The Best Alternative Career Pathways For Mechanical Engineers

Komal Sharma

Last Updated: April 10, 2024
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Are you a mechanical engineering graduate or someone interested in exploring job opportunities outside of the traditional mechanical engineering field? If so, this article is perfect for you. Mechanical engineering is a fascinating and well-established field of engineering that encompasses the use of principles and problem-solving methods to create, evaluate, produce, and uphold mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers utilise the principles of motion, energy, and force to ensure that designs are safe and efficient. This skill set allows them to tackle real-life problems and contribute to various industries such as healthcare, transportation, energy, space exploration, and climate change. So, if you’re wondering what other career options are available to you as a mechanical engineer, this article will provide you with some valuable insights.

Sales Engineer

A tablet and pen resting on a wooden table, ready for use.

A sales engineer is a specialised business-to-business sales representative who focuses on selling intricate technical products and services. They require extensive knowledge about the technical aspects of the products they sell, an understanding of how they function, and the underlying technology that powers these advanced offerings. This expertise enables them to effectively communicate the advantages of their products and facilitate successful transactions.

Similar to other salespeople, they heavily rely on commissions earned from successful sales and must exert equal effort to meet sales targets and fulfil client expectations.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Sales Engineering is a great fit for Mechanical Engineers because of their mix of technical know-how and problem-solving abilities. They have a solid grasp of mechanical systems, which makes them skilled at selling technical products or services that need explanation and demonstration. Their analytical thinking helps them understand customer needs and provide tailored solutions effectively. Additionally, their training in problem-solving allows them to identify and solve complex issues, crucial for understanding customer requirements and suggesting suitable solutions. With strong communication skills honed through education and work experience, they can effectively convey technical information to customers of varying technical backgrounds. In essence, Sales Engineering can make the most of the technical expertise, problem-solving skills, and analytical thinking that Mechanical Engineers bring to the table, making it a fitting and fulfilling career path for them.

What Does A Sales Engineer Do?

A sales engineer’s main responsibility is to take complex technical concepts and translate them into everyday language, making it easier for potential buyers to understand and approach complicated products. However, there’s more to this role than what you’ll typically find in a sales engineer job description. Some common tasks for sales engineers include:

  • Creating and delivering presentations that explain the scientific or technical aspects of products clearly and concisely.
  • Consulting with current and potential customers, as well as other engineers, to understand their equipment and system requirements.
  • Securing orders for relevant products and coordinating their delivery.
  • Collaborating with the sales team to identify customer problems and determine how the company’s products can provide solutions.
  • Working with the product development team to make necessary modifications to products to better address customer pain points.
  • Assisting established clients with the installation and implementation of the product or technology.
  • Providing recommendations to the company on ways to reduce costs and increase production efficiency.
  • Conducting research and development activities with the product development team to create new and innovative products.

Skills Required In Sales Engineering 

Technical Knowledge

  • Understanding of product specifications and functionalities.
  • Familiarity with industry standards and regulations.

Communication Skills

  • Effective presentation skills to convey technical information.
  • Ability to tailor communication to different audiences, from engineers to executives.

Customer Relationship Management

  • Building rapport with clients to understand their needs and preferences.
  • Providing ongoing support and assistance to maintain strong customer relationships.


  • Analysing customer requirements and proposing tailored solutions.
  • Resolving technical issues and addressing customer concerns promptly.

Sales And Negotiation

  • Using persuasive techniques to highlight product benefits and features.
  • Negotiating contracts and pricing terms to meet both customer needs and company goals.

Sales Engineer Salary In India

Sales Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹1.8 Lakhs to ₹8.1 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹4.6 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 16.3k latest salaries received from Sales Engineers.

Aerospace Engineer 

A woman in a lab coat conducting experiments in a laboratory.

Aerospace engineers have the important task of creating, building and testing aircraft and spacecraft. They focus on various types of vehicles like aeroplanes, helicopters, satellites, and rockets, making sure that they are safe, efficient, and capable of functioning in space or flying. They also specialise in different areas such as aerodynamics (the study of how air moves around objects), propulsion systems (engines), materials science (choosing the right materials for strength and weight), and control systems (ensuring the vehicle can be steered and controlled). By collaborating with other engineers and scientists, they work together in teams to improve and advance technology for air and space travel.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical Engineers possess a solid understanding of core engineering principles, which makes pursuing a career as an Aerospace Engineer an ideal choice for them. Aerospace Engineering is a specialised domain that centres around the creation, advancement, evaluation, and manufacturing of aircraft, spacecraft, and associated systems. With their expertise in mechanics, materials, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics, Mechanical Engineers are well-prepared to excel in this field. Their understanding of mechanical systems and ability to solve complex problems are highly valuable in aerospace engineering, where precision and reliability are crucial. Additionally, their knowledge of manufacturing processes and materials science is essential in creating lightweight yet durable components for aircraft and spacecraft. Furthermore, Aerospace Engineering often involves collaboration with professionals from other engineering disciplines, and Mechanical Engineers, with their broad-based education, are equipped to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams. Overall, the analytical skills, technical knowledge, and problem-solving abilities of Mechanical Engineers make them a perfect fit for a successful career in Aerospace Engineering.

