Mechanical engineering is a bit broader than other specialties within the field of engineering. Professionals in this area of expertise are in charge of researching, developing, designing, and testing mechanical devices such as engines, tools, and machinery. Specific job duties may vary based on their specific employer. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the following as some examples for those with mechanical engineer jobs:
- Assess various problems and identify how mechanical devices may help.
- Design or modify the design for mechanical devices, including drawing up blueprints for how to build it.
- Develop, create, and test prototypes for devices, making any necessary modifications.
- Ensure the manufacturing process for the device goes according to plan.
A variety of employers will have a need for mechanical engineers with strong analytical, technical, and problem-solving skills. Some of the industries with the highest levels of employment in terms of jobs in mechanical engineering include architectural, engineering, and related services; scientific research and development services; and aerospace product and parts manufacturing.
Job Growth for
Becoming a Mechanical Engineer
Entry level mechanical engineer jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. If you are interested in pursuing this type of career path, please be sure to select a degree program that is accredited by ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). This is highly preferred by potential employers and will be required to earn licensure as a professional engineer (PE).
As part of their training, students will gain a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and engineering fundamentals. Many programs also incorporate internships and other field-experience components into the curriculum to help students apply the theories they have learned throughout the program in a real-world environment. Below are just a few classes mechanical engineering students might be required to take as part of a bachelor's degree program:
- Introduction to Mechanical Design
- Materials Science
- Heat Transfer
Engineers who offer their services directly to the public must earn licensure in all states and the District of Columbia. This requires a degree from an ABET-accredited program, the successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, four years of relevant work experience, and a passing score on the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Some mechanical engineers may also seek certification through organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to demonstrate their specialized skills in a specific subfield of the industry.