How to Become a Freelance Mechanical Engineer & Find Remote Work for Design Jobs

mechanical engineering services

Tasks such as design, implementation, automation, and instrumentation all play a crucial role in everyday life of a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineering services is probably one of the most coveted and in-demand engineering fields worldwide. The continuous development of newer machinery also increases the demand for professional mechanical engineers. Whether you are a full-time mechanical engineer, self-employed, or looking to make extra money on the side, learning how to become a freelance mechanical engineer and finding remote work for design jobs can elevate your career. 

Becoming a freelance mechanical engineer has benefits. These include working from home, having an extra income, taking on several tasks, being independent, and so much more. Regardless of your reason, you can have peace of mind knowing that becoming a freelance mechanical engineer is a career that opens the door to a working environment with less stress and less pressure, generally contributing to a more comfortable life.

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What does a freelance mechanical engineer do?

The duties of a mechanical engineer revolve around building mechanical equipment. For example, an organization specializing in mechanical products may hire you for product engineering services, provide specifications, and perform tests on a product. The following is a quick overview of some of the typical duties that you are expected to carry out as a freelance mechanical engineer:

  • Test and develop models of alternate processing methods and designs to evaluate their feasibility, the necessity of modification, possible new applications, and operating condition effects.
  • Develop, monitor, and coordinate all production areas, such as the operation of product designs, fabrication, and selection of manufacturing methods.
  • Coordinate and establish safety and maintenance procedures, supply of materials, and service schedule required to maintain equipment and machines in the recommended condition.
  • Submit bids and estimate costs for engineering, extraction, or construction projects, and prepare the necessary contract documents.
  • Investigate difficulties and failures of equipment to diagnose faulty operations and provide suggestions to the maintenance crew. 
  • Communicate and discuss with engineers and related personnel to provide technical details, address system malfunctions, and implement operating procedures. 
  • Oversee drafters as they develop a product’s structural design using drafting tools and computer-assisted drafting or design software and equipment. 
  • Supervise installation, operation, repair, and maintenance to ensure that equipment and machines adhere to specifications. 
  • Perform personnel functions, such as supervising technicians, technologists, production workers, and other engineers, and designing evaluation programs. 
  • Give feedback to the design engineering company about customer requirements.
  • Read and interpret technical drawings, blueprints, computer-generated reports, and schematics.
  • Suggest design modifications to get rid of system or machine malfunctions.
  • Analyze and research customer design manuals, specifications, proposals, and other relevant data to assess the cost, maintenance requirements, and feasibility of applications or designs.
  • Research, design, install, operate, maintain, and evaluate mechanical products, systems, processes, and equipment to meet requirements while applying knowledge of the different engineering principles.
  • Specify system components to guarantee conformity with performance and engineering design specifications.
  • Study different industrial processes to identify the equipment’s application areas.
  • Conduct and supervise research that analyzes and tests the performance, operation, design, and feasibility of systems, components, and equipment.
  • Write performance requirements for engineering or product development projects

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Skills needed to become a freelance mechanical engineer 

Your skills are the primary qualities that set you apart from the other engineers. While you will often be required to implement, design, or test different mechanical equipment, this job will require more than just mechanical drawing services and implementation processes. 


  • Ability to work remotely
  • Active learning
  • Complex problem solving
  • Coordination
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Equipment selection
  • Mathematical skills
  • Operations analysis
  • Operations research
  • Scientific skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Systems analysis

Mechanical engineering is a graduate-level course; a degree will supplement all the skills you learn here.

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How to be a successful freelance mechanical engineer

Talent alone does not determine success, regardless of your career or profession. In the freelance market, relevant experience and skills attract potential employers. Here are ways to succeed in your journey as a freelance mechanical engineer:

  • Master the basics of mechanical engineering
  • Advertise your services on social media platforms
  • Have the lowest bid for projects on the various freelancer portals
  • Create a web page or a website for your services
  • Offer to handle projects for lower fees or, if possible, do some for free
  • Get positive recommendations for work and testimonials for your guest blogs
  • Start your blog and backlink it to more visible or popular blogs
  • Sharpen and hone your communication skills to help you score more jobs
  • Have an understanding of the products and services you work on 

How much do freelance mechanical engineers earn?

A mechanical engineer’s revenue depends on credibility with past clients and employers and the ability to market their services. Freelance portals often offer different modes of payment. The fixed-price model involves setting a predetermined price, while the hourly model (the most common pricing method) means employers pay a preset sum per hour. Meanwhile, the project budget-based model is where a potential client auctions their projects. Fixed price models usually range from $20 to $200 or more. A pitch is necessary for hourly projects and budget payments, generally ranging from $5 to $35 per hour, with $23 per hour as the average payment.

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How to become a freelance mechanical engineer 


Best Freelancing Websites to Find Freelance Mechanical Engineering Projects

Many websites, portals, and forums offer jobs to freelance mechanical engineers. Here are some of the best companies that offer freelance work opportunities:

Cad Crowd 

Cad Crowd is currently the biggest freelance CAD community that specializes in connecting freelance mechanical engineers with potential clients. The portal aims to help clients find vetted freelance mechanical engineers suitable for their projects. Cad Crowd qualifies and finds talent through design contests without relying solely on paper credentials. The most talented engineers, or those who win the contests, will receive the most project offers. Mechanical engineers can also upload their portfolios on the portal and create profiles to receive personal project offers. 

