Getting Started in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering ranks among the most sought-after engineering disciplines in the US.
The average salary of mechanical engineers at present is in the range of $77,500. Experienced and specialized professionals such as mechanical process engineers can get paid as much as $150,000 annually.
As this career has a promising outlook, it’s crucial for aspiring mechanical engineers to learn more about this stream of engineering and consider it seriously.
Ingredients of Success for a Mechanical Engineer
Here are some key skills and personality traits for success in this field:
- A natural affinity for STEM or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
- Detail-oriented nature
- Problem-solving mindset
- Analytical approach
- Team player with excellent interpersonal skills
- Love for logic
Choosing a mechanical engineering course that has a curriculum and pedagogy aligned to your personal traits is pivotal. Once that happens, the next two critical milestones are internship and placement.
Getting into the right type of internship for a mechanical engineer is as important as being educated at the right type of college. Some critical check-points are:
- Does the company or the industry offer you the type of hands-on experience that you are naturally talented at?
- Does it provide you a balance of theoretical and practical learning?
- Does it offer you opportunities in your core competencies?
- Is the environment collaborative, inclusive, and respectful?
If it is your first full-time job as a mechanical engineer, you could get it through in-campus programs or through external sources. Be sure that you and the company are a mutually good match and there are adequate learning and growth prospects in the organization.
More ambitious mechanical engineers may want to pursue higher education, both for self-satisfaction and enhancement of their long-term careers. They may choose a post-graduate degree and then a PhD in one of the various specialization streams of mechanical engineering.
But before you do that, you should make sure that you have obtained your license and registration as a mechanical engineer.
Job Profile as a Mechanical Engineer
Regardless of the company or its scale where you are employed, there are some universal roles and responsibilities attached to a mechanical engineer’s job.
These professionals are assigned with responsibilities of building and maintaining an efficient mechanization and automation ecosystem within the company. This means that mechanical engineers undertake 360 degree tasks that include the “concept to commissioning” philosophy.
They visualize, research, plan, design, and implement entire production and manufacturing systems for companies. This can be the company’s in-house machineries or the products that they sell.
Mechanical engineers also create sustainable and efficient after-care facilities for the machineries that they design. This includes maintenance and repair.
Importantly, mechanical engineers have to ensure that their machinery and product designs integrate seamlessly with the existing hard and soft infrastructure of the company.
Some Placement Resources
Apart from campus placement, fresh graduates can also look at these resources for employment.
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- American Association of Engineering Societies
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Connect with a reputable placement services firm
Being a mechanical engineer is fantastic, but being rightly employed is even more amazing.