What Does An Aerospace Engineer Do?

Aerospace engineers are vital in the process of designing, developing, and testing aerospace products and systems like aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and satellites. Some common tasks for aerospace engineers include:

  • They ensure the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of the products through various stages such as design creation, analysis, prototyping, and testing.
  • They utilise software tools like Patran, Nastran, and other finite element analysis (FEA) tools, as well as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, to analyse the performance of these products.
  • To come up with new aircraft or spacecraft designs, they make use of computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Aerospace engineers also write Python code for simulations, database development, and custom graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to streamline the workflow of their projects.
  • They carry out different simulations and analyses to evaluate how well an aircraft performs, its structural strength, and its stability. This involves conducting simulations for flight, propulsion systems, environmental factors, and stress/fatigue, as well as analysing the aircraft’s structure.
  • Working together with fellow engineers to solve issues and improve designs.
  • Aerospace engineers prepare technical reports and documents to effectively communicate the results of their work.

Skills Required In An Aerospace Engineering 

Aerodynamics Knowledge

  • Understanding of how air flows around aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Ability to design and optimise aerodynamic shapes for efficiency and performance.

Structural Analysis

  • Proficiency in analysing the structural integrity of aircraft components and systems.
  • Knowledge of materials and their properties to ensure durability and safety.

Flight Mechanics

  • Understanding the principles of flight dynamics and control systems.
  • Ability to design and optimise aircraft and spacecraft trajectories for stability and manoeuvrability.

Propulsion Systems

  • Knowledge of propulsion technologies such as jet engines, rocket engines, and electric propulsion.
  • Ability to design and optimise propulsion systems for thrust, efficiency, and reliability.

Systems Engineering

  • Experience in integrating various subsystems (avionics, navigation, communication) into a cohesive aircraft or spacecraft design.
  • Ability to manage complex systems engineering processes from concept to production.

Aerospace Engineer Salary In India 

Aerospace Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹1.1 Lakhs to ₹26.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹20.8 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 271 latest salaries received from Aerospace Engineers.

Project Management 

A woman with red hair focused on her computer screen, typing diligently.

Project management is all about bringing together people, teams, and various tasks from different departments to make sure a project is carried out successfully. As a project manager, you’ll be in charge of creating, building, testing, assessing, and planning work schedules to guarantee the project gets done. Mechanical engineers can shine in this role because they have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which help them effectively interact with others.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical Engineers are well-suited for a career in project management because of their solid engineering background and problem-solving abilities. Their technical expertise enables them to grasp the intricacies of projects in engineering and technical domains, and effectively interact with team members and stakeholders. Their analytical mindset helps them assess project data and make well-thought-out decisions, while their meticulousness guarantees that all project specifications are fulfilled. Moreover, their knack for tackling intricate problems and collaborating in teams equips them to tackle the hurdles of project management, leading to the triumphant completion of projects.

What Does A Project Manager Do?

The project manager holds a pivotal position in overseeing the daily operations of the project and must possess the essential skills to effectively handle six key elements: scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality, and resources. These managers are specifically assigned to projects with clearly defined objectives, deadlines, and financial constraints. Their responsibilities typically encompass.

  • It involves creating a plan for the tasks, scheduling them, and assigning them to the appropriate individuals.
  • Assessing the potential risks associated with a specific project and effectively managing them.
  • Ensuring that the work is completed according to the required standards.
  • Motivating and inspiring the team members involved in the project.
  • Monitoring the project’s progress to ensure it stays on schedule and within the allocated budget.
  • Handling any necessary changes that arise during the project.
  • Ensuring that the project achieves the desired results and benefits.

Skills Required In Project Management 


  • Leading and motivating teams to achieve project goals.
  • Delegating tasks effectively and empowering team members.


  • Conveying project objectives, expectations, and updates to stakeholders.
  • Active listening and resolving conflicts within the team.

