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Engineers design and give advice on the building and repair of machines and tools. They also investigate problems and faults with machinery.

  What do Engineers do at work?

  • Carry out investigations of existing systems and prepare reports based on findings.
  • Research the use of energy sources, machinery and materials.
  • Study the environmental and safety aspects of planned work.
  • Prepare plans and drawings of machines or machine parts. 
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design and model plans.
  • Prepare and calculate cost estimates for jobs.
  • Supervise the building, installation, repair and replacement of systems.
  • Review and test new systems.

Skills and knowledge

  • Knowledge of mechanical processes
  • Knowledge of physics, electronics and thermodynamics (how energy is converted to heat to make machinery move)
  • Knowledge of different gases
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and quality standards
  • Mathematical modelling skills
  • Knowledge of any relevant legislation such as the Resource Management Act, the New Zealand Building Code, local by-laws and town planning regulations
  • Computer skills, including the ability to use computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Communication skills including presenting and report writing.

Entry requirements

To become a mechanical engineer you usually need to have a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical).

However, some companies may employ people who have a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering and relevant work experience.


NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include Digital and Visual communication, English, Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Is this the career for you? Find out more about training.


$50,000 - $180,000