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Becoming a mechanical engineer: tasks and basic requirements

November 09,2010 by: Dallas Browne

Did you know that there are many kinds of engineers today? If you have the aptitude for machines and tools, then one course you might want to consider is mechanical engineering.
As its name implies, mechanical engineering deals with the production and use of mechanical power. They design, operate and use different types of machines which are used in different industries. They build engines which produce steam, gasoline and other sources of energy.

Tasks of a Mechanical Engineer

Their main task is to ensure that all design and process requirements are met so that the machines (and the bigger equipments they build) are not only efficient but are also safe to use. They are also tasked with ensuring that all products, especially those which have been modified, still conform to appropriate engineering standards. In many industries, mechanical engineers are tasked to inspect and evaluate areas where field machines are going to be installed. They are the first to test equipment but they are also required to educate and supervise personnel who are assigned to use the apparatus. This way, they can ensure that all equipments are running smoothly and are free from malfunctions.

In connection with the last task, many mechanical engineers are required to supervise the repairs of failed equipments. Once restoration has been completed, they will need to investigate the cause of failure so as to prevent it from happening again. They confer with appropriate personnel in creating a protocol which will be followed in time of system failure so the problem can be addressed immediately even when the mechanical engineer is not around to deal with it.

In a world run by machines, mechanical engineers play a major role in almost every industry = from manufacturing to service provision. Without the equipments they design and produce, mass production is certainly impossible.

Basic Educational Requirements

To work as a mechanical engineer, one must complete the 5-year course leading to a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He or she must also pass a licensure exam. Graduates of the degree can pursue higher education so they can become eligible for a teaching career.

Skills and Competencies Required

To become a good mechanical engineer, one must have strong numerical skills. He or she must also have strong analytical skills, as well as the capability to communicate information effectively. He must be adept at deductive reasoning. He or she must have a solid understanding of the basics of thermodynamics, kinematics, mechanics, and energy. Of course, a good mechanical engineer must be computer literate and at best, must know how to operate technology design software.

Employment Opportunities and Prospects for Career Advancement

The great thing about mechanical engineering is that employment opportunities are not limited to the manufacturing sector. They can work in any industry which requires production operations such as agriculture. They can assume managerial positions or if they wish to follow a parallel career, they can become specialists in certain areas of the field. They can also work as maintenance employees and in technical sales.

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