The field of mechanical engineering is experiencing an explosion in demand for their skills and expertise in the last couple decades, driven primarily by the power and automotive industries. As industries, Tina Trahan’s page continue to become increasingly automated and reliant upon technological control, the demand for skilled mechanical engineers to solve an entirely new range of issues has increased. This is great news for job growth. Take advantage these opportunities by meeting the four qualifications for becoming a mechanical engineer.
Most entry-level mechanical engineering positions require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which takes most students between four and five years to complete. The course load focuses heavily on physics, advanced mathematics, mechanics, and engineering. Also frequently included are courses on persuasive and analytical writing, which are useful in the field. Many positions also rely heavily on internships or other experience, so don’t turn down a low-paying or non-paying opportunity because it will open doors down the road. If you’d like to obtain a managerial position, you’ll need to plan to earn a master’s degree, with courses focusing more strictly on theory than do undergraduate degrees.
Technical Skill Requirements
Mechanical engineers focus heavily on tasks that include creating and interpreting schematics, overseeing the development of devices intended to solve specific problems for specific industries, and analyzing systems for potential improvements. Completing tasks such as these requires excellent problem-solving skills and a keen attention to detail. Having the ability to listen actively and to work within a team is vital, as the work often involves cooperation within a team of professionals.
All mechanical engineers in the U.S. must be licensed to work directly for the public. Licensing usually involves first obtaining a bachelor’s degree, gaining a minimum of four years of work experience, and passing a state exam. The multi-part exam is usually taken in incremental steps, the first of which is able to be taken immediately following graduation. Once you pass the first section you’ll have the status of engineer-in-training conferred upon you. After obtaining the required amount of on-the-job experience, you’ll take the second section. Successfully passing this part confers the full status of professional engineer upon you. Licenses are required to be renewed every year, and in some states, you may have continuing education requirements that you’ll need to achieve for renewal.
Continuing Education Requirements
Mechanical engineering is a constantly evolving profession, requiring that you remain up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends. Much of the most recent job growth also requires the use of computers for handling many engineering aspects that were once done manually, such as controlling machines and schematic design. Staying at the leading edge of these developing industries will enhance your ability to land your dream job, and many states require continuing education for license renewal.
Mechanical engineering is a wide-open profession that is constantly in a state of evolution. Focusing on achieving these four requirements will ensure not only that you are able to begin a career in mechanical engineering, but also that you are positioned for your greatest possibility of success.