Mechanical Engineers

risk level
Based on 2,277 votes
by year 2032
or $47.84 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

30% (Low Risk)

Low Risk (21-40%): Jobs in this level have a limited risk of automation, as they demand a mix of technical and human-centric skills.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Originality

  • Persuasion

User poll

34% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 30% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Mechanical Engineers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (quarterly)

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Mechanical Engineers' job openings is expected to rise 2.2% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Mechanical Engineers' was $99,510, or $47 per hour

'Mechanical Engineers' were paid 107.1% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 281,290 people employed as 'Mechanical Engineers' within the United States.

This represents around 0.19% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 539 people are employed as 'Mechanical Engineers'.

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: 17-2141.00


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Leave a comment

Gavin (No chance) says
Artificial intelligence does not have the creativity needed or the ability to fully understand some of the problems people go through throughout the world.
Jul 02, 2024 at 10:38 PM
Raúl (No chance) says
I think it has no chance because cars can have rust or other problems a robot can't understand and deal whit them.
Jul 02, 2024 at 06:39 AM
Congo (No chance) says
Simply in this area of engineering there is no chance of robot or AI taking it. Maybe in the long run yes, but there is still a pretty long way of developing AI to substitute a mechanical engineer, for now and 1 or 2 decades is impossible. Maybe in the third decade or fourth but with a lot of funding and a lot of training. Because you need to think that to be able to make an AI/robot that can surpass or substitute a human it will need to be only focused on this area, not pretty cost-effective, for the AI industries.
Jun 16, 2024 at 09:08 PM
Cooper Johnston (No chance) says
there is no robot that can replicate the human thought process and thinking
May 16, 2024 at 02:11 AM
Burke (No chance) says
Mechanical Engineering, like all disciplines of engineering, requires the ability to make difficult ethical decisions regarding systems that affect all of society. This is something that not even the most advanced generalized AI of the future is capable of doing.

Engineering is also a profession, which means that its members set the standards for who can be called an engineer and take responsibility for their decisions. AI cannot make decisions in light of the weight of their actions. It is a tool, not a person, which ultimately undermines any semblance of accountability that is necessary for engineering to be a respectable and societally beneficial profession.
Feb 13, 2024 at 05:13 AM
Michal (No chance) says
I believe mechanical engineering to be far too interdisciplinary (design, manufacturing, economics) to be fully automated a whole. I see AI taking over or speeding up certain specific tasks that mechanical engineers are burdened with, never their entire role.
Nov 09, 2023 at 07:28 PM
Ninjamokama_3 (Low) says
There are way too many human aspects about engineering. It's next to impossible for AI to automate, let alone replace, every aspect of an engineer's job
Oct 27, 2023 at 08:38 AM
John F. Sutton (Low) says
This is a sometimes tough job and would be hard to automate for good reason such as:

