What is a Mechanical Engineer?
A mechanical engineer is one of the greatest professionals that applies the principles of mechanical engineering in order to build mechanical devices. This branch of engineering involves the design, production and operation of the device by using physics, analysis, material science for the design, and other manufacturing processes as well as maintenance of the mechanical systems.
Job Description of a Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers are involved in all the working stages of machinery from the research and development and up to the process of design and manufacturing. The daily tasks of a mechanical engineer include evaluating the existing problems. He also needs to create those mechanical devices that could solve them, create new and improved designs, prepare blueprints for the devices in order to be made, develop and test a prototype of the device.
Other stages in these daily activities will involve analyzing the results of the tests, and where necessary modify the design, supervise the manufacturing process of this device. In order to keep the good functionality of this device, a mechanical engineer might need to use certain machinery, tools of equipment and engines.
For instance they might need to use refrigeration systems, internal combustion engines, gas turbines and steam turbines, electric generators, mechanical tools, elevators, escalators, and any other material handling devices, or any other machines or robots used in the manufacturing production.
Mechanical engineers do much of their work by using computers. They will use computers in order to design and analyze devices, establish certain specifications for the parts of the device, direct the production of the manufacturing process as well as test and stimulate first the machines functions so that they can be verified in a virtual environment.
How to Become a Mechanical Engineer?
If your childhood vision is to become a mechanical engineer then you’ll need to find out which educational requirements you must fulfill. A bachelor’s degree is needed for anyone who wants to start as a mechanical engineer. Chances of advancement are plenty in this field and if by any chance you’ll want a managerial position you’ll need a graduate degree.
The District of Colombia, as well as 50 states, will require a mechanical engineer to have a license before he or she expose their services to the public. Let’s take all this educational process step by step, to grant you the opportunity of clearly seeing the path for this career.
Like in any other related field or when preparing for a job it all starts from high-school. Make sure that your classes have plenty of science, mathematics, computer, pre-calculus and calculus as well as physics and chemistry. Why, you may ask, all these subjects? The answer is simple you’re going to need them in engineering.
At the foundation of getting a degree in engineering lie physics and calculus. Knowledge in computer programming is another key that is used in other types of engineering, so who knows you might need it. It’s better to have understanding and knowledge on subjects that you are required to possess anyway sooner or later.
The process of good practice and experience in the area of mechanical engineer starts by participating in science and math fairs as well as engineering contests. Develop hobbies that later on are going to help a lot that mainly involve bicycle repair, robotics, astronomy, geometry, auto mechanics or any other that stimulates you at developing the necessary skills for engineering and make you come up with great ideas.
If you have time, take classes of wood, plastic shop or metal. Classes, in which you are learned about various types of measuring tools, will become more than handy as well. Having other tools that you can find around the house, such as hammers or screwdrivers, will allow you to practice even more and sharpen your skills.
Another practice that will help you gain experience and learn a lot is to ask your friends or find at your neighbor’s garage sales broken appliances or machines. Open them up and see the way that they were built and try to fix some of them. If you succeeded to make them work than you are ahead. If not, see how they were built before you throw them away.
The next action will be to take some computer drafting classes. If not in engineering schools, there are plenty of high schools or community college levels that will allow you to take drafting classes. If by any chance is possible try to learn CAD else known as computer-aided drafting program.
Many of the mechanical engineer jobs ask for their employees to have strong technical written communication skills, that mainly include being able to provide the right documentation. Another tip that will help you in this field is to start inventing something no matter how silly or funny it might look but it will develop you the idea of how things work and how they are build.
Regarding necessary skills in this specialty many of the key set skills go around being analytical and systematic, but also creative when it comes to problem-solving. The next step in all the educational process will be to obtain a university degree.
Mechanical engineering certification according to states can be provided through an examination. Those professionals who don’t have degrees or don’t possess certifications can work as mechanical designers rather than mechanical engineers.
There are plenty of educational degrees. For instance, larger universities will provide you with the opportunity to specialize in a bachelor’s degree and go up to a doctorate degree. Smaller community colleges will allow you gain an associate’s degree and the opportunity for transfer to a bachelor college degree.