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99designs is a platform made especially for freelancers, including freelance mechanical engineers. The platform lets you participate in design contests and receive feedback as potential clients pick the best designs. This process offers talented engineers a chance to prove and showcase their skills and talents.


Fiverr is considered one of the best and most extensive online marketplaces to start your career as a freelance mechanical engineer. Fiverr is currently the most comprehensive online marketplace for freelance services. The name “Fiverr” came from the fact that it starts as low as $5 to get a job done on the site. 


Freelancer sets itself apart from other platforms because, aside from offering millions of projects, it also lets you engage in contests where you compete with other freelancers to prove your skills. If you are confident in your expertise and have a competitive streak, Freelancer is the best place to attract more clients and capture their interest by showcasing your abilities. 

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Guru is a platform where you can easily showcase all of your past work experiences. It comes with a feature that offers job matches daily to ensure you are continually updated with available opportunities. You can easily manage all your projects with the help of Guru Work Room. 


iFreelance accommodates some of the usual types of freelancers like writers, coders, and freelance mechanical engineers. Interestingly, the platform lets you keep 100% of your earnings, which you cannot expect from other similar platforms. 


PeoplePerHour is another platform that focuses on freelancing for different web projects. It doesn’t matter if you are a freelance mechanical engineer, an SEO specialist, a web developer, or a designer—the platform is worth checking out. 

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Project4Hire, with its hundreds of project categories, makes it easier for you to find jobs that are suitable for your specific skillset with no need to go through large volumes of job posts. It is an excellent platform for freelance mechanical engineers, designers, consultants, coders, and more. 


Formerly known as oDesk, Upwork has more than 1.5 million clients and has something for all types of freelancers. The platform accommodates long and short-term projects, entry-level and expert-level engagements, and per-project or hourly work. No matter what stage your career might be at right now, Upwork will help you find the right job for you. 


Things to consider before you become a freelance mechanical engineer 

Is it worth becoming a freelance mechanical engineer right now? Since entrepreneurship tends to be very lucrative, it is no longer surprising that more and more mechanical engineers are considering freelancing or starting their businesses. Starting your own business is a more tangible model achievable if the risk management and investment are in place. Freelancing is trickier, with many people failing to meet their high expectations. Before you embark on your career as a freelance mechanical engineer, there are a few things you need to remember first:

1. Experience is Critical 

After spending a year using mechanical CAD design services or meshing to develop complex plastic parts, you may feel highly confident in your skills and abilities. Why not become your boss and reap the rewards? Unfortunately, keeping up with customer requirements and specifications is not always easy, and gaining experience, using the latest software, and following the newest trends is essential. Continuous professional development will help you feel more confident about handling different projects for different clients. 

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2. Earning high wages isn’t easy

It can feel very tempting to become a freelance mechanical engineer whenever you see people in the IT community working as freelancers with large incomes. However, high wages don’t always come easy like any other career, and such success requires hard work and giving your best shot at all projects entrusted to you. 

3. Investment is still necessary 

When you decide to go solo, one of the first challenges you must deal with is the need for investment. To become a freelance mechanical engineer, you don’t need to invest much capital.

4. You need quality software packages

All businesses that rely on mechanical engineering care about legal licensing. If you think you can start this new career using a hacked license, you might want to think again. Illegal software packages are detected immediately, and your freelance mechanical engineering career could be over before you even begin. Also, since you need to run complex calculations, you will need more power than you can get from a hacked package. For this job, you will need a complete software package, specialized software, and access to updates.

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5. Software licenses are required 

Software licenses are required, and these licenses often have renewal fees that can be expensive after the introductory offer ends and may also have expiration dates. Also, customers will have software preferences and requirements. Clients expect value for their money and quality service and dictate what they want and how they want it to be done. 

6. Consider your clients 

Individuals who choose to become freelance mechanical engineers often already have solid connections from past work, while others can already sell themselves well. While it is not difficult to find businesses that need your skillset, convincing them to choose you might be tricky. There are two key ways to search for potential clients. You can either appeal to small businesses or use your contacts from a previous job with a large corporation. Appealing to clients of previous jobs often won’t work with freelancers unless they are certified, part of a consulting company, and keep up to date with the necessary regulations.

Small businesses may help you find assignments, but price may be their primary concern rather than quality, and they might even neglect licensing matters. If you aren’t careful, you might lose the job to a student or someone who offers a lower price. By considering your client’s budgets, and requirements, you can plan accordingly and make your service more enticing to them. 

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7. It takes time 

You might earn a client’s trust at the end of a project, but even this comes with a price. Going through everything you have done for the past days, weeks, and months will make you realize that freelancing can also take a toll on your time, like any nine-to-five job. While you have the flexibility to wake up at 10 am, you may still need to work on the weekend to beat deadlines and look for the next project to work on. It may be a bit slow for your freelancing career to take off initially, but starting a freelance career as a mechanical engineer is worth considering and can elevate your career.

How Cad Crowd can assist

If you need mechanical engineering design work, Cad Crowd can match you with an expert freelance CAD designer to help you complete your project. Send us some info about your design needs, and we’ll provide you with a free quote for the design services cost. We have the right designer for you whether you need help with a short-term or long-term project.

If you’ve got an idea, but aren’t sure where to start, let us do all the heavy lifting for you. Host a design contest and watch as talented freelance designers from around the world submit design plans for your project. You pay only for the winning design but get to keep every submission.