How To Become A Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineers
Developed from the principles of physics and material science, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest and oldest disciplines of engineering. The responsibility of mechanical engineers is to design, build, install, and maintain different kinds of machinery. There are many industries where you will find mechanical engineers; such as construction, power, medical, and manufacturing. As a mechanical engineer you could work in a number of large and small scale projects, where you will be expected to participate from initiation through the completion of the project.

How To Become A Mechanical Engineer?
Almost all entry level positions require at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering degree programs offer courses in mathematics, physical and life sciences, along with engineering and design courses. The program normally lasts for four years, but many students may take four to five years to complete the program. A mechanical engineering degree program may provide students with internships to prepare them for the industry. Theory is often another main focus, in order to prepare students for graduate-level work.

Mechanical Engineer Job Description
Mechanical engineers generally perform the following tasks:

  • Identify how a mechanical devise may help to solve a particular problem
  • Create blueprints to design a device
  • Design or redesign mechanical devices
  • Make changes to the design after looking at the test results
  • Supervise manufacturing process for the device

Computers are extensively used by mechanical engineers to carry out the following tasks:

  • Create and analyze designs
  • Create a simulation and see how a machine may work
  • Make specification for different parts
  • Keep a check on quality
  • Manage manufacturing and production

Mechanical engineers also use a number of machines, equipment, and engines in their work such as:

  • Power-producing machines
  • Power-using machines
  • Industrial production equipment
  • Machines inside buildings
  • Material handling systems

The following traits and skills are considered important for mechanical engineers:

  • Planning, communication, and problem solving skills
  • Computer and technical skills such as the ability to use computer-aided design programs
  • Ability to work well with a team and meet deadlines
  • Creativity and multi-tasking skills

Work Environment
As a mechanical engineer, you may work in office settings as well as on-site locations. Work hours for mechanical engineers could vary, but design work is usually conducted during office hours. In some instances, overtime is also used, but it is only when there are time constraints related to design of the project.  The place of work for a mechanical engineer could be a work site, production area, or an office depending on the project and employer.

Career Outlook And Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job opportunities will be highest for those mechanical engineers who will be up to date with the most recent advances in technology. As mechanical engineers have the option to find employment in various industries, the growth in job opportunities will vary according to the different industries. The BLS states that the median annual salary of a mechanical engineer in May 2010 was around $78,000.


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