Mechanical Engineers

risk level
Based on 2,055 votes
by year 2032
or $46.30 per hour
as of 2022

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Automation risk

21% (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 21% 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 2022, the median annual wage for 'Mechanical Engineers' was $96,310, or $46 per hour

'Mechanical Engineers' were paid 108.0% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 277,560 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 532 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

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
John Doe (No chance) says
Engineering requires a level of originality that robots simply cannot achieve. Additionally, if AI were to be trained to try to take these jobs, then there is no point in humanity. (Terminator)
Dec 02, 2021 at 06:50 PM
İnanç Çaylı (Moderate) says
With the rapid advancements of AI, I think engineers' jobs will be taken by robots in the near future. Therefore, there will be no need for engineers to design machines and systems because robots will be able to do the same.
Oct 12, 2021 at 07:34 PM
Sam (Uncertain) says
It could go either way since it's a matter of time before we develop software that can do engineering jobs, but it all relies on people. If people choose not to trust a machine, automation will never get it. Nearly every job can be taken by machines if the people choose to trust the machine with the work that the human started.

Sep 10, 2021 at 01:27 PM
Martin (Uncertain) says
AI is getting to a point where it can find patterns and suggest solutions, sometimes creative ones. This job may not be as safe as some may think.
Aug 28, 2021 at 08:18 PM
Pepe Vera (Moderate) says
There's a handful of side tasks that are to be automated at work, consume more than 50% of the time and add zero value.
Mar 31, 2021 at 04:35 AM
Osama bin Laden (Highly likely) says
There are already 3D printed houses
Dec 28, 2020 at 10:58 AM
Bro (Moderate) says
Of course not now, but by say 2050-60 every branch of engineering will be replaced
Sep 15, 2020 at 09:12 PM
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
trey says
I'm an engineering student and this seems to be a fairly accurate synopsis of the situation. Understanding and communicating customer/task needs is extremely important.
Dec 08, 2022 at 08:46 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 (Low) 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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