How to be a Freelance Mechanical Engineer

freelance Mechanical Engineer

Words and job duties like instrumentation, automation, implementation, and design, play an important part  in the life of a mechanical engineer. It is probably the most pursued engineering field in developing countries like India. With the advent of newer machinery, the need for mechanical engineers only increases. Whether you are a full time employee, looking to earn a few extra bucks by the side, or you are a self-employed engineer simply trying to get your business up and running, there is much scope in freelance mechanical engineer.

You can opt for freelance for many different reasons. Extra income, work from home, be able to take on multiple tasks, independence; the list continues. Whatever your preferences, you can be assured that freelance mechanical engineer is a career that will give you a comfortable life, and a low pressure, low stress working environment.

Freelance Mechanical Engineer Job Duties:

Your duties as a mechanical engineer would revolve around building mechanical equipment. For instance, an organisation that makes mechanical products may contract you to design a product, or even test and provide specifics for the product. Let us have an in-depth look at some of the duties that will fall under your purview, as a freelance mechanical engineer:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, and computer-generated reports.
  • Liaise and confer with engineers and other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, and provide technical information.
  • Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals, and other data to evaluate the feasibility, cost, and maintenance requirements of designs or applications.
  • Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design and performance specifications.
  • Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, and maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems, and processes to meet requirements, applying knowledge of engineering principles.
  • Investigate equipment failures and difficulties to diagnose faulty operation, and to make recommendations to maintenance crew.
  • Liaise with drafters and monitor them in developing the structural design of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted design/drafting equipment and software.
  • Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems and needs.
  • Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair to ensure that machines and equipment comply with specifications.
  • Supervise and conduct research that tests and analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, and performance of equipment, components, and systems.
  • Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions.
  • Develop and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to assess feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications, and necessity of modification.
  • Develop, coordinate, and monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, and operation of product designs.
  • Estimate costs and submit bids for engineering, construction, or extraction projects, and prepare contract documents.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervision of production workers, technicians, technologists, and other engineers, and design of evaluation programs.
  • Establish and coordinate the maintenance and safety procedures, service schedule, and supply of materials required to maintain machines and equipment in the prescribed condition.
  • Study industrial processes to determine application areas of the equipment.
  • Write performance requirements for product development or engineering projects.

Freelance Mechanical Engineer Skills:

What sets you apart from other engineers is skill. You need to be skilful to hold a candle to competition. Although,  you shall generally be required to design, implement, and even test mechanical equipment, the job role will often demand more from you than an implementation and design process. You need to develop skills to do well; some of them include:

  • Mathematical skills
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Scientific Skills
  • Decision Making
  • Operations Research
  • Operations Analysis
  • Coordination
  • Active Learning
  • Self-motivated
  • Able to work remotely
  • Systems Analysis
  • Equipment selection

Many websites will help you develop the above-mentioned skills. However, you must remember that mechanical engineering is a graduate level course and any skills you learn here should be supplemented with a degree. MIT Open Courseware, Udacity, Coursera, Freestudy and Brighthubengineering offer many options to learn mechanical engineering online.

Being Successful As A Freelance Mechanical Engineer:

More often than not, talent is not a determinant of success in any sphere. It is possibly truer for engineers, with the freelance market insisting that talent combined with the relevant experience attracts generous prospective employers.

Hence, to be successful initially, you could:

  • Offer to do projects for minimum fees, sometimes for free
  • Bid the lowest for a project on freelancer portals
  • Get good testimonials for guest blogs, recommendations for work
  • Start a blog, back link it to more visible blogs
  • Create a website, or at the very least, a web page
  • Advertise your services on social media platforms
  • Understand the product or service intimately
  • Sharpen your Communication skills, as it would help you get more jobs
  • Master Engineering Basics

Tools For Freelancers

Freelance Mechanical Engineer Payment:

Most of the revenue generated by you will depend solely on your ability to market your services and your credibility with previous employees.

Usually freelance portals offer various kinds of payment models. In the fixed-price model, the price is usually pre-determined. The hourly model is the most popular and employers usually pay a predetermined sum per hour. Finally, in the project-budget based model, you often need to auction for such projects. Usually a fixed price model may range from $20- $200 and upwards, while you have to pitch for hourly projects, and budget payments, which usually range from $5- $35 an hour, with average payments at $23 per hour.

Finding Work:

Many websites, forums, and portals offer hundreds of jobs to freelance mechanical engineer like you. Elance, Odesk, Peopleperhour and Guru offers many mechanical engineer work opportunities to freelance mechanical engineers around the globe.


However, you must remember that mechanical engineering is a graduate level course and any skills you learn here should be supplemented with a degree. MIT Open Courseware, Udacity, Coursera, Freestudy and Brighthubengineering offer many options to learn mechanical engineering online.

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