9 crucial differences between a mechanic and an engineer

In this post, we’re going to discover the 9 crucial differences between a mechanic and an engineer, which confuse many people.

So keep reading to know which is best for you, mechanics or engineers.

1 – An engineer designs while a mechanic follows the instructions

Engineers are not like mechanics. Engineers focus on the design part and conception. While mechanics fix and maintain machines. To clarify more engineer use their skills in math and physics to design and create machines from scratch, which mechanics don’t do.

For example, if we pick a car as an example, we find:

  • Engineers design the car and make all calculations of how the car should be. In automotive or car production, there is a tone of engineering phases. To summarize, we find engineers who design the engine while others specified to design the chassis.
  • Mechanics don’t do all of that. Mechanics focus on repairing a car after it gets designed by engineers. So their role is to maintain and fix the issues that happen after the utilization, not before manufacturing like engineers do.

So, in general, engineers make systems or machines from scratch and then give mechanics the instructions to follow to fix these machines.

2 – an engineer doesn’t fix or maintain stuff like mechanics

As we said before, engineers are focused on design, not troubleshooting like mechanics or technicians. For this reason, if you have a broken machine or car, don’t expect to form an engineer to fix it because he couldn’t do that.

The job of engineers is to design, not troubleshoot, so you need a mechanic who has an experience in these specific machines to be able to fix this machine. For this reason, we find many specialties in mechanics. For example, we find:

  • car mechanics
  • boat mechanics
  • truck mechanics

Car mechanics could not fix a boat or truck simply because it is not their specialty. So being a mechanic is not meaning being able to fix anything. You should specialize.

The same thing for engineers. Engineers have a specialization. For example, you could find an engineer specializing in car radiators while others in engines.

For this reason, we find over 100 engineers working only in one car or any big machine.

So this domain is very technically complex and requires specialization and having a big team.

3 – an engineer studies longer than mechanics

Normally the minimum barrier to becoming an engineer is to have a bachelor’s in engineering majors, which is 4 years after high school. In addition, you need to take an internship to apply for a job.

While some engineers extend their studies after getting a bachelor’s, adding more years after getting their bachelor’s like a master’s or Ph.D. As a result, it allows them to have an excellent entry-level job position.

To become a mechanic, you don’t need to have even a high school degree, especially for people who want to start their garages. For this reason, we find a lot of mechanics who drop out of school early.

But currently is better to at least have a high school degree because technology is evolving fast. As a result, need some skills that could be gained in high school.

In addition, working in some companies will require some technical diplomas. But in general, mechanics doesn’t have any entry-level barrier. You just have to be skilled.

4 – mechanics is a physically demanded jobs

This is what the mechanic’s hand looks like.

mechanics dirty hand

Working as a mechanic is a physically tough profession. Your hands will be dirty. In addition your carry heavy stuff like tools and equipment.

Also, it is a dangerous job or occupation. You should be very careful because making some mistakes could be harmful or even deathful. Mechanics deal with machines or tools that can chop their hands or legs, etc.

Engineers normally work in saver and cubical jobs. They spend most of their time in offices focusing on design and conception.

Mechanics is incredibly difficult, but people don’t give credit just because a mechanic doesn’t earn money as engineers do.

Physically a mechanic works physically harder than an engineer. While engineers consume their minds focusing more on theory and solving design issues.

5 – engineer earn double what a mechanic does

According to BLS a technician, which includes a mechanic makes $44,050 a year while engineers make double that.

For example, a mechanical engineer makes over $100k a year, a stable job. So becoming an engineer means having a more stable financial life than being a mechanic.

So if you find a rich mechanic, he would certainly have his own business. So if you are looking to become rich working for a company, you will be wrong. The only way is to build your business.

6 – engineers work in the home office while mechanics not

mechanics or engineer

Most engineers work in the office, taking a theoretical part of the job, including design and analysis. In comparison, a mechanic works outside in humid environments fixing and dealing directly with machines.

But it doesn’t mean that engineers are always working in AC rooms.

For example, in mechanical engineering, even if there are mechanics out there doing the handy job, as a mechanical engineer, you will still need to make tests holding a hammer and screwdriver in your hand.

But the most physically heavy tasks a mechanic is doing instead of an engineer.

7 – an engineer can work from home while mechanics can’t

engineer work remotely

The beauty about engineering is you can work remotely, like working from home. As a mechanic, this is impossible. You can’t work outside a workshop or without the principal sets.

But engineers can do that. For example, today, many mechanical engineers work remotely in-house, designing pieces in CAD or solid work. So all you need is to have a laptop and internet connection to do your job.

So engineering is more flexible than mechanics.

8 – an engineer can see its creation in the real-life

There is no fun than seeing something you designed working, and someone is using it. It is an amazing feeling that only passionate engineers have experienced.

For example, you could see a car going in the street and remember that you’ve been a part of its existence. So it gives a feeling of pride and purpose.

9 – mechanics and engineers are stressful occupations

Mechanics and engineering aren’t easy jobs that any want can do. These occupations are very stressful and challenging. Mechanics and engineers are:

  • working long hours
  • dealing with stress
  • solving a lot of issues

so it requires having a passion for this job unless you burn out.

you could read this related articles:

is mechanical engineering fun? 9 important facts


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.