Mechanical Engineers

1.1%

Will "Mechanical Engineers" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is very little chance of this occupation being replaced by robots/AI. This is further validated by our poll, which suggests a 28% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Totally Safe

or 1.1% probability of automation

Projected Growth

5%

by 2024

People Employed

306,990

as of 2019

Median Annual Wage

$88,430

or $42.51 hourly

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How this compares with other jobs: 53 out of 707

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People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.

SOC Code: 17-2141

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Comments

probably wrong (No chance) says
I'm not an mechanical engineer (yet) but I do have a notable amount of familiarity with the field. That said take my assertions with a grain of salt.

To design something to fit to better suit a customer's needs requires a lot of understanding. Understanding of what could be changed to help a customer, understanding of why the customer is buying the product (which can affect how something is designed), understanding of where the customer is buying a product, etc. This could make it very hard for a robot to do this job. While robots can react differently depending on inputs, and even "learn", they aren't really gaining an understanding of reality. Even their "learning" is more similar to a brain evolving and changing so it can react correctly to a number of situations than actual learning as we understand it in the human sense. Learning when a human does it means gaining understanding and comprehension. Learning when a robot does it means changing the "brain" itself.
Aug 19, 2020 at 11:36 PM
Yogesh (No chance) says
It won't entirely because Mechanical is too big for even AI to contain.

Some areas for ex design can get its tools changed like AR & VR might make an impact, augmentative design might also optimize designs better- But their real-life applications cannot entirely be imagined by AI-it needs an understanding of the problem, logic, analysis and then proposing solutions real time- AI can do it but won't be able to develop, test and construct- there are literally too many external variables involved on which AI have little control - raw material, marketing, supply chain, etc.

Comparatively, something like programming can be replaced faster because there is little risk involved, programming is all logic and development inside a system environment completely under the control of a computer.
Apr 29, 2020 at 09:04 AM
j farrell (Small chance) says
Some aspects of the work may be automated in the near future (e.g. topographical optimisation), but these will more likely be used to enhance engineers' capabilities rather than actually replacing the engineers. Creative aspects of engineering will likely take much longer to automate
Jan 17, 2020 at 10:05 AM
Emperor Norton I says
With the ability to iterate at speeds no human, or group of humans, could match, AI will be able to "try" millions of permutations of existing components, and then "design" or "modify" new or existing parts to bridge features which it could not solve for, using the same process.

At some point, the old "infinite number of monkeys at typewriters to produce Shakespeare," will become an infinite number of engineers to keep up with a single AI. Quantum computing will only widen the gap.

Solutions will be passed to AI-controlled manufacturing facilities directly for production, as fast at they are derived.

There will be a very small slice of human engineers at the absolute pinnacle, probably only to perturb the iteration process to cause new ways to combine things to solve a problem.

All hail the robot overlords. See you soon
Jul 11, 2019 at 09:31 PM
Some dude with a keyboard says
Of course that WILL happen in the future, to everything, however, we are so far away from that point, that it might not even happen within ours or our children's lifetime.
The problem isn't AI, it's the computers that are available to them. The amount of resources, computing power, and maintenance that a single supercomputer takes, is simply not worth the effort in order to design a more durable bridge/material.
First, we would need to solve the energy and resource crisis.
Then we would need to focus on advancing computer technology enough in order to make it readily available, and sustainable in order to be distributed to research facilities, companies, and universities around the world.
Only AFTER those things have been solved, could computers and AI surpass human engineers.
You're simply relying on the fact that at SOME POINT, this will happen. Of course it will, at some point, we will all die, at some point, the universe will expand into a cold, empty, nothing.
I won't see you soon, in fact, I wish to never meet you. Simply because, you're the type of person to never take an opportunity/exert yourself to make the world better because you think, at some point, we'll all be surpassed by computers and die. So what's the point?
Jan 25, 2020 at 02:52 PM
Why (Highly likely) says
Look at ai now teaching ai its extremely likely software jobs are the first to go
Jun 26, 2019 at 11:59 AM
Gokul says
Mechanical Engineering is evergreen
Apr 08, 2019 at 04:59 AM

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