A special thank you to Ophir Chernin, for providing us with useful information about the field of Mechanical Engineering.

The field of mechanical engineering is a vibrant field here in Israel and jobs are available at all levels. Many of these positions are located in the Gush-Dan, however there are many companies located in Rehovot, Jerusalem, and Haifa/Carmiel. Although the field is alive and well and involved with developing many cutting edge technologies, finding a good job will take effort.  The best way to find a good position is through personal networking, and  LinkedIn is highly recommended. Many jobs can also be found by placement agencies which may be more aware of open positions.

Some consulting work can be found by using outsourcing and/or consulting companies such as BARAN, Shiran, etc., and CAD outsourcing firms (SolidWorks and Creo Parametric are quite popular here).

A high level of Hebrew is a big advantage in the field of mechanical engineering, yet at the same time fluent English is important and required as many companies are multinational and global in nature.

There are a few branches of mechanical engineering here in Israel:
Many of the mechanical engineering opportunities in Israel are connected with CAD design, specifically plastics design & electronics packaging.  The most widespread CAD software here is Solidworks with a significant presence of Creo Parametric. Other packages such as CATIA, SolidEdge and others are less widespread.  There are  lots of opportunity in CAD work, especially for those with a solid background in plastics design.  Much of this work is concentrated in the medical devices and electronics packaging (consumer products) fields. Many larger companies have a physical design department; many smaller start-up companies are looking to outsource their design work.

Regarding medical devices, much of the work is more multidisciplinary, as the devices incorporate much more than just electronics packaging.  Here, knowledge of the field and English as a mother tongue is a big advantage as the companies are looking to get FDA (or other international) approval for their products.

Other fields of mechanical engineering which are well-represented here are robotics, FEA analysis, precision machine design, machine shop operators (more for the technical level), etc.

Many mechanical engineers find their best contribution in the multidisciplinary world of Clean Tech/Renewables.  This field allows a mechanical engineer to take their fundamental engineering skills and branch outward and contribute on a much broader level.

This list is not exhaustive, and more specialties in the field exist in Israel than are listed in this article.

Some Mechanical Engineer Organizations worth joining:

ASME- American Society of Mechnical Engineers

משרד המהנדסים ואדריכלים

Portal of Associations of Engineers

It is possible to become licensed here by having your degree recognized by Misrad Hachinuch and משרד המהנדסים ואדריכלים although it is not required.  Most companies will just ask you to see your college degree in order to ascertain that you are a degreed engineer and are worthy of the job/pay scale.  Although it is a bit of work, I think it is a good idea to have your degree recognized by the משרד המהנדסים ואדריכלים soon after making Aliyah in case you ever need it in the future.

Being licensed as a Professional Engineer in the US (remember, certification is by State) may give you an advantage working for a company which presents drawings which must be signed by a PE.

For more information on the registration and licensing process, click here.

Interview with a Mechanical Engineer

Special thanks to JJ Schwartz, mechanical engineer, for contributing his time and sharing his experiences.

Can you describe what a mechanical engineer does, for someone who is unfamiliar with the field?
I’m a mechanical engineer, specializing in design. I draw 3D models with the help of CAD software. I’m in the army now and I’m using Solid Edge. I also work at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), where I use CATIA. These are detail filled drawings with exact measurements and relationships. The drawings are then sent to the manufacturer to be made.

What education is needed for your job, both in Israel and the U.S.?
A Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

For your profession, what work settings are available in Israel?
It depends on what you are looking for. There are start-ups as well as larger, more established companies.

What licensure is required?
If you decide to work for a government company (such as IAI), you will need to have your degree recognized by Misrad Hachinuch (Ministry of Education). However, most companies won’t waste your time, and won’t ask you to have your degree recognized.

Do you need to know Hebrew?
No, although it will help you communicate with your co-workers, and it’s always a plus.

What experience do I need, in order to land a job?
None. I got my job straight out of college.

What is the market like?
The market is very good. I turned down several job offers. Plus, the army is always looking for professionals.

Are there any technical differences to be aware of, between Israel and the US?
No technical differences, however many formalities are different. Casual dress is the custom (jeans, t-shirts, sandals in the summer), and you’ll be on a first name basis with your boss. Of course this varies from boss to boss and from company to company. My overall impression is that on the average, the work environment is a much more casual in Israel than in North America.

What is the average salary range?
Naturally, it depends on your experience and skills. For a fresh graduate, you can expect between 7,000 and 10,000 NIS/month, depending on your negotiating skills and where you work.

What are the best routes for continuing education?
I personally plan to do a Master’s degree part time, while continuing to work full time. I believe that’s the best route.

Do I need to join any professional organizations?

Is there anything else you would like to share with new Olim?
Like anywhere else, you’ll find what you’re looking for through networking and research. People are extremely open to helping others. I personally submitted many resumes to people I know only through email. I found my placement in the army because my friend’s uncle’s friend is a lieutenant-colonel in the air force. Don’t be intimidated, and never use the excuse, “Why would a person like him want to help me?” In general, don’t use excuses; be Israeli. If you are worried that you are being pushy, realize that it is the North American part of you that is holding you back… ignore it and move forward. It doesn’t mean that you should be rude, on the contrary, people actually appreciate your manners… Good luck!

Thanks to JJ made Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh in 2005 and he holds a position at IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) as a design engineer. 

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