What Can You Do With a Mechanical Engineering Degree?

What Can You Do With a Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Key Takeaways

  • A mechanical engineering degree offers career opportunities in product design, development, and testing in a range of industries including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing, among others.

  • The median income for mechanical engineer graduates with a bachelor’s degree is $95,300, which is a higher-than-average salary.

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills, effective communication, and mathematics and physics fundamentals are a few of the essential skills needed by mechanical engineers.

From designing revolutionary products that shape the future to analyzing systems that power our world, mechanical engineers turn abstract ideas into tangible solutions. With critical thinking skills and technical expertise spanning multiple industries, mechanical engineering graduates’ career possibilities are as diverse and innovative as the field itself. Read on to explore what you can do with a mechanical engineering degree.

What can you do with a mechanical engineering degree?

A mechanical engineering degree grants you access to follow various professional routes, including product design, development, and testing, and contribute to industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy, and manufacturing.

You can also become a project or systems engineer in charge of large-scale projects and investigate careers in robotics, automation, and mechatronics, as well as the creation of intelligent systems.

There are also opportunities in consulting, where you can contribute expertise to numerous businesses. Alternatively, you can pursue advanced study in specific sectors or switch to entrepreneurship.

mechanical engineer working on equipment
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5 Jobs a Mechanical Engineer Should Consider

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for mechanical engineers in the United States in May 2021 was $95,300. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient to enter this lucrative career. There are numerous colleges and universities in the US that offer top-ranked accredited engineering degree programs.

After you’ve graduated, here are some mechanical engineering jobs you should consider:

Material Engineers

Materials engineers research, develop, and test materials to create or improve new products. Together with working with other scientists and engineers, they assess the qualities and capabilities of materials and make sure they live up to quality requirements.

Industries including electronics, aircraft, and manufacturing may employ materials engineers. Professionals in top management positions can make up to $89,000 annually.

Marine Engineers

Marine engineers design, develop, and maintain mechanical systems for ships and offshore structures. They guarantee that the ship’s safety, navigation, and propulsion systems operate effectively.

The duties are conducting inspections, resolving problems, and working with naval architects. Marine engineers can work on anything from cruise ships to cargo ships. They make between $80,000 and $88,000 annually, depending on their expertise level.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers create and develop medical systems, equipment, and technologies using engineering concepts. They research, work with healthcare professionals, and ensure regulations are followed.

By addressing issues at the nexus of engineering and healthcare, biomedical engineers improve patient care and enhance medical technology. Their salary begins at $86,000 per year.

mechanical engineer working with a soldering iron

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, plan, and monitor the construction and maintenance of infrastructure projects. In addition to working with architects, they oversee site operations, evaluate survey results, and guarantee regulatory compliance.

Civil engineers also assess project budgets, schedules, and environmental impacts to ensure the safe and effective completion of structures like highways, bridges, and buildings. Their annual pay falls between $79,000 and $87,000.

Maintenance Engineers

Maintenance engineers perform regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and repairs to guarantee the smooth operation of machinery and equipment. They diagnose problems, assess the functionality of the machinery, and make adjustments.

Working in groups, they try to reduce unavailability, improve dependability, and extend the life of assets in different sectors. These professionals earn up to $74,000 every year.

Worthy Mentions

The following jobs are also worth mentioning, as they are also in high demand with a good annual salary:

  • Automotive Engineer: Focus on designing and improving automotive components and systems.
  • Aerospace Engineer: These engineers work on the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Energy Engineer: Contribute to the design and optimization of energy systems, including renewable energy technologies.
  • Manufacturing Engineer: Improve manufacturing processes and ensure efficient production.
  • Robotics Engineer: Design, build, and maintain robotic systems for various applications.
  • Quality Engineer: Implement and manage quality control processes to ensure products meet standards and specifications.
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Valuable Skills Needed in Mechanical Engineering

Here are some skills essential to the field of mechanical engineering:

  • CAD Proficiency: Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to analyze and design products is paramount to success when encountering modern problems.
  • Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills: The ability to analyze complex problems and devise effective solutions is imperative for a sustained, successful position.
  • Effective Communication: Clear communication for collaboration with cross-functional teams and conveying technical information.
  • Project Management: Skills to plan, execute, and oversee engineering projects efficiently.
  • Mathematics and Physics Fundamentals: Strong foundation in mathematical and physical principles.
  • Attention to Detail: precision and thoroughness in designing and implementing solutions.
  • Hands-On Experience: Practical skills gained through hands-on experience and experimentation.
mechanical engineer making adjustments to machinery
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Does mechanical engineering have a good future?

Yes, mechanical engineering has a promising future. With technological advancements and an increasing focus on innovation, the demand for skilled mechanical engineers is expected to grow. Opportunities exist in emerging fields like robotics, renewable energy, and sustainable design, ensuring a dynamic and evolving career path.

Is mechanical engineering a stable job?

Indeed, most people agree that a career in mechanical engineering is stable. Many industries, like the automotive, aerospace, and energy sectors, have a need for mechanical engineers. In fact, many CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are engineers.

However, Long-term professional success depends on keeping up with industry trends, as economic volatility can affect employment stability.

What are the disadvantages of being a mechanical engineer?

Mechanical engineering demands constant learning and adaptability to changing technologies. It can be a difficult field with short project timelines. People in this line of work may be exposed to risks to their health and safety. The work requires a lot of problem-solving, which raises stress levels, and it requires physical and mental exertion.

A degree in mechanical engineering opens up a world of opportunities. The variety is endless, from designing state-of-the-art technology to optimizing energy systems. The abilities gained enable people to influence the future and spur innovation in a variety of sectors.

A degree in mechanical engineering is more than simply a credential; it’s a ticket to unbounded engineering success.

Find out more about the field of engineering, from aerospace to chemical to mechanical engineering, and everything in-between in our Student’s Guide to Engineering.

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