What Do Mechanical Engineers Do: Job Description

What do mechanical engineers do as part of their job specifics? Mechanical engineers  deal with machines which produce, utilize or transmit power,  as well as methods that can make effective use of natural energy sources.

They are also integral in many industries whereby they design the tools necessary for other engineers to achieve their goals. It is common to find mechanical engineers integrated as part of a team of scientists, helping them to develop and test new theories. The team will also usually consist of engineering technicians who will help them with routine or basic tasks.

Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing and developing machines such as nuclear reactors and car engines but they might also be working with trivial day-to-day machinery like printing presses, elevators, power saws and air conditioners. They can be designing a tiny delicate part such as machining a screw one minute and be working on huge gears for a tractor the next – that is how varied their roles are. Apart from designing components for machines, their influential skills are also used in the design of products such as doors, lighting and even footwear.

Individuals in the mechanical engineering field are by and large “thinkers” or problem solvers. Using the principles of force, energy and motion, they analyze the design of a product to check for factors such as reliability, efficiency and also product safety. They would then determine if those functions can be all made and achieved at a reasonable manufacturing cost.

Mechanical engineering itself is quite a broad field, and can also lend itself in several other areas. Some of which might be:

•    air pollution control
•    environmental systems
•    petroleum
•    plastics
•    manufacturing
•    automotive engineering

Other areas of specialization can also include bioengineering, instrumentation, and fluid power.

Career Options After Completion of Education

What do mechanical engineers do in different industries and sectors? They are literally present in every industry you can think of, because of the fact that this discipline is so versatile to begin with. As a mechanical engineer, a graduate can find employment in almost any industry sector, go to graduate school, or even start his or her own entrepreneurial business (such as an engineering consultancy firm) after chalking up a few years of experience. They can also choose to take the product development route, work in research laboratories, or end up being employed by the military or government.

Most engineers will need to specialize in specific areas such as robotics, manufacturing or automotive, but it is not uncommon for some of them to cross over to related disciplines such as law, nanotechnology, or medicine where they design artificial organs.

The 3 Areas In Which Engineers Are Deployed

There are specific job types that reside in each area of mechanical engineering. The first area is product design whereby the engineer will determine user needs, calculate the cost of manufacturing, the problems that might be encountered during the manufacturing process as well as what impact it will have on the environment. This can be considered the research and development sector.

The second area is where the mechanical engineer supervises equipment production, installation, operation as well as maintenance.

The third involves end-user environments such as sales or the education field such as teaching in universities. They can also work as administrators or as mentioned earlier, consultants for other manufacturing or product design companies.

In the United States alone, 3/4 of mechanical engineers are employed mainly for manufacturing companies that either create machinery and parts, or design equipment for electrical and transportation. The remaining 1/4 are employed by government agencies, consultation companies and educational institutions. Of late, there has been an increasing demand for mechanical engineers in the biomedical as well as environmental fields. Employment opportunities certainly look bright for those who hold a mechanical engineering degree since nearly every service or product in our lives today, require the skills of a mechanical engineer.