Mechanical Engineering Career

By | July 14, 2023
Mechanical Engineering Career
The mechanical engineering career can lead to holding job positions like manufacturing engineer, design engineering manager, and process engineer.

This post provides detailed information on the mechanical engineering career, including how to become one, the various opportunities available, and the benefits of being a mechanical engineer.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

Here are the steps you can take to become a mechanical engineer:

  1. Earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering

According to the BLS, most entry-level occupations in mechanical engineering require a Bachelor’s degree.

Students can also pursue a two-year pre-engineering degree and find work as a mechanical drafter.

They can then transfer to a four-year college to complete their baccalaureate requirements.

Most firms prefer that employees have a Bachelor’s degree from a program that has been approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Intermediate and advanced mathematics, biological and physical sciences, engineering and design are all part of the Bachelor’s degree curriculum.

Students may also spend time working with advanced computer-aided design (CAD) software in the computer lab.

Students often take courses that equip them to specialize in one or more areas of mechanical engineering.

For example, medical engineering technology education focuses on the practical application of design ideas rather than theory.

Mechanical engineering internships and co-ops are frequently needed as part of a degree program.

They are invaluable in terms of offering hands-on experience as well as the ability to build professional ties with mentors and industry contacts.

Many schools allow students to combine coursework for a bachelor’s and master’s degree as part of a 5-year program.

Some colleges offer 5- and 6-year cooperative programs that integrate classroom instruction with fieldwork.

More on How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

2. Obtain your Engineering License

All mechanical engineers in the United States who give direct services to the general public must be licensed by the state.

Students can apply for a license after completing a Bachelor’s degree in an ABET-accredited engineering program.

Candidates have to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in order to become licensed.

Engineers who have four years of experience and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam can become Professional Engineers (PEs).

To keep your license current, several states require continuing education.

Employers may accept licenses from other states if the original licensing standards are equal to or higher than those of the new state.

3. Acquire Certifications (Optional)

Individuals can demonstrate expertise in specific branches of mechanical engineering by obtaining certifications from organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Advanced control system design, advanced materials mechanics, stress analysis, convection heat transfer, and dynamic systems are examples of these topics.

Certifications, while optional, can help companies measure one’s talents and qualify individuals for career advancement.

Joining professional mechanical engineering associations and organizations might also help you advance your career.

Mechanical Engineer Career Opportunities

Here are various career opportunities you can explore as a medical engineer:

  1. Manufacturing Engineer

A manufacturing engineer is a mechanical engineer who is responsible for the design and implementation of automated manufacturing systems.

Manufacturing engineers work with many other engineers, such as electrical engineers, to develop the manufacturing system and process.

2. Senior Manufacturing Engineer

A senior manufacturing engineer is responsible for leading a group of manufacturing engineers for a particular project that organizes the production of manufacturing systems with multiple concurrent engineering projects.

They are also responsible for training and mentoring new manufacturing engineers.

3. Manufacturing Engineering Manager

A manufacturing engineering manager oversees the operation of a company’s manufacturing department, typically ensuring that all employees are following company policies and procedures.

The manager develops innovative solutions to production problems and works closely with the company’s marketing, research and development, engineering, sales, purchasing and human resources departments.

4. Design Engineer

A design engineer designs and implements the systems that manufacture products. They usually have a degree in mechanical engineering, but may have other backgrounds as well.

5. Design Engineering Manager

A design engineering manager is the highest ranking manager in a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing products for people in the public domain.

Due to the high level of responsibility associated with their position, it is a common practice for these managers to work closely with marketing, sales, engineering, and manufacturing departments.

6. Process Engineer

A process engineer is responsible for designing, developing and improving the production process that a company uses to manufacture products.

7. Process Engineering Manager

A process engineering manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of production with a particular focus on process improvement.

More on Mechanical Engineer Career Opportunities

8. Engineering Manager

An engineering manager must have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of business, engineering, and design.

They must be able to act as an effective leader while at the same time understand how the “big picture” works and balance the needs of the company with its employees’ needs.

While they must be able to assist in the development of new products, they must also understand the value of quality assurance.

9. Engineering Director

An engineering director is responsible for leading a company’s engineering department by developing innovative and effective systems that help improve product quality, increase production capacity and reduce production costs.

10. Senior Director of Engineering

A senior director of engineering is responsible for managing multiple projects at once, including directing other directors in a company’s engineering department.

Challenges faced by Mechanical Engineer on the Job

Here are some of the challenges faced by mechanical engineers:

  1. Licensure and Certifications

Engineers must be licensed in each state where they want to practice. Getting licensed comes with writing exams and passing the exam.

Mechanical engineers must have a minimum of five years of experience before taking the engineering licensing exam (also known as the EIT).

The exam is normally required for becoming a professional engineer in any state.

2. Project Deadlines

Mechanical engineers are also responsible for meeting deadlines. If a project is not finished on time, money is wasted and that can affect the reputation of their company.

3. Equipment Malfunctions

Mechanical engineers are responsible for improvising solutions to fix the problem of equipment malfunction.

Major Benefits of a Mechanical Engineering Career

Here are the major benefits of a mechanical engineering career:

  1. Good Salary

Mechanical engineers earn an average of $55,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The most successful mechanical engineers can make as much as $100,000 per year. The average salary for top-level mechanical engineer positions is around $80,000 annually.

2. Employee Benefits

Most employers offer benefits that include health insurance, a retirement plan, sick days and vacation days. Some offer bonuses and free meals to employees and their families.

3. Good Job Outlook

Jobs in the engineering field are expected to grow 16 percent, much faster than other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is due to an increased demand for innovation and technological advancements in the manufacturing, automotive and aerospace industries.

4. Advancement Opportunities

Senior mechanical engineers may supervise other engineers. They often serve as mentors and offer guidance to less experienced engineers.

Mechanical engineers can also advance by becoming instructors or teachers at the college level.

5. Job Satisfaction

Employees enjoy working in mechanical engineering as they are able to influence the development of products.

Employees also benefit from the environment at their workplace as it comes with excellent benefits, competitive salaries and secure employment.

6. Good Work Environment

Employees working in mechanical engineering enjoy the work environment as it is usually clean and quiet.

They also have access to all the advanced tools and equipment which are needed to do their job.

7. Job Security

Mechanical engineers have a strong job security because their pay is not based on financial performance.

However, employers must feel confident about employing mechanical engineers in order for them to create long term employment opportunities.

If money is tight, companies may lower their expectations for growth and profitability.


Mechanical engineering is an interesting and rewarding career in the engineering field.

It requires a good amount of technical skill, creative and innovative thinking, problem-solving abilities and teamwork skills in order to succeed.

While there is a lot of study involved, it can be very rewarding as you are able to see the tangible results of your work.