Make sure that any of the college, school or university that you want to enroll and attend to has regionally accredited programs. Those accredited programs found within a smaller college will offer smaller courses. These courses mainly involve a hand on approach in which concerns the branch of engineering, and at the end you’ll be provided with an accredited and recognized engineering degree.
Another tip is not to let go or give up. An engineering degree is always associated with hard work. Sometimes it might happen to fail classes or just to question your decisions but the essence of any accomplishment is to keep on going, since many of the good things require time. If this is the case retake classes, many individuals succeeded in five years and not in four as the engineering degree programs are.
Work Environment and Schedule
The job of a mechanical engineer varies a lot and in many circumstances their daily tasks can lead them from an office setting to a manufacturing plant. In other cases, these experts can be in any other outdoor facility to make sure that what they’ve designed is constructed properly and is working. In this field, the work of a mechanical engineer starts right from the office. Generally, in the office they meet with company executives, sales, and marketing or other types of engineers to gather up and combine the requirements for a project design.
After they received all the requirements, they are going to use the so-called design and computer-aided drafting applications to design well all the specifications for the mechanical device that is required. After that, a prototype is being created by the mechanical engineer.
For a good functionality, many of these professionals are spending their time in a laboratory in order to test and improve the prototype. A test in the laboratory allows them to ensure that this further device is working properly, and it is correctly calibrated. All this process is done by using some of the specific machinery or equipment. If there are any changes needed by chance, a revision is being made to all the design specifications and retests start in the laboratory for the functioning of the prototype.
The next step after the prototype is accurate working according to its specifications involves the manufacturing floor that is made to ensure the production of this device is made without any mistake. Their part is to provide the production team with support or with instruction on how it should be properly assembled.
When the manufacture process is completed, these professionals will work on site, mainly in the field to assure that the device is properly installed and its running without errors. When the device is installed, a mechanical engineer may run tests to inspect and observe the device while is running. Working in the field can bring the advantages of improving the functionality of the device.
With other words, mechanical engineers can find work in a variety of settings such as research and development, the federal government as well as manufacturing industries, various medical industries, and engineering services. Their work involves activities that are on a full-time basis, with regular 40 hours per week. According to the industry in which many of these professionals are working, the schedule might involve more than the usual hours of work leading up to 60 hours per week or even more.
Pros and Cons of Being a Mechanical Engineer
A mechanical engineer career profile is based on working with all kind of tools and machinery that includes phases such as research, development and even design. These job tasks and many other will allow more options within the field.
Like in any other job when deciding about a job make sure that you understand the characterization of the job and the responsibilities that you have to assume and the educational path that is most suitable for yourself. Every job has pros and cons that will help you weight more carefully every detail and available option and make in the end your choice.
The good news is linked with the educational system. As a mechanical engineer, you’ll need only a bachelor’s degree for the entry level in this field. This will involve a less costly training in the beginning and the opportunity for advancement in the future as well as further qualifications.
Another pro that you’re going to find it very suitable for this job is the fact that a mechanical engineer can find work in a variety of settings. You’ll find a good rate of employment in the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.
The mean wage encompasses the usual average granting a salary that reaches at about $85,010 per year. These figures show a higher than average wages. Degree programs in this specialty can be found offline in more than 310 universities and colleges.
On the other hand, the cons that don’t have to be ignored are linked with the job, and the estimations made based on the job growth. According to many surveys, there is a slower average job growth due to several factors such as the number of demanding, the required tasks among industries and other.
The real problem starts when you’ve hired, and additional education is required. In order to maintain a license, you’ll need continuous education. The estimated tuition for a top school is between $10,010 per year and $42,010 per year.
The working hours may vary according to each industry that hires and the projects that are to be handled, but with established deadlines you can expect to some long hours of work. All in all being a mechanical engineer can be a great thing if you like what you are doing, and this job matches with your personality and with the set of skills that you already possess.
Mechanical Engineer job growth
The employment growth for mechanical engineers is projected at 5% rate of increase, according to the BLS or else known as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals usually have a working place in areas such as research, development, engineering services and few other.
Their jobs mainly involve an office and from time to time when needed visit the work-sites when something like a piece of equipment needs to be stabilized or fixed. The job satisfaction is really good, especially if you like what you are doing with great job prospects and opportunities.