Time Management

  • Prioritising tasks and allocating resources to meet project deadlines.
  • Developing and adhering to project schedules.

Risk Management 

  • Identifying and assessing project risks.
  • Implementing mitigation strategies to minimise potential impacts.

Budgeting And Cost Control

  • Developing and managing project budgets.
  • Monitoring and controlling project costs to stay within budget constraints.


  • Analysing issues and finding effective solutions.
  • Being adaptable and resilient in addressing unexpected challenges.

Stakeholder Management

  • Building and maintaining relationships with project stakeholders.
  • Managing stakeholder expectations and addressing their needs throughout the project.

Project Manager Salary In India

Project Manager salary in India ranges between ₹4.2 Lakhs to ₹30.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹17.2 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 146.1k latest salaries received from Project Managers.

Chemical Industry

Chemical industries rely on the expertise of mechanical engineers to handle their chemical processes. In this case, mechanical engineers are responsible for designing the necessary equipment and assisting in selecting the appropriate materials for production. Mechanical engineering is a highly diverse field that intersects with various disciplines. It’s common for mechanical engineers employed in chemical industries to collaborate closely with other specialists in the field.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

A career in the chemical industry is suitable for Mechanical Engineers due to several reasons. Mechanical Engineers have a strong foundation in engineering principles, including thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and materials science, which are essential in the chemical industry for designing and optimising processes and equipment. Their understanding of mechanical systems allows them to work effectively with chemical processes and equipment, ensuring they are designed, operated, and maintained efficiently and safely. Additionally, Mechanical Engineers are skilled in problem-solving and analytical thinking, which are crucial in identifying and resolving challenges in chemical processes. Their ability to work in multidisciplinary teams and communicate effectively makes them valuable contributors to the chemical industry, where collaboration and clear communication are essential. Overall, Mechanical Engineers’ technical expertise and skills make them well-suited for a successful career in the chemical industry.

What Does A Chemical Engineer Do?

  • In particular, chemical engineers enhance food processing techniques and devise ways to produce fertilisers, aiming to boost the amount and quality of available food.
  • They fabricate synthetic fibres that enhance the comfort and water resistance of our clothes. 
  • They also devise techniques to manufacture drugs on a large scale, making them more affordable. 
  • They create safer and more efficient methods to refine petroleum products, thereby increasing the productivity and cost-effectiveness of energy and chemical sources.
  • Chemical engineers work on finding solutions to environmental issues, such as controlling and remediating pollution.
  • Chemical engineers play a crucial role in processing chemicals, which are utilised to create or enhance nearly everything you observe around you.

Skills Required In Chemical Engineering 

Process Design And Optimisation 

  • Designing and improving chemical processes to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • Utilising principles of mass and energy balance to optimise operations.

Chemical Reaction Engineering

  • Understanding chemical reactions and designing reactors for desired outcomes.
  • Implementing catalytic systems to enhance reaction efficiency.

Unit Operations

  • Designing and optimising unit processes like distillation and filtration.
  • Ensuring high-quality product yield through efficient unit operations.

Safety And Environmental Management

  • Enforcing safety protocols and adhering to environmental regulations.
  • Identifying and mitigating potential hazards associated with chemical processes.

Analytical And Problem-Solving Skills

  • Analysing data to troubleshoot process issues and optimise performance.
  • Developing innovative solutions to enhance process efficiency.

Technical Communication

  • Effectively communicating technical information through reports and presentations.
  • Creating comprehensive technical documentation for various stakeholders.

Teamwork And Collaboration

  • Working together with diverse teams to accomplish project goals.
  • Contributing to a harmonious work atmosphere to promote achievement.

Chemical Engineer Salary In India 

Chemical Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹1.4 Lakhs to ₹9.6 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹5.0 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 3.1k latest salaries received from Chemical Engineers.

Operations Management

 A man holding a light fixture, preparing to install it in a room.

Operation management is essential for connecting various elements of production and marketing in the manufacturing company. It has a strong connection to the supply chain. Mechanical engineers can take on the role of operation managers, responsible for purchasing raw materials and ensuring timely delivery of products to customers. They also play a key role in evaluating and enhancing the day-to-day operations of the manufacturing firm. Furthermore, it is important to plan and implement strategies for future growth. As an engineer, your analytical skills will be invaluable in addressing any issues that may hinder work processes and utilising the data at hand.