1. Fixing stuff, this is complicated as it could literally be anything that could be broken about something.
2. Complexity, the more complex a job is, the more unlikely this job will be taken, this job is hard and absurdly complex sometimes.
3. Problems, this job can cause lots of issues with AI and it is the communication and bugs/viruses that could occur, the cost of these robots would be nuts and it would be hard to afford these machines.
4. Design, AI is a complex work of coding, there is one problem, how would they make the design of there robots that won't screw up how they work, they have to be just right to mimic a person and that would be hard to do.
Oct 23, 2023 at 06:16 PM
C (Low) says
Since Mechanical Engineering has to deal with problems beyond reasonable thinking and has to create something entirely new and possibly unrelated to any previous topic, AI could help but never replace a mechanical engineer
Sep 26, 2023 at 08:53 PM
dhaarini (Uncertain) says
no trained machine has ever come too close to designing any whole equipment. but certainly, I feel there are specific jobs that could be automated like pressure, stress, strain detection and analysis
Sep 10, 2023 at 06:44 AM
d (No chance) says
The prompt is "next 20 years". No chance. There are so many industrial and mechanical problems that have yet to be solved, and AI right now simply trains on what's already been done and can then piece it together using predictions. Decent for language, OK but not great for art, horrible for design if you are actually trying to tackle a novel challenge. And if it's not novel... then what's the point? Just google it.
Aug 23, 2023 at 08:17 AM
b (Low) says
because we make the robot
Aug 21, 2023 at 01:54 PM
Cyril (Moderate) says
As I said. It will certainly take over some tasks that are simple. So it reduce the need for so many ppl, but still the engineers are needed to decide what to do, or to revise AIs work
May 06, 2023 at 06:35 AM
ben (Uncertain) says
some tasks can and some tasks cannot be automated by ai, such as critical thinking and originality.
Apr 24, 2023 at 02:00 PM
Thomas (Low) says
I am a maintenance enginner and I just don't see how AI would have the eye for detail or precision to do certain tasks that I do. Yes, robots mounted on an assembly line are one thing, so are surgical robots, but I work on many machines, each of which is completely different from the other. The amount of outside the box thinking that we use for problem solving, is what I think AI will struggle with. I guess the day that a robot can fix any other robot under any set of circumstances, is the day I lose my job.
Apr 21, 2023 at 10:43 AM
Jon Branch (Moderate) says
While many aspects of the job will be automated, these automations will serve to aid ME’s not replace them.
Mar 11, 2023 at 01:31 AM
Nathan McDougall (Low) says
Because, Mechanicinisms are really complicated. I know that robots and A.I. are also really complicated, and may be capable, but the chances of them succeeding are really low, so why put something in a position power and authority when we know they will most likely fail.
Mar 02, 2023 at 01:09 PM
George Smiley (Moderate) says
Speaking from the point of view of a simulations engineer who build mathematical models using finite element analysis, I think automation will at first assist simulations engineers but will eventually replace them as it learns best practices for how to overcome convergence issues or nonsensical results.
Feb 21, 2023 at 11:53 AM
Gavin says
I think ai will eventually replace parts of every profession but there are many there are things that just can’t be taught to something that cannot feel. It’s impossible to know what pain is if you’ve never experienced it. It’s impossible to understand the feelings of others if you have never felt. It’s impossible to know how to make someone’s life easier if you have no life.

Imagine you live your life in black and white from the moment you’re born to the time you’re 16. During this time you’re taught everything there is to know about color. You could talk about color for hours yet you still wouldn’t truly understand what color is until you actually see it. Now imagine that this is a friend of yours and you’re trying to explain the color yellow to them. You might tell them that yellow is a sunny day and energy or electricity, that it’s happiness or something else that you associate with the color yellow. Your friend will most likely not think of sunny days and electricity being similar in anyway and probably be very confused. Your friend represents ai and its ability to understand human wants, needs, and the way people live their lives. Making these three things easier to access or do are one of the main purposes of this job. Also there’s the whole ethical debate because it’s set to be as productive as it can, and eventually humanity gets in the way of that and it has to get rid of us
Jul 03, 2024 at 01:08 AM
Sam (No chance) says
People that build and create won't be replaced by AI. Chat GPT said it itself that it simply doesn't have the creativity of a human.
Feb 03, 2023 at 01:04 AM
Mark (Low) says
Design is iterative, and that seems to be where AI would outperform any person. However, the fuzzy front-end, the people-centered part, where you and the customer effectively barter out what the product will do, is the hardest and most crucial part. Knowing what the customer wants is one thing, but interpreting what they need can require tact and persuasion, especially if it means longer leads and more cost. Usually, when a brief hits your table, there are so many aspects that both you and your customer haven't fully understood or "seen" the impact of until you're well into development, especially if it's a complex project. You can't take the human out of designing for people, at least not yet, and frankly, I don't think ever.
Apr 30, 2022 at 07:54 PM

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