The Most Lucrative Jobs In Mechnical Engineering
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The Mechanical Engineering discipline is the most broadly defined engineering discipline and comprises two major areas of expertise: mechanical systems and thermal systems. There are many overlaps between it and other major engineering disciplines such as aeronautical, civil, petroleum, electrical and metallurgical.
What do mechanical engineers do?
They combine raw materials and energy together with systems and processes to create the products that drive economies. They conceptualise and design new systems – and improve existing ones. They also use a suite of advanced tools. Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) is a general term that encompasses everything from Computer–Aided Design (CAD), to Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
Which personal attributes do they have?
Mechanical engineers need excellent mathematical skills and in-depth scientific knowledge. Their technical skills, creativity and practical abilities are essential throughout the product lifecycle, from concept, through design and development, to production. The mechanical engineer must be a team player but also have the ability to lead subordinates by issuing clear verbal and written instructions.
How do you enter into a mechanical engineering career?
Preparations start at high school level. Students wanting to study mechanical engineering should have a strong aptitude for mathematics (algebra, trigonometry, geometry and precalculus) and science (chemistry and physics). Students should also have good reading comprehension skills and the ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner.
The next step would be obtaining a bachelor’s degree. However, if a student lacks certain skills he or she can enter a pre-engineering degree and later transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Universities across the United States of America offer 308 bachelor’s, 216 master’s and 134 doctorate/PhD degrees in mechanical engineering. There is thus an abundance of study opportunities available in virtually every corner of the USA. In the USA, mechanical engineers must be licensed. This is done by first completing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and later (after four years’ work experience) the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, both through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
What are common career paths for mechanical engineers and how much do they pay?
A mechanical engineering qualification is a solid base for a variety of career paths within the engineering discipline. It can lead to the following careers which we will investigate further:
- Project Engineer
- Senior Mechanical Engineer
- Mechanical Design Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Senior Mechanical Design Engineer
The specific job, type of company and the industry they operate in will determine pay and benefits. Engineering remains one of the most lucrative and in-demand career choices, making up 10 of the top 17 highest-paying degrees (at the time of writing). For a perusal of current job opportunities in mechanical engineering and all other engineering fields check out our Job Listings.
Some of the most well-known companies that employ mechanical engineers are:
- The Boeing Company
- Northrop Grumman Corporation
- General Motors Corporation
- Ford Motor Company
- General Electric Co. (GE)
Project Engineers oversee staff on engineering projects. They monitor project spend and deadlines, ensuring that a project is successfully completed on time and within budget. They are often the technical contact for the customer. Approximately 9% of mechanical engineers move to a Project Engineer position. Salaries range between US$62,000 (entry level, <5 years’ experience) and US$95,000 (20+ years’ experience). Common benefits include medical, dental and vision. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, with some positions requiring a master’s degree.
Senior Mechanical Engineer:
Senior Mechanical Engineers create and improve mechanical and electrical systems. They are involved with product design, development and creating processes for manufacturing of products. Approximately 50% of mechanical engineers move to a Senior Mechanical Engineer position. Salaries range between US$84,000 (entry level, <5 years’ experience) and US$112,000 (20+ years’ experience). Common benefits include medical, dental and vision. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is normally required.
Mechanical Design Engineer:
Mechanical Design Engineers develop drawings of products, which must normally comply with state law and industry guidelines. They analyse mechanical systems to confirm their functionality, design product manuals and ensure designs comply with performance parameters. Approximately 9% of mechanical engineers move to a Mechanical Design Engineer position. Salaries range between US$64,000 (entry level, <5 years’ experience) and US$84,000 (20+ years’ experience). Common benefits include medical, dental and vision.
Manufacturing Engineers develop optimal ways to utilise machinery in the production of products. They maximise efficiency by researching and developing new ways to improve product manufacturing and handling. Approximately 9% of mechanical engineers move to a Manufacturing Engineer position. Salaries range between US$63,000 (entry level, <5 years’ experience) and US$80,000 (20+ years’ experience). Common benefits include medical, dental and vision. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, but some companies may require the engineer to complete a licensing exam.
Senior Mechanical Design Engineer:
Senior Mechanical Design Engineers usually lead technical teams that may include junior design engineers or technical analysts. Their role will vary depending on the company. They may be responsible for developing new products or equipment or be required to improve an existing technology to maintain a company’s market position. Approximately 9% of mechanical engineers move to a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer position. Salaries range between US$81,000 (entry level, <5 years’ experience) and US$100,000 (20+ years’ experience). Common benefits include medical, dental and vision. Most firms prefer a master’s degree with a proficiency in computer-aided design software.
Additional information about education-advancing engineering courses can be found on New Engineer.com
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