Home > Engineering > How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

how to become a Mechanical Engineer

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer researches, designs, and builds a range of mechanical devices such as tools, engines, and machinery. If you are technically minded and good at mathematics then you might like to become a mechanical engineer.

Mechanical engineering is a broad field that offers many career possibilities. Many mechanical engineers work in manufacturing, where they design new pieces of machinery and tools. They could work to create turbines, electric generators, and engines. Some mechanical engineers work in agriculture, where they develop better farming techniques and tools.

Education Requirements to Become a Mechanical Engineer

To become a mechanical engineer you will need to complete a four year mechanical engineering degree . While your first year of college will involve general engineering subjects, at second year you can opt to specialize in mechanical engineering.

During your time at college you might like to become involved in any engineering related clubs on campus. They often work on projects which can help you to gain experience as an engineer. You could also offer to volunteer as a research assistant for your professor's research projects.

After you have finished college, there are a few more requirements you need to meet to become a mechanical engineer. In all states you will need to become licensed to work as an engineer. The exact requirements in each state differ, but for the most part you will need to take an exam which will test you on the principles of engineering.

Mechanical Engineer Job Description

When you become a mechanical engineer, you'll be working to develop and build many different kinds of machinery. Tools, engines, and advanced machinery are all first designed by a mechanical engineer. They even design tools that help other kinds of engineers to do their work.

Most mechanical engineers will begin a project with a brief. Their role may be to design a new piece of machinery, or improve an existing one. They will come up with a design that will then be approved by a client.

After approval, a mechanical engineer will work to develop a prototype where a range of testing will then occur. After the initial testing phase, a mechanical engineer may go back to their drawings to make improvements or changes to their initial design.

Some mechanical engineers work in the field of maintenance. For instance, they may work for an airline, where they are on hand to analyze faults in an aircraft and make any required remedies.

Here are some of the tasks of a mechanical engineer:

  • Analyze a brief

  • Research a new projects

  • Create drafts and designs for new projects

  • Design review and approval

  • Create models and prototypes

  • Test new machinery

  • Communicating with clients and colleagues

  • Maintaining equipment

  • Conducting safety checks of new designs

Mechanical Engineer Salary and Career Path

When you become a mechanical engineer, you will start out your career working under the supervision of a qualified engineer. You will usually do this for around two years. After this you will be given more responsibilities and be able to supervise your own projects.

Some mechanical engineers may go on to become project managers, or work within other managerial roles. Some go on to technical sales positions.

The median wage for a mechanical engineer is $75,000 a year. While there is some growth predicted in this field, it is expected to be slower than the average for all occupations.

For more information on a career as a mechanical engineer, have a look at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers website.

Some similar roles to that of mechanical engineer include:

  • Civil engineer

  • Computer systems analyst

  • Mathematician

  • Drafter

  • Surveyor

  • Sales engineers

  • Computer scientists

If you're a practical person who has great technical ability as well as an aptitude for academics, then you might like to become a mechanical engineer. This is an area that can bring great job satisfaction, as you are able to see you finished project, and watch it improve the lives of others. A good salary is available, as well as stable and secure employment for those with the right qualifications.

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
2010 All rights reserved