Mechanical Engineer Salary
In the United States, the salary for a mechanical engineer is estimated at an expected average of $81,010 per year. In order to perform this job even at an entry level, you’ll need only a bachelor’s degree. Considered to be one of the oldest jobs a mechanical engineer work salary varies according to the type of industry and other fundamental factors that cross with the economical flux.
The average mechanical engineer salary that is earned in this specialty can reach an estimated value of about $82,105 per year. Based on the highest-lowest points the best high salary that can be encountered in this field usually reaches at $123,342 per year. At the same time, the lowest point will grant some estimated figures of only $52,545 per year or even less.
Top industries that will pay a great salary for mechanical engineers are those that mainly include gas extraction and oil extraction and, of course, the usual information services. Among the factors that influence the salary in this profession is the so-called geographical position of the job such as the metropolitan areas.
The top-paying metropolitan areas for this career can be found in the cities of Anchorage, Alaska, San Jose, California and other well-appointed where the resulted economy is much higher. For instance in San Jose, California the average salary reaches at about $109,482 per year while The District of Columbia announces an average salary estimated at around $107,505 per year. Among other in Anchorage, Alaska the average salary for these professionals reaches at $122,272 per year.
A mechanical engineer job comparison with other related fields in this specialty area of technology jobs has an average estimation that reaches somewhere between the middle with an income that reaches at $85,932 per year.
A Computer Programmer salary is estimated at a lower average than the one of a mechanical engineer with only an income of about $80,932 per year. With less than this average, you’ll find the annual income of a Computer Support Specialist estimated at roughly $64,162 per year.
On the top classification can be found the annual salary of an Information Security Analyst estimated to reach at about $91,212 per year. The gap is even wider with the technology job of an IT manager that takes home an estimated payment of $132,572 per year that is an income even higher than of a mechanical engineer.
Another influential factor is based upon the years of experience that are gained in the field. For instance, those mechanical engineers who have less than one year of experience in the working setting can expect to earn annual wages that are comprised from $43,607 and up to $68,992 per year. Similarly, those that already have 1 and up to 4 years in the field will earn a salary that ranges from $46,762 per year and up to $74,702 per year.
For those professionals that already have between 5 and 9 years of work experience the compensation package that is granted will be estimated between $55,639 and $89,507 per year while those with 10 and up to the 19 years of experience can expect to an annual income that is estimated from $59,445 per year and up to $108,608 per year.
Being in the business for more than 20 years can lead you to an income estimated from $61,559 and $130,198 per year. Additional certification in the field can lead you based on the certificate you possess to higher salary rates.
For instance, those who already have an Engineer in Training certification can expect to an income from $48,626 and up to $83,957 per year. Good to know also: a Certified Professional Engineer salary will start from $51,603 and climb up to $105,473 per year. Those who earned a higher status of certification such as Professional Engineer License can expect to a salary that starts from $54,332 and that goes up to $118,956 per year.
As a mechanical engineer, you can also expect to other benefits or perks such as life insurance, disability insurance, 401(k), reimbursements on education and training, or even paid vacations. The salary can be influenced as well based on the type of degree that you possess. For instance, an entry-level for an individual who already has a master’s degree can lead to an income of about $66,805. This is good news because for an expert with a bachelor’s degree the estimated average income reaches about $62,910 per year.
Salary of a Mechanical Engineer in 2015
In 2015, the salary of a mechanical engineer is based on a continuous flux of increased and decreased educational training. Those who earned certain other certifications, as well as additional educational credits, can expect to a higher income than those who fulfill only the minimum requirements.
The geographical areas that pay a good income for these jobs can be found in regions such as Alaska or Texas or other that have a raised need for these professionals.
Mechanical Engineer Salary in 2016
The average median salary for a mechanical engineer, in the US, for the year 2016 is estimated to reach at $66,892 per year. The starting point in the incomes of these professionals has an average that goes from $50,162 per year and up to $93,234 per year, according to the salary data survey offered by PayScale. The bonus that is granted in this profession can reach up to $8,496, while the profit sharing can be comprised between $485.08 and up to $8,136. The commission can reach up to $39,642, this leading in the end at a total payment that starts from $49,557 per year and up to $96,612 per year.
