Mechanical Engineering is an Excellent Career and Life Choice
The mechanical engineer was referred to by engineering professionals as the general practitioner and the jack-of-all-trades. This is because education and skills that cover a wide range of technological, social, environmental, and economic issues are needed for the profession. In general, however, by mechanical solutions, the mechanical engineer is concerned with regulating the concepts of motion, energy, and force.
Through a combination of material, human, and economic capital, a mechanical engineer designs the instruments and processes used to meet society’s needs. She was able to work on electric motors, internal combustion engines, turbines for steam and gas, and other devices for producing electricity. She could also build devices such as cooling and air-conditioning equipment, power tools, and other machines that use power.
Mechanical Engineers – What Do They Do?
In terms of job functions, the complex mechanical engineering area can be divided in many ways. These areas of technology contribute to some of the most common tasks, but not all of them do. There are among these fields:
Product Design — Development of products ranging from biomedical equipment to engines powered by gasoline. Something using mechanical motion is designed by a mechanical engineer.
Research and Development—discovering new ideas or developing older approaches for human needs.
Production—development of machines that turn materials into goods. It is of prime importance to design and construct machines and computer systems that increase operating performance.
Management of systems—supervising the activities of a large facility, such as a power plant, as well as managing the people employed there.
Energy Management — planning how to produce, store, and transfer energy. Industries generating and supplying electricity such as natural gas, oil, and renewable energy use mechanical engineers to build vehicles, engines, and more fuel-efficient appliances.
Marketing — to assess the need for a new or updated product and to measure the supply of goods, the size of the market, the cost structure, profitability, requirements, and distribution channels.
The mechanical engineer is concerned with heat utilization or machine design in most of these fields—in other words, harnessing or generating electricity. In boilers, air conditioners, and refrigeration systems, heat utilization techniques are applied. Machine design, like car engines, computers, and washing machines, is more based on hardware.
Mechanical engineers are being continually asked to make choices. A mechanical engineer must determine the size, shape, and material of each part of each mechanical product made. They will have to find the safest and most reliable methods of making the goods. Such choices are also made in partnership with other forms of engineers. The difference between life and death can mean some of the decisions they make: the safety features of cars, for instance, are the responsibility of mechanical engineers.
Trends in the Mechanical Engineering Profession
Emerging areas such as biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology are projected to create new work opportunities for mechanical engineers; between 2006 and 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a rise of almost 10,000 jobs in mechanical engineering.
In particular, mechanical engineers who specialize in design mechanics are gaining more interest from medical biotechnology. The design of artificial limbs and organs involves this area. To produce these products that can withstand stress and still be compatible with the human body, mechanical engineers must work together with medical doctors.
Career Training for Mechanical Engineers
A strong understanding of science, mathematics, and computers must be combined by engineers with an understanding of technology. The focus at the high school level is on mathematics. Generally, two years of algebra plus courses are required in geometry and trigonometry.
In addition to science and math, engineers require good communication skills, so the liberal arts and humanities should not be overlooked. Furthermore, note that many of the major manufacturing corporations that recruit mechanical engineers are multinational. That means it can be extremely useful for a second language.
Mechanical engineering graduates should prepare to study advanced mathematics, calculus, chemistry, and physics at the university level. Mechanical engineering majors take advanced courses after some of these main courses in:
- Dynamics of fluids
- Science in Materials
- Processes of fabrication
- Thermodynamics and the transfer of heat
- Science in the Field
Courses in communication (composition, technical writing), humanities (the language of history, political science), basic science (chemistry, physics), business (accounting, marketing), mathematics, and fundamental engineering and computer skills are required for a traditional Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. In the sophomore year, the core mechanical engineering classes typically begin (fluid mechanics, engineering design, heat transfer).
As a mechanical engineering major, assess your possible future by asking yourself these questions:
What are your math and science grades? Choose another specialty if you fail. Mechanical engineering might be the correct option if you do well and ask for more.
Are you curious about the way things work? Did you find yourself taking stuff apart and putting it back together? This is the mechanical engineer’s natural attribute.
You are certainly on the right road if you live to find new or better ways of doing stuff.
Are games on machines, mazes, and jigsaw puzzles enjoyable for you? What might be better than jobs you love doing?
Do individuals turn to you for advice or trust your choices? That means you think clearly and have in the past shown decision-making skills. For a mechanical engineer, it is an essential prerequisite.
Considering a Career in Mechanical Engineering?
Look for a university that has been accredited by the Engineering and Technology Accreditation Board. Although a place as a mechanical engineer with other engineering degrees can be found, ABET accreditation can offer your resume added punch.
