Brief description of the position:
Mechanical engineers design, build, and test mechanical devices, including machines, engines and tools. Mechanical engineers analyze how a mechanical device could be used to solve a problem. They then design or redesign the device and build a prototype of the device that can be tested. After testing the prototype, they analyze the results, update the design, and supervise the manufacturing process. Mechanical engineers use computers to create, analyze and simulate their designs to see how they will work. Computers also allow mechanical engineers to create specifications for parts, and control the production of the device.
Mechanical engineers had a median annual wage of $78,160 in May 2010.
Secondary and Postsecondary Education
Students who want to be mechanical engineers should have a strong background in math and science. Recommended high school classes are calculus, chemistry and physics. Students should also make sure they have experience using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software before they reach college. In college, mechanical engineering students take classes including engineering mechanics, mechanics of materials, robotics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and aerodynamics. Mechanical engineers can pursue a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering or engineering mechanics, and they will also need to pass professional engineering exams