Want to go into mechanical engineering but not sure what to do after graduation? First, let’s talk about what mechanical engineers do. Mechanical engineers apply practical applications of engineering principles to research, design, build, and test power-producing and power-using machinery usually in an industrial environment.

They maintain machinery, equipment, and mechanical processes so that they always run safely and efficiently and without sacrificing quality control or cost. Mechanical engineers understand how each “cog in the machine” relates to the manufacturing process as a whole and are always looking for ways to innovate and improve systems.

To become a mechanical engineer, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Hands-on experience from co-ops and internships, highly developed analytical skills, an above average aptitude with computer technology, and creativity are all valuable to a mechanical engineer.

There are many opportunities for mechanical engineers in the pulp and paper industry and a high demand for their innovation and problem-solving skills. Here are three examples of careers that could be waiting for you as a mechanical engineer!


Maintenance Engineer

Average Annual Pay: $75,000 to upward of $86,000+
What You’d Do: Maintenance Engineers are responsible for the managing of the equipment, tools, and machinery in industrial settings such as plants and factories, working closely with Operations teams and personnel. They use specialized computer software to oversee routine maintenance, potential production issues, and to diagnose process failures. Maintenance engineers understand the big picture processes of industrial operations which helps them manage the current day-to-day projects.

Maintenance Engineers:

  • Perform quality inspections, routine maintenance and diagnose potential issues
  • Design strategies, procedures, and methods to improve safety and efficiency
  • Use specialized computer equipment to create and implement new machinery

You could be a Maintenance Engineer if…  you’re good under pressure and have a knack for detail. Your consistent analysis of tools, processes, and machinery will make the workplace safer for your colleagues. Your innovation will improve product quality, cost, and environmental impact.


Project Engineer

Similar Titles: Mechanical Project Engineer
Average Annual Pay:
$75,000 to upward of $102,000+
What You’d Do: Project Engineers design and manage new equipment installations as well as upgrading existing machinery, buildings, processes and more. They plan, organize, and coordinate mechanical projects, processes, and systems from their conception to completion, usually within a designated area of responsibility in a facility. They oversee the larger, longer-term projects and the big picture of production and ensure that the facility’s machinery is safe, efficient, and reliable.

Project Engineers:

  • Manage multiple maintenance projects simultaneously including their planning, design, documentation, budgeting, training/supervision, and implementation
  • Analyze reports, interpret data, and provide written communication to all appropriate departments and personnel
  • Define issues/concerns and design and implement solutions and/or assigns tasks, and provides guidance to other personnel (such as a maintenance engineer)

You could be a Project Engineer if…  you’re a natural leader and team player with a deep knowledge of the production process. Your work keeps everything functioning smoothly and safely while also encouraging your team and supplying them with the resources and tools needed to get the job done.


Reliability Engineer
Check back next month for details on this career opportunity!

Being an engineer is a well-paid and stimulating career path. Engineers must be communicative and confident under pressure, logical and creative, but above all else must have a desire to solve problems that will make the industry, their workplace, and the environment a better place.

As a mechanical engineer, the pulp and paper industry has many rewarding job opportunities waiting for you!