It is advantageous to get an internship or an engineering-related summer job after beginning coursework in mechanical engineering. These help you understand the engineering’ real world’ and provide an opportunity to apply the theories and concepts learned in class. You will also help decide your professional likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses during an internship. Even if it is for low—or no—pay, take advantage of an opportunity to learn outside the classroom.
Internship programs are a mandatory feature of certain curricula, but they are optional for others. Many organizations have semester-long programs with the mechanical engineering department of the university or with the career center of the university. With internship plans of their own, students may also be able to approach potential future employers.
Colleges that Offer Mechanical Engineering Degrees
Graduate Degrees in Mechanical Engineering
To study laboratory research and computer analysis, several students attend master’s or doctoral engineering programs. In the industry, online mechanical engineering degree programs have become more popular, as working professionals aim to develop their skills without stepping off the career path by leaving the workforce for two years.
Mechanical Engineering – What jobs are available?
A mechanical engineer is employed by almost any company that designs and manufactures a product. But it is also possible to find mechanical engineers in research laboratories, the military, government, and other occupations, such as medicine, law, or teaching.
Many positions in mechanical engineering include expertise in design. Companies call on mechanical engineers to do the job when a new or improved product is needed. To effectively fulfill project demands, engineers have to reach beyond the boundaries of their previous work and use groundbreaking technologies.
A second significant field of work is manufacturing for mechanical engineers. Manufacturing workers cover almost all that is involved in the production of a product, from selecting the right materials to choosing the right equipment to produce the product. For machinery manufacturers, aerospace firms, utilities, material processing plants, transportation companies, and petroleum companies, most mechanical engineers in this industry work. Small businesses, consulting practices, universities, and government research laboratories also work with them.
Unique duties could include research and development, equipment or device design, production supervision, plant engineering, administration, sales engineering, computer, and whole plant testing and evaluation. Certain titles in mechanical engineering and their functions include:
Automotive engineer: Many car parts for the automotive industry are designed by mechanical engineers. As an automotive engineer, by designing stronger and more powerful engines or developing improved safety features, you can solve transport and safety problems.
Automotive Manufacturing Society
Biomedical Engineer: Mechanical engineers work to design mobility aids, prosthetics, and artificial organs alongside a range of medical professionals.
Consulting: Once mechanical engineers have obtained considerable on-the-job experience and have established a high level of competence, they can choose to work as consultants or independent contractors for themselves. Here, they will work for clients they admire on projects of their choice. In large and small engineering service companies and private practice, the consultancy sector provides possibilities.
In this area, engineers design refrigeration systems for the processing of frozen foods, or air conditioning and heating systems for businesses and industrial buildings, residential homes, automobiles, hospitals, and schools. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
Nuclear engineer: Nuclear power plant construction needs the services of a mechanical engineer. The engineer must understand the basics of nuclear design, know how to effectively run the facility, and analyze the environmental factors associated with nuclear power plants.
Robotics engineer: Machines that construct other machines may be built by a mechanical engineer. A robotics engineer, for example, may be interested in making the machines that are used to assemble automobiles. Engineers deal with the construction of the robot, its joint structures, bearings, and features of heat transfer.
Teaching: Some mechanical engineers are inspired to step into academic professions by a desire to help form the next generation of engineers. In universities, engineers supervise research operations, oversee labs, and tutor learners. They also write books and technical papers on mechanical engineering and publish them.
Other work titles for mechanical engineering include:
- Engineer in acoustics
- Engineer in construction
- Technician for energy efficiency
- Engineer, Generating Power
- Tech in fluid dynamics
- Supervisor for mechanical repairs
- Director of piping
- Engineer in thermal layout
- Engineer of tools
Certification and Licensing for Mechanical Engineers
The Fundamentals of Engineering Examination also referred to as the FE Examination tests the minimum skills needed to enter an engineering career. After graduation, many engineering schools encourage students to take the exam. This examination is conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. The education and experience of a student are used by many jurisdictions as a criterion for qualifying for the FE test. To recognize correct credentials, enrolled students should contact their state board.
You’re considered an engineer in training after taking the FE test. To qualify for the Skilled Engineer (PE) test, you must then serve an apprenticeship. Once the PE exam is completed, certification arrives.
In each state in which they work, engineers must be certified. Generally, the use of standardized examination requirements means that licenses can be obtained for each state without taking an exam. For each license, however, fees may be charged. To evaluate correct criteria, it is prudent to consult with each state’s licensing board.
For additional information:
Check these pages for general information on mechanical engineers or information on careers, training, and education.
Society of Mechanical Engineers of America
Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers American Society