Career Options for Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering
Individuals who wish to work in mechanical engineering can gain entry-level positions through several routes, requiring different levels of education. Mechanical engineering uses mathematics and engineering in the creation and maintenance of mechanical systems and production. Some of the careers for entry-level access to the field are listed below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2018)*||Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*|
|Mechanical Engineering Technician||$56,250||3%|
|Industrial Engineering Technician||$55,460||-1%|
|Quality Control Inspector||$38,250||-18%|
|Machinist or Tool and Die Maker||$44,950||1%|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineers conduct research and apply it to the development of sensors and products such as machines and tools. Mechanical engineers may also design and manage the creation of medical products, elevators, engines and generators. Mechanical engineers usually need a bachelor's degree in a mechanical engineering or related field, but are often hired without related work experience.
Mechanical Engineering Technician
Mechanical engineering technicians assist mechanical engineers with designs, testing, and manufacturing. Technicians may also create blueprints or sketches, calculate data, and present their discoveries to mechanical engineers or other project heads. Employers typically look for applicants who hold an associate's degree, or a certificate, without requiring prior work experience.
Industrial engineers try to reduce wastefulness in production in order to maximize efficiency. Industrial engineers may work alongside mechanical engineers, and are constantly looking for ways to improve production processes. Industrial engineers are required to have a bachelor's degree, and some programs include cooperative work experiences to give hands-on practice often preferred by employers.
Industrial Engineering Technician
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers with creating efficient processes and systems. They seek to make the most out of materials, workers, machines, and more, in order to create products or services with minimal waste of resources. Employers usually prefer applicants with a certificate or associate's degree and don't usually require related work experience.
Quality Control Inspector
Quality control inspectors look for defects or errors in materials or products. Essentially their role is to check over the development team's blueprints and production, test products and materials, measure and check for accuracy, to ensure that every item created meets the quality standard. Quality control inspectors typically only need a high school diploma and are trained on the job.
Machinist or Tool and Die Maker
Machinists and tool and die makers operate machines to create materials and parts. They review the blueprints created by the engineers and implement the production of the proposed materials. They may also adjust those materials after production to ensure that they meet the specification by filing, grinding, or polishing them. Employers usually require a high school diploma and train employees on the job.
Materials engineers create, implement, and test out materials that are used to make a variety of products. Materials engineers study some materials, such as metals or plastics, in order to make new materials that meet certain requirements (such as mechanical or chemical characteristics). Materials engineers need a bachelor's degree in an engineering and materials science related field, and although previous experience isn't always required, internships during school may help with getting hired.
Drafters take the drawings and designs of engineers and architects and turn them into technical drawings by using computer software. Drafters will usually specialize in a certain field (such as mechanical or electrical) and use their drawings to create clear expectations and specifications. Drafters usually need an associate's degree or a certificate and may be able to choose a specialty within their coursework.
Sales engineers sell products and services to different businesses, using technical knowledge of the functions and parts of the products that they are selling. They deliver presentations and talk to customers, including engineers, about their system and equipment needs and then assist with installation and replacements. Most employers prefer a candidate with a bachelor's degree in a related field, but candidates with sales experience may only need a high school diploma.