How to become a Mechanical Engineer
Are you good with problem solving, practical hands-on work, and have an eye for detail and design?
What is a Mechanical Engineer?
Mechanical engineers are professionals who design, develop, inspect and test mechanical systems and technologies. Because of their highly technical work and skills, mechanical engineers are integral to a wide range of industries including manufacturing, mining, construction, water, power, health and transportation.
As a mechanical engineer you would work with other engineering professionals, manufacturing departments, contractors, suppliers and customers to develop products and processes. Your responsibilities could vary widely depending on the type of engineering projects you are undertaking and may range from designing small component parts to complex production processes.
Mechanical engineers are involved in the design, inspection and maintenance of mechanical machinery. They estimate labour costs, equipment lifespan and the space necessary for the new equipment. They also oversee the installation of parts or machines to ensure that they are working well.
Mechanical engineers help ensure that a product can be created using reliable, efficient and sustainable methods and that its performance would be consistent in particular operating environments.
Mechanical engineers work closely with other professionals and so you would need to have a good sense of teamwork and solid project management skills. You would also need to be good at problem solving and data analysis, and have the skills to create and interpret technical drawings. An awareness of different health and safety standards may also be necessary for this type of job.
There are many tools that are designed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of mechanical engineering work. These include computer aided design software and applications for mathematical modelling and project management. Because of this, mechanical engineers must be experienced using computers and IT softwares.
Hours & Conditions:
Mechanical engineers usually work a standard number of hours during weekdays. You may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines during peak periods. Mechanical engineers are employed in diverse work environments including offices, hospitals, power plants, water treatment plants, mining companies, construction sites, engineering facilities and factories. The work environment can be noisy and dusty depending on the nature of the industry. Those working in a manufacturing setting may work shifts that include night shifts and weekends.
How to become a Mechanical Engineer: Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology is required to become a mechanical engineer. To enter into these courses, you will need to complete your senior secondary school certificate or an equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are appropriate subjects to take before entering university.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as a mechanical engineer, check out
Many industries are built on mechanical systems and mechanical engineers form a key part of the process. Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow as fast as the average. Your job prospects will be good in service firms specializing in engineering work. It also helps to stay up to date with the most recent developments in technology.