Mechanical engineers produce specifications for, design, develop, manufacture and install new or modified mechanical components or systems.
Most industries rely on a form of mechanical systems and mechanical engineering is thought to be one of the most diverse of all engineering disciplines. Due to this, there are employment opportunities in a range of sectors, including:
Mechanical engineers can be involved in the management of people, projects and resources, as well as the development and use of new materials and technologies.
- assessing project requirements
- measuring the performance of mechanical components, devices and engines
- agreeing budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers
- maintaining and modifying equipment to ensure that it is safe, reliable and efficient
- using computer-aided design/modelling software
- liaising with suppliers
- undertaking relevant research
- producing and implementing designs and test procedures
- presenting designs to managers and clients
- testing, evaluating, modifying and re-testing products
- writing reports and documentation
- providing technical advice
- analyzing and interpreting data.
To get into mechanical engineering you will usually be required to have a degree or a diploma. Relevant subjects include:
- agricultural engineering
- computer-aided engineering
- engineering science
- manufacturing engineering
- mechanical engineering
You could become an engineering technician without a degree, diploma or foundation degree but would need to build up the necessary skills and knowledge, and possibly take higher qualifications, to work up to the role of mechanical engineer.
- a high level of technical and scientific knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge to practical problems
- good oral communication skills and confidence in dealing with a range of people, including clients, contractors, designers, directors and plant operators
- precise and concise written communication skills
- the ability to work well within a team
- IT skills, particularly computer-aided design
- creative ability
- the ability to work under pressure
- organizational skills, such as time and resource planning.