Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers design, organise and oversee the construction, operation and maintenance of mechanical and process plant and installations, establish programs for the coordination of manufacturing activities, and ensure usage of resources is cost effective.
studying functional statements, organisational charts and project information to determine functions and responsibilities of workers and work units and to identify areas of duplication
establishing work measurement programs and analysing work samples to develop standards for labour utilisation
analysing workforce utilisation, facility layout, operational data and production schedules and costs to determine optimum worker and equipment efficiencies
designing mechanical equipment, machines, components, products for manufacture, and plant and systems for construction
developing specifications for manufacture, and determining materials, equipment, piping, material flows, capacities and layout of plant and systems
organising and managing project labour and the delivery of materials, plant and equipment
establishing standards and policies for installation, modification, quality control, testing, inspection and maintenance according to engineering principles and safety regulations
inspecting plant to ensure optimum performance is maintained
directing the maintenance of plant buildings and equipment, and coordinating the requirements for new designs, surveys and maintenance schedules
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 28,800 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 92% of people employed as Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 26 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $2,410 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,018
- 1 in 4 earn more than $3,285
Median hourly earnings are $64, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Around 75% of Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Western Australia and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 7% of the workforce. This is 41 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in a relevant engineering discipline is needed to work as an Industrial, Mechanical or Production Engineer. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration may be required in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||18.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.5||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Using maths to solve problems.
Reading work related information.
68%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
59%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
57%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Talking to others.
Designing and improving equipment and technology.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
50%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
87%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
67%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
57%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
51%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
49%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
48%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
36%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
35%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
35%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
33%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
32%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
25%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Read and understand written information.
63%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
61%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
48%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
See details that are far away.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
71%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
69%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
68%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
66%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
66%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
62%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
61%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
61%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
61%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
60%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
58%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
57%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
56%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
52%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
52%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
50%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
49%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
48%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
40%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
90%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
89%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
89%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
87%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Use electronic mail.
Work with people in a group or team.
83%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
83%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
77%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work to strict deadlines.
76%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
70%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
70%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
69%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
67%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
67%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2141.00 - Mechanical Engineers.