. There is a broad range of certifications available in the engineering industry, and not all of them provide the same return on investment. Consider looking up the average salary for the holders of different certifications you are considering.
Which Mechanical Engineering Certifications Pay the Most?
The mechanical engineering certifications that pay the most are Certified Professional in Engineering Management, Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), Certified Associate in Engineering Management, Certified Energy Manager, and Certified Quality Engineer (CQE).
Highest-Paying Mechanical Engineering Certifications
- Certified Professional in Engineering Management: $150,865
- Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP): $131,000
- Certified Associate in Engineering Management: $119,225
- Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP): $109,985
- Certified Energy Manager: $89,000
Which Mechanical Engineering Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The mechanical engineering certifications that are best for beginners are Certified Associate in Engineering Management (CAEM), Certified Residential Geothermal Designer, Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and Certified Residential Geothermal Designer certifications. This is because they are designed for entry-level professionals and have few required application materials.
Best College Certificate Programs
How to Prepare for Your Mechanical Engineering Certification Exam
You can prepare for your mechanical engineering certification exam through a number of ways. Your mechanical engineering exam prep could be in the form of online certification prep courses, books, or study guides. All of these resources can be used simultaneously to help you familiarize yourself with the basic knowledge needed to meet the examination requirements.
Best Courses to Prepare for Mechanical Engineering Certification Exams
This section includes some of the best mechanical engineering prep courses you can use to prepare for your certification exams. These online training programs are offered by a wide variety of certification organizations, MOOCs, universities, and other well-respected organizations in the engineering industry.
Other Resources to Prepare for Your Mechanical Engineering Certification Exams
There are many other resources you can use to prepare for your mechanical engineering certification exams. Other common mechanical engineering exam prep resources include mechanical engineering books written for a specific exam, general books, study guides, and online engineering communities.
This is an online community for mechanical engineering professionals providing multiple resources for new and experienced mechanical engineers in the field. You can find articles that can be used as study guides as well as a page for mechanical design jobs. People can connect with other industry experts to learn and grow in the field.
- Type of Resource: Online Community
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: New and seasoned professionals looking to connect with other industry professionals
Engineering Talks (Mechanical Engineering)
This is another online community designed to connect professionals in the mechanical engineering industry. It includes forums, blogs, and other helpful resources that can help new and seasoned professionals learn and grow in the field. You could even organize study sessions with other professionals preparing for the same certification as you.
Engineering Talks (Mechanical Engineering) Overview
- Type of Resource: Online Community
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People looking to connect with other industry professionals to learn and grow
This online community is designed to connect professional engineers of all kinds together to share ideas, start conversations, learn, and grow. Membership in this community is free and allows members to share relevant and helpful resources that promote shared growth. New and experienced members can ask questions and get help from their peers.
Engineer Boards Overview
- Type of Resource: Online Community
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Engineering professionals in any industry looking to connect, learn, and grow in their respective fields
Mechanical Engineering Exam Prep: Problems and Solutions
This book by L.S Mayboudi offers is filled with 1500 questions commonly found across various types of mechanical engineering exams along with their answers. It puts emphasis on the typical engineering curriculum and covers topics like math, physics, thermodynamics, materials, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanical systems, engineering mechanics, and technical drawings.
Mechanical Engineering Exam Prep: Problems and Solutions Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $29.95 (Kindle); $41.68 (Paperback)
- Ideal For: New and experienced professional mechanical engineers preparing for any certification exam
Autodesk Inventor Certified User Exam Study Guide (Inventor 2022 Edition)
This is a study guide written by Thom Tremblay designed for those with Autodesk Inventor skills who are preparing for the Certified User exam. The guide covers relevant topics, tutorials, quizzes, and exam objectives in detail. It even comes with free exam software that simulates the actual exam.
Autodesk Inventor Certified User Exam Study Guide (Inventor 2022 Edition) Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $48.27 – $66.75
- Ideal For: People preparing for the Autodesk Inventor Certified User certification exam
Best Online Courses
Mechanical Engineering Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook of mechanical engineers is seven percent, which is about the same as the average for all occupations. This is a great thing, as it shows that this field is projected to keep growing at a healthy rate, leading to plenty of work for those interested in working in this field.
Additionally, the average salary for mechanical engineers sits around $95,300, which is more than twice as high as the national average. Additionally, as we have seen earlier in this article, the right certification can help you earn much more than this. The field of mechanical engineering is lucrative and presents many opportunities for professionals to increase their earning potential.
Best Mechanical Engineering Jobs After Certification
In the following section, you can find a list of some of the best mechanical engineering jobs in the industry along with details such as their job duties, average salaries, and required skills. The highest-paying mechanical engineering certification jobs all offer plenty of opportunities for growth in the field and often come with many benefits.
Best Mechanical Engineering Associations
Like every other professional field, there are various mechanical engineering associations that students and professionals in the industry can join to improve their career prospects and opportunities. The following section includes a short list of some of the best associations for mechanical engineers.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
This is a nonprofit global engineering organization designed to allow professionals to connect and share knowledge across all engineering disciplines. You can join this association as a mechanical engineering student, entry-level professional, or experienced professional. Members of this association get access to learning resources, network building, and career resources.
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
This is a global association of mechanical engineers that aims to connect professionals in the field with their peers across the globe. Home to over 100,000 members, it provides opportunities for many of them to meet, share ideas, learn, and innovate. Affiliate membership is free for students and increases depending on a member’s age, experience, and type of membership.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
This association aims to connect manufacturing engineers by giving them a platform where they can learn, innovate and grow in the industry. This nonprofit organization allows professionals, educators, and students to connect, support, and improve the manufacturing engineering industry. Different membership levels are available, each with its own benefits.
Are Mechanical Engineering Certifications Worth It?
Yes, mechanical engineering certifications are worth it because they provide the opportunity for you to improve your career growth. Certifications qualify you for more job opportunities and prove to prospective employers that have an advanced, specialized skillset. Certification also opens you up to a higher earning potential.
Additional Reading About Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering Certifications FAQ
The best certifications for mechanical engineers are the Certified Quality Engineer certification, Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), Certified Professional in Engineering Management, Certified Associate in Engineering Management, and Certified Energy Manager because they provide the highest improvement in earning potential.
The highest qualification in mechanical engineering is a doctoral degree in engineering. That being said, the vast majority of mechanical engineers stop at a master’s degree and instead earn certifications to improve their professional career growth.
The typical mechanical engineer qualifications are a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or in a related field, a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or in a related field, as well as any relevant industry certifications.
Yes, mechanical engineering is in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals have a projected job outlook of seven percent, which is just as fast as average. This means that there will be a demand for mechanical engineers in the field in the coming years.
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