An engineer is somebody who uses the ideas of science and mathematics in order to develop products or services, meaning that these jobs are centered around the idea of applied science. Mechanical engineers are involved in researching, analyzing, designing, manufacturing, and testing machines, tools, engines, and other mechanical devices. Many different kinds of engineering jobs are available to mechanical engineers. This is because of the fact that the principles can be applied to many different industries. Most of the products that they work either produce or use power. In some cases they may design tools that are used by other engineers. Those who are proficient at working in teams and making difficult decisions may eventually take on managerial positions in technically driven industries.
Mechanical engineering jobs are typically undergone in an office environment, although the office is often located in the same building as a manufacturing facility. Some are more theoretically driven, where others are more experimental. There are varying degrees of hands-on work performed by these engineers, depending on the level of specialization and the industry in which they work. Most work about forty hours a week with weekends off. Work is driven more by deadlines than time spent at work, so schedules can be fairly flexible.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or the hard sciences is typically necessary for jobs in engineering, and this is equally true for mechanical. It is not necessarily important for a graduate to have a degree specializing in mechanical engineering specifically, however, as long as they have the necessary experience and knowledge to do the work. Nearly all applicants will need to have an extensive background in engineering courses, the hard sciences, industry, and math.
Most engineers will work together closely with other more advanced when they first take the job, and many larger programs will offer classroom training as well. Engineers are gradually given more independence to design, develop, test, and improve upon their own projects.
There are about a quarter million mechanical engineers in the United States, and there are about 1 and a half million engineering positions. While growth for this field is expected to be somewhat slower than average for all professions. On average, mechanical engineers make about $75,000 a year.