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A degree in mechanical engineering prepares individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to design, modify, or repair machines. Mechanical engineers will learn about the functions of machines, how those machines operate, the tools necessary to construct or repair them, and the methods for designing and constructing said machines. Mechanical engineers will work on a variety of machines, using various power sources and other constructs to ensure that the machines operate as intended. A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering is typically needed for entry level positions, with graduate level degrees necessary to pursue or be promoted to managerial or supervisory positions.
A curriculum in mechanical engineering may include:
- Fluid Mechanics
- Machine Design
A career in mechanical engineering requires individuals to have strong math skills, creativity, problem solving ability, and mechanical acumen. Mechanical engineers will seek out problems and try to find solutions through the design and application of machines. Such machines can be found in production facilities or in the home, and everywhere in between. Engineers will be required to analyze problems, and approach solutions thoroughly and safely.
All 50 states require licenses for mechanical engineers that work in the public sector, typically requiring two tests. Graduates of an accredited mechanical engineering program may take the first test, Fundamentals of Engineering, and will be designated Engineers in Training (EiT). After a significant amount of experience is gained EiTs may take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam, the passing of which designates the individual as a Professional Engineer (PE). In addition, certifications are available in specific fields of mechanical engineering, the obtaining of which demonstrates competency.
Job growth for mechanical engineers is expected to be limited over the next ten years. Job prospects are expected to be good for individuals who are current with the latest software and technology. The average salary for mechanical engineers is $78,000 per year.
Individuals interested in mechanical engineering may also be interested in robotics, electrical engineering or architectural engineering.
For additional information on a career in Mechanical Engineering, check out our Career Roadmap for Mechanical Engineers on our blog.