The earnings are usually affected by some specific factors such as the demographic factor-it includes the geographical location, followed by the years of experience in the field, industry as well as type of employment where one individual has found work. The vast majority of those who work on these positions are mainly men rather than women.
When it comes to the years of experience in the field, the incomes have a continuous growth showing that the more you gain experience and work practice the higher your earnings will go. For instance an entry level mechanical engineer with less than five years on the field can expect to take home around $63,010 per year, while a Mid – Career professional with 5 and up to 10 years of work experience will gain around $75,010 per year.
Those who are already seen as experienced mechanical engineer, with 10 and up to 20 years of activity at the working site and with plenty of knowledge and experience accumulated over the years, will receive around $86,010 per year, while the veterans in this field with up to 20 years, will earn an average income that gets somewhere around $97,010 per year.
The payment also varies when it comes to the location. Each state offering different earnings to those employed as mechanical engineers. The national average for these professionals tends to reach at $67,697 per year. The best paying jobs with above the national average incomes can be found in regions such as San Francisco, where the earnings reach out at $79,167 per year, Seattle with earnings that climb up to $73,764 per year as well as other locations.
According to Indeed.com the average incomes for mechanical engineers are estimated to reach at $81,010 per year. When it comes to earnings of jobs with related titles, the differences can be spotted as well. For instance, those who work as senior mechanical engineers can expect at an estimated average that reaches at $94,010 per year, while those who work on a position as project engineer chemical will gain around $102,010 per year.
Mechanical Engineer Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
In Canada, the expected salary of a mechanical engineer according to some surveys is estimated to range from C$43,982 and up to C$87,418 per year. Here like in other countries you can add bonuses that can reach up to C$9,819. There is also profit sharing that is estimated from C$200.45 and up to C$11,676 as well as commissions that are estimated at approximately C$40,269 per year. These benefits will lead in the end to a mechanical engineer salary in Canada that ranges from C$43,523 and up to C$91,886 per year. The salaries in this field will vary according to some factors such as years of experience, geographical location, education and certificate and the type of industry in which you are working. On the other hand, living in Canada can lead you to the benefit of having a starting salary as a mechanical engineer ranging from C$65,010 per year and up to C$75,010 per year. The highest hourly wage can be found in Vancouver, Canada with an estimated average that reaches at C$47.03 per hour. Also, the lowest that can be found is in Ontario with a rate that reaches only at C$27.28 per hour.
Australia will grant a mechanical engineer with an average annual salary that is estimated to reach at AU$75,468 per year. This salary will vary according to the early reminded factors, but the most prominent that can be seen in this field are the years of experience. A mechanical engineer that has less than one year of experience in the work setting can expect to an income from AU$39,819 per year and up to AU$80,189 per year. Then professionals who have 1 and up to 4 years of experience can expect to a mechanical engineer salary in Australia estimated from AU$47,862 and up to AU$87,764 per year. If as mechanical engineer you already have between five and nine years you can expect to take home an income from AU$59,042 and AU$123,448 per year. The more you advance on this career path, the more your income is starting to increase. Those who already have more than 20 years will take home a salary that is comprised between AU$34,726 and AU$184,229 per year. Working as a mechanical engineer can lead you to other benefits such as paid holidays, or paid sick level, working hours that are flexible as well as life insurance or even disability insurance.
In the UK, the salary for a mechanical engineer is estimated from £19,618 per year and up to £44,336 per year. The estimations made include the estimated bonuses that reach at £4,819 and also the profit sharing of about £3,426 per year. The average salary for all levels in this field reaches at £29,413 per year, but it will increase in time with the years of experience. The entry-level mechanical engineer salary in the United Kingdom is estimated to range from £18,379 and up to £39,632 per year while if you are considered to have experience the earning gained is estimated to be from £21,864 per year and up to £54,176 per year. The best income was reached in Oxford, England where the income had an average of about £34,854 per year while in Scotland, Aberdeen the income reaches at an estimated rate of £33,394 per year.
Conclusion on Mechanical Engineer Salary
The mechanical engineering salary is influenced by various factors, the main one is the experience in this field. The opportunity for advancement in a company will always be present but to get to the top it will require hard work that is why the salaries of these professionals have a higher that the average rate.
- First Published Date: 17 June, 2015
- Last Updated Date: 27 November, 2016