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Mechanical Engineer


How to Become a Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineer Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of Mechanical Engineers
Mechanical Engineer Salaries
Influential Professionals in Mechanical Engineer Field
Leading Mechanical Engineering Organizations
Top Cities for Mechanical Engineering Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Mechanical Engineer

The engineering profession is responsible for the conversion of scientific inventions into commercially feasible applications. They achieve this through combining various principles of both sciences and mathematics.

Job opportunities for mechanical engineers are available for those who have acquired bachelor's degrees in this specialty. The basic job categories in the profession are also available to persons who have graduate degrees. Licensing is necessary for mechanical engineers that will provide direct services to the public. Engineers are supposed to constantly review their skills in order to stay competent. Many engineers trained in specific areas, for example mechanical aspects, can fit themselves in other branches of the profession including aerospace engineering. This versatility is productive in that engineers can shift into professions that offer improved economic rewards for them. This diversity of talent is also helpful in that employers can be able to source for replacements in case their firms find the need to hire more technically adept engineers. To qualify for admission in undergraduate engineering schools persons need to have educational backgrounds in mathematics (including calculus, algebra, trigonometry and geometry), either of the sciences, studies in English, humanities, and social studies. The average undergraduate engineering course is supposed to last for a period of four years. The first two are spent on mathematics, introduction to engineering, basic science, social sciences, and humanities. The final two are spent specializing in the specific branch of engineering being pursued. As mentioned above, licensing is required for all engineers who render direct services to the public. Licensed engineers are referred to as professional engineers (PE). This is for those who have degrees from ABET-accredited engineering programs, a 4-year of positive working experience and good qualifications in the State examinations. The state examination can be taken in two stages. The first one can be done soon after graduation. It is referred to as Fundamentals of Engineering (FE). An engineer is then called an engineer in training (EIT) or engineering intern (EI). Upon gaining enough exposure the EIT can take the second examination, the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam.

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Mechanical engineers are involved in the processes of researching and designing, developing, fabrication and verification of machines, various types of engines, mechanical apparatus, and tools. Mechanical engineers work on power production equipment including turbines, internal combustion engines, and generators. They are also exposed to working with robots used in various aspects of manufacturing. Engineers in this orientation work on power consumption machines including tools and equipment, refrigeration systems and industrial equipment. They are involved in the design of tools that are to be used in other branches of the profession. Mechanical engineers are integral members of design teams for new products. They pinpoint the functional essentials of proposed products and then test the individual components of the product in question. This is followed by an assembly of the individual components to come up with the completed product. This is then tested for effectiveness, performance, costs, dependability and safety. The product can then be sanctioned for use. Mechanical engineers use computers for many various applications. Among these is the design and production of prototypes, simulation and testing to elaborate how given machines, systems and structures function, research and development, quality assurance, and quality control.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Mechanical Engineer?

The typical mechanical engineer is an imaginative individual who has an eye for detail. He/she is rational, diagnostic and systemic in his/her quest to better a design, function or utility. In order for them to better describe and deliver their ideas to audiences that may not have similar academic backgrounds, mechanical engineers need to have superb communication skills in terms of both writing and oral ability. Communication skills are extremely crucial in this day and age where professionals from different backgrounds and academic orientations have to team up to devise the best solutions to tackle problems besetting mankind. Of course a mechanical engineer must have the passion and motivation to constantly pursue success. Right from the onset the curriculum for the mechanical engineer and indeed other facets of engineering is quite demanding. One has to be extremely focused to take up the challenge with an aim of succeeding.

How much does a Mechanical Engineer make?

Mechanical engineers earn an annual median average of $69,850. Mechanical engineers that were placed in the highest 25 percentile earned an average of $87,550 while those in the lowest 25 percentile earned an average of $55,420. Mechanical engineers in the highest 10 percentile earned average annual earnings of $104,900 while their counterparts on the lowest 10 percentile earned an average of $45,170. In addition, the average starting salaries for mechanical engineers holding bachelor's degrees is $54,128. That for holder of master's degrees is $62,798 while mechanical engineers with PhD degrees earn an average of $72,763.


Who are some influential professional in this field?

Dr. Roland Christensen is a graduate of the University of Utah where he graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. In his career he has served with the US Army Corps of Engineers, as a rocket scientist with Hercules Inc, as director for engineering at Edo Corp and as Vice President of Engineering with Fibertek. Dr Christensen is the President of ACT, a firm that makes prosthetic knee and feet parts. He is also the founder of Christensen Arms, the carbon barrel rifle-making firm that is based in Fayette, Utah.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Swanson Rink Engineers is a mechanical engineering firm that is based in Denver, Colorado. The firm deals in mechanical, communication, and electrical engineering aspects with regards to both construction and reconditioning projects. LHBcorp is a Duluth, Minneapolis based firm that handles mechanical engineering projects that involve air conditioning and ventilation systems, mechanical retrofitting, infrastructure design, distribution systems, and many other associated applications.

What are the top cities for Mechanical Engineering jobs?

New mechanical engineers will always be required to fill in positions left by retiring professionals, and those who have left the profession for other occupations. The top destinations for mechanical engineers currently are Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

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