How to Become a Freelance Mechanical Design Engineer.

The chances of getting a job after leaving the tier 3 or lower collage as a mechanical engineer are now low. As most of the recent graduates has less skills or no work experience which cannot fulfill company demands. Therefore, the company always looks for experienced candidates.

But if you start freelancing during early years of Engineering then you can learn skills along with experience. Now as internet is easily available to everyone. You can find plenty of freelance opportunities for Mechanical design engineers. Here also, most of the times clients will look for experienced candidates. But there are many clients available on freelancing websites who offer projects to inexperienced freelancers at low cost if the freelancers have the necessary skills.

Starting a freelancing job is always difficult because you may not be able to get a project in the beginning, or if you get a project you will have to work for less money. But as your freelancing experience grows, you will have more opportunities with higher payments. So believe in yourself, be consistent and wait for your time.

The most common profile for a mechanical engineer to start a freelance career is a Mechanical design engineer. As most of the mechanical engineers have knowledge of Product design, its concepts, mechanical/physical calculations, design for manufacturing, materials and CAD/CAE software’s. So in this post we will discuss in detail how to become a Mechanical Design Engineer. .

Which skills are required for becoming a freelance Mechanical Design Engineer ?

You must have a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering before embarking on a freelance Mechanical Design Engineer career or you should be pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering

You must have intermediate or proficient knowledge of any one CAD software which is used in industry. Catia, UG NX, Autodesk Inventor, Fusion 360, Solid Edge, Solid works and Creo are mostly used in industries. So, you should be proficient in any one of the above mentioned software’s. 

Learning any CAD software is not difficult as all the software’s come with tutorials in PDF or web format or you can refer to any good YouTube channel to learn CAD software. If you become proficient in any one the software’s, you can easily learn other CAD software’s within less time. But we suggest learning only one or a maximum of two CAD software instead of learning multiple CAD software.

Once you learn any CAD software, you should start practicing it more and more, and creating various 3D geometries. Try creating geometries which are mostly used in industries like piston crank assembly, any casting geometry, hydraulic pump, hydraulic motor, chassis of vehicle, etc.  You can take help from YouTube or some CAD websites (e.g. GrabCAD) for creating  geometries used in industries.

It will also be good if you have knowledge of CAE simulation software’s like Ansys, Abacus, programming software’s like Python, java and MATLAB, and CAM software’s like MasterCAM.

Along with Software knowledge, you should have also basic knowledge of following Mechanical concepts :

  • Product design and development process from start to finish i.e. Research, design, develop/ modelling, analysis, installation/ production, quality and maintenance.
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.
  • Industrial machinery and products, Engine, Mechanical devices, Equipment’s Metal parts and Assemblies.
  • Manufacturing and Industrial processes such as Machining, Casting, Pattern designing, etc.
  • Materials
  • Sheet Metal design (optional)
  • 3D modeling, 3D Printing, Product Prototyping, 3D rendering and Interior design.
  • Estimation & Costing – Calculation of manufacturing costs and costs of development.
  • Technical Industrial Problems.
  • BOM (Bill of material), Engineering detailed drawings, detailed manufacturing and assembly drawings.
  • Design Optimization and Efficiency.
  • Finite Element analysis
  • Thermal, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. (optional)

In addition, you need to have excellent analytical and problem solving skills, written and verbal communication skills.

How to find a Freelance Mechanical Design Engineer job?

First create a portfolio of your work and add all the details of your design engineering work to the portfolio. Attach snapshots of the geometries/ models you created while learning software or working for any company. There are many templates available on the internet, you can take the help of those templates to create a portfolio.

Now create accounts (freelancing profile) on genuine freelancing websites. Some of the good freelancing websites for Mechanical Design Engineer freelancing jobs are :, LinkedIn,, Fiverr, DesignCrowd, Peopleperhour, Toptal, etc.

Generally in most of the freelancing websites, you need to create your freelancing profile on the website and employer will hire you or employer will post a project and you need to bid for the project.

When you log in to any freelancing website, first fill in all your profile details, such as personal details, contact details, education details, skills and certificates, and work experience if any.  Don’t forget to add your recent photo.

Attach your portfolio to your freelancing profile and add a brief description of yourself and your work. Also add hourly and fixed work rates. If you have received a positive review from your customer, add that positive review to your profile and highlight the customer’s name. Based on your profile, employer will contact you. So try to mention all the details about you in the profile.

When you bid for any freelancing project, add all details correctly in the bid. Based on the bid details, the employer will select you for the discussion and if all goes well the employer will give you the project. So the bid should include all the details required for that project and it should be workable and practical.

For the Mechanical Design Engineer project bid, add your design engineering skills (which we have already discussed) to the bid. Also add your eligibility and certificate details and mention the details of your portfolio. Attach a portfolio if possible or share a website link which goes to your portfolio.

You can also get freelancing jobs from employments websites and social media websites. Join various social media groups like Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram Group that focus on Mechanical Engineering, Design Engineering and CAD / CAE Software. Members of these groups are mostly freelancers, clients and students. Clients post their needs in these groups and get their work done by freelancers.

Happy Freelancing .

If you have any questions, please ask in comments. We will reply as early as possible. You can also visit freelancing ideas to get updates about genuine methods to earn money online .


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