What is the job of a Mechanical Engineer?

Mechanical Engineer

Definition

Firstly, a mechanical engineer is a specialist engaged in the design, construction, and operation of mechanical equipment and machines in various fields of production. They also work in the automotive, manufacturing, biotechnology, automation, aerospace, computer and electronics industries. 

Responsibilities of Mechanical Engineers

  • Provides methodological, technical guidance, and control over the work of services related to the operation of equipment. 
  • Repair and maintenance of mechanical types of equipment.
  • Keeps registration, records of the availability, and proper functioning of equipment. 
  • Prepares projects of calendar schedules for scheduled preventive maintenance, revisions, tests of equipment, and other structures.
  • Provides measures to improve the operation and maintenance of pieces of equipment. 
  • Takes part in checking the technical condition of the equipment, as well as the quality of repairs, 
  • Mechanical Engineers take part in the acceptance of newly supplied equipment to the division. 
  • Draws up documentation for the disposal of equipment or its transfer to other divisions. 
  • Provides preparation of repair work, takes measures to implement the allocated funds for spare parts.
  • Monitors compliance with the rules of technical operation, labor protection, and fire safety in the maintenance and repair of equipment. 
  • Develops measures aimed at improving the organization of maintenance and repair of equipment. 
  • Ensures reducing the labor intensity and cost of repair work and improving their quality. 
  • Participates in the investigation of the causes of increased wear and tear of equipment, 
  • Mechanical Engineers ensure measures to prevent industrial injuries.
  • Controls the timeliness of drawing up lists of defects, applications for repairs, spare parts, materials, tools, and devices. 
  • Participates in the development and implementation of standards and technical conditions for the operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment.
  • Gives opinions on rationalizing proposals and inventions concerning the improvement of equipment designs. 
  • Participates in the organization of repair work and organizes the implementation of the accepted proposals.
  • Summarizes and disseminates best practices in the organization of repair work and equipment operation.

Place of Work

What’s more, mechanical engineers work in almost every corner of society. For example, the national economy, military industry and science. A few standouts include:

  • In production;
  • In construction;
  • Agriculture;
  • Motor transport, road and repair enterprises;
  • At mining enterprises for the extraction and processing of natural raw materials;
  • In the laboratories of research institutes;
  • Nuclear power plants.

Important Qualities of a Mechanical Engineer

The relevant qualities needed by a mechanical engineer include; 

  • Good physical health
  • Technical mind
  • Interest in technology
  • Technical savvy
  • Creative attitude to work
  • Accurate eye
  • Fast reaction
  • Constructive and logical thinking
  • Analytical mind
  • Originality of thinking
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Organizational skills
  • Persistence and dedication
  • Ability to make responsible decisions.

Specializations of Mechanical Engineers

In addition, a mechanical engineer can choose a specialization in different directions – a designer, technologist, or test engineer, for instance. Such areas include; 

  • Fluid Mechanics or Hydraulics
  • Materials Engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Energy System
  • Automobiles
  • Robotics, Automation & Control
  • Heat, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
A mechanical engineer at work

Education and License

Firstly, mechanical engineers in the United States require a bachelor’s degree from an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited engineering program. The program spans five (5) years with coursework that includes mathematics, design, engineering, physical sciences, and life. However, some universities offer a six (6) year program to gain a master’s degree. More attention is given to the practical aspect of engineering principles than just theory. This makes room for an exquisite experience in fieldwork. In addition, Engineers may acquire a Ph.D. which is a requirement for development and research programs. Entry-level positions do not require a license. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, state licensure requires:

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience typically at least four (4) years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. 

Salary

In the United States, the average salary of a mechanical engineer is $90,160. The range is between $58,410, and $141,060.

Mechanical engineers work over 40 hours a week 

Employment

The job market for mechanical engineers will grow at a much higher pace over the next decade. About 20,200 new mechanical engineers are needed each year as workers are replaced by new ones. 

Mechanical engineers are employed in many industries and for a variety of projects. The manufacturing sector is expected to create the most jobs for mechanical engineers, as it has since 1990. As manufacturing processes become increasingly automated, mechanical engineers will play a key role in designing new machinery and improving the efficiency of current equipment.

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