Considering all these factors, operations management presents itself as one of the top alternative career paths for mechanical engineers.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical Engineers possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, making a career in operations management an ideal fit for them. With their technical background, they are well-equipped to understand complex systems and processes, a crucial aspect of operations management. They play a vital role in overseeing the production of goods or delivery of services, utilising their knowledge of engineering principles to optimise processes, enhance efficiency, and minimise costs. Moreover, their proficiency in project management enables them to effectively manage day-to-day operations and ensure timely and budget-friendly completion of projects. In addition, their ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively makes them exceptional leaders in operations management, where teamwork and coordination are paramount. Overall, Mechanical Engineers’ technical expertise and skills make them excellently suited for a thriving career in operations management.

What Does An Operation Manager Do?

Operations managers play a crucial role in ensuring that an organisation operates smoothly and efficiently across all levels. They can be found in various industries such as retail, healthcare, finance, insurance, and manufacturing. The specific duties of an operations manager may vary based on the organisation’s needs and size. If you take on this role, your responsibilities could encompass a wide range of tasks.

  • Supervising the manufacturing of products and provision of services
  • Strategising the allocation of resources and materials
  • Ensuring that each department achieves its objectives and important milestones
  • Creating and monitoring budgets
  • Handling human resources, including paperwork, staff communication, and performance evaluations
  • Developing company policies and ensuring adherence to them
  • Assisting in maintaining legal compliance within the organisation
  • Conducting quality control and assurance on production
  • Analysing financial data to enhance profitability

Skills Required In Operation Management 

Process Optimisation 

  • Enhancing operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness by refining processes.
  • Implementing strategies to boost productivity and uphold quality standards.

Supply Chain Management

  • Orchestrating the seamless flow of goods and services from suppliers to consumers.
  • Ensuring timely delivery while minimising inventory expenses.

Inventory Control

  • Monitoring and adjusting inventory levels to align with demand fluctuations.
  • Deploying efficient inventory management systems to minimise waste and enhance turnover.

Quality Management

  • Enforcing stringent quality control measures to uphold product standards.
  • Spearheading continuous improvement initiatives to elevate product quality and customer satisfaction.

Project Management

  • Strategising, executing, and monitoring projects to achieve organisational objectives.
  • Efficiently managing resources and timelines to ensure project completion within budget and schedule.

Data Analysis

  • Leveraging data analytics tools to extract insights and inform decision-making.
  • Analysing performance metrics to identify areas for operational enhancement.

Leadership And Team Management

  • Inspiring and guiding teams towards achieving operational goals.
  • Cultivating a collaborative and supportive work environment conducive to success.

Operation Manager Salary In India 

Operations Manager salary in India ranges between ₹2.9 Lakhs to ₹20.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹10.6 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 75k latest salaries received from Operations Managers.

Supply Chain Management

A man and woman standing in front of a robot, showcasing human interaction with advanced technology. 

This position focuses on managing the flow of materials, overseeing production lines, coordinating manufacturing processes, and ensuring smooth logistics to consistently deliver high-quality products to customers. Additionally, supply chain management aims to enhance distribution channels by providing excellent customer service while minimising costs and ensuring employee safety.

Working in a larger company alongside business managers and technicians can make this role quite demanding. Therefore, it is crucial to possess strong interpersonal and communication skills to excel in this position.

As a mechanical engineer in this role, your analytical, technical, and research abilities will enable you to identify new opportunities and propose innovative strategies to enhance the company’s profitability.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical Engineers are a perfect fit for a career in supply chain management because they possess a deep understanding of how things operate and excel at problem-solving. By leveraging their expertise, they can enhance the manufacturing and delivery of products by streamlining processes to be more efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, their proficiency in analysing data and making informed decisions is crucial for managing inventory and forecasting future requirements. Moreover, their project management skills and effective communication abilities make them invaluable in coordinating with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. In summary, the skills and knowledge possessed by Mechanical Engineers make them an ideal match for a thriving career in supply chain management.

What Does A Supply Chain Manager Do?

As a supply chain manager, you’ll be in charge of supervising teams and directing the strategy to achieve smoother and more efficient production schedules. Let’s take a sneak peek into what your daily tasks could entail.

  • Overseeing the production and distribution operations
  • Collaborating with procurement managers, buyers, and vendors to acquire the necessary materials or products
  • Engaging in contract negotiations with suppliers, vendors, contractors, and customers
  • Employing software to monitor the movement of goods from the factory to the warehouse
  • Utilising data analytics to predict inventory demand, evaluate product performance, and assess economic factors
  • Finding ways to reduce costs without compromising quality and meeting sustainability goals
  • Cultivating relationships with suppliers and partners, both new and existing
  • Innovating the supply chain process to enhance efficiency
  • Keeping up-to-date with industry trends and technological advancements.

Skills Required In Supply Chain Management 

Coordinating Logistics

  • Efficiently managing the movement of products from suppliers to customers, finding the best routes and transportation methods to save time and money.
  • Keeping track of inventory to make sure there’s enough on hand without having too much sitting around.

Building Relationships With Suppliers

  • Developing strong connections with suppliers to ensure products are delivered on time and in good condition.
  • Negotiating deals with suppliers to get good prices and terms for the organisation.

Managing Risks

  • Identifying potential problems in the supply chain, like bad weather or supplier issues.
  • Planning ahead to avoid problems or having backup plans in place.

Using Data To Make Decisions

  • Looking at past sales and trends to predict future demand for products.
  • Keeping an eye on important numbers, like how quickly products are selling, to make smart decisions.

Always Improving

  • Finding ways to do things better and faster.
  • Checking regularly to see how things are going and fixing any problems that come up.

Supply Chain Manager Salary In India 

Supply Chain Manager salary in India ranges between ₹3.0 Lakhs to ₹29.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹14.2 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 7.1k latest salaries received from Supply Chain Managers.

Technical Writing 

A man working on a vehicle under a lift, ensuring its proper maintenance and repair.

Writing is an immensely fulfilling profession that offers numerous opportunities. For mechanical engineers seeking a career change, venturing into the realm of writing technical materials can be a viable option. Recent reports indicate a high demand for technical writers, making it an ideal path for engineers to utilise their expertise in crafting well-researched articles on various subjects.

Why This Career Is Suitable For Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical Engineers are a great fit for technical writing due to their ability to simplify complex technical information. With their knowledge of mechanical systems, they can effectively communicate technical concepts to a broad audience. Their problem-solving skills help them identify crucial points to convey, while their meticulous nature ensures accuracy in technical documents. In summary, Mechanical Engineers possess the ideal combination of skills needed for a thriving career in technical writing.

What Does A Technical Writer Do?

Technical writers create clear and concise content that assists both technical and non-technical individuals in comprehending how to use products. They work closely with individuals involved in product development and gather user feedback to enhance their approach and find ways to simplify intricate ideas for written materials.

  • Creating and revising technical documents.
  • Making videos, drawings, and other visual materials.
  • Adhering to style guidelines.
  • Performing research and examining product samples.
  • Working together with various teams and departments to document products and features.
  • Gaining knowledge about intricate concepts and technical aspects of products.
  • Gathering input from users.

Skills Required In Technical Writing 

Clarity And Precision

  • Mastering the art of conveying complex technical information in clear and concise language.
  • Ensuring accuracy and precision in technical documentation to avoid ambiguity.

Audience Adaptation

  • Tailoring writing style and tone to suit the needs and expertise levels of diverse audiences.
  • Crafting user-friendly documentation that is accessible to both technical and non-technical readers.

Research And Analysis

  • Conducting thorough research to gather accurate information and data for documentation.
  • Analysing complex technical concepts and distilling them into easily understandable content.

Documentation Skills

  • Proficiency in creating various types of technical documents, including manuals, guides, and specifications.
  • Organising and structuring information effectively to facilitate comprehension and navigation.

Visual Communication

  • Incorporating visuals such as diagrams, charts, and illustrations to enhance understanding and clarity.
  • Ensuring visual elements are aligned with written content to reinforce key concepts.

Collaboration And Revision

  • Working together with experts and stakeholders to collect valuable insights and feedback.
  • Making revisions and edits to documents based on feedback to enhance clarity, accuracy, and user-friendliness.

Adaptability And Learning

  • Remaining adaptable to evolving technologies and industries, continuously updating skills and knowledge.
  • Learning new tools and technologies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of technical writing processes.

Technical Writer Salary In India 

Technical Writer salary in India ranges between ₹2.6 Lakhs to ₹14.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹6.9 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 7.9k latest salaries received from Technical Writers.

Explore Career Pathways With Mentoria

If you’re a mechanical engineer looking to explore different career paths, this article has compiled a list of the top alternative careers for mechanical engineers. By applying the knowledge and skills gained from studying mechanical engineering, you can easily transition into these related fields and discover new job opportunities. So go ahead, choose a career that interests you, and dive right in.

Discover Your Potential with Mentoria’s Student Guidance. Whether you’re aiming to excel in your studies, explore new academic paths, or switch to a different field, our mentors will craft a personalised plan for you. Offering various streams, 850+ courses, and insights into 12,000+ careers, we’re here to help you discover your ideal academic fit. Connect with our mentors today to kick-start your journey toward a fulfilling and successful student life.