If you grew up with an interest in learning how things work, then you might be the perfect candidate to become a mechanical engineer. Many successful mechanical engineers think back to their childhood and remember taking apart toasters and putting them back together, excelling in math and science and being curious about construction and how planes fly.
If this sounds like an accurate description of your childhood or even your life now, pursuing the career of mechanical engineer can be the ultimate way to harness your natural interests into lucrative employment.
Learn more about how to become a mechanical engineer, what they do on a daily basis and what kind of salaries they can expect.
What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?
First up, it is important to get a better understanding of what mechanical engineers do on a regular basis. The scope of work for a mechanical engineer is quite broad, but the best definition is someone who designs, builds and then tests mechanical items like vehicles or tools, among many other things.
Some of the more common tasks for a mechanical engineer might be drafting a design for a new product that solves or addresses a common existing problem, using computer software to mathematically verify their design, creating a prototype of the design and then overseeing the large scale manufacture of their design with a specific price range. It is not uncommon for mechanical engineers to have a specialty and then spend years perfecting a single product.
What is the Average Salary for a Mechanical Engineer?
If you’re considering a career as a mechanical engineer, you’ll definitely want to have updated and accurate information about average salaries. In the United States, mechanical engineers earn an average of $80,000 per year. However, that exact amount can vary depending on where you live, your level of experience, your educational level and the industry in which you work.
Mechanical engineers in electronics, for example, earn an average of $84,000 annually, while those working in machinery manufacturing earn closer to $72,000 annually.
How Can You Become a Mechanical Engineer?
To become a mechanical engineer, you will need to start with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Although it is possible to find an entry-level career in the field with only a two-year associate degree, these are typically paid far less than average for the industry. If you want to increase your earning potential or lead a team of mechanical engineers, then a master’s degree can be a great option to explore.
Where Do Mechanical Engineers Typically Work?
The vast majority of mechanical engineers work full-time as salaried employees, although a handful work part-time or operate as freelance engineers. Overall, mechanical engineers work traditional office hours Monday through Friday, but overtime is common among advanced positions.
It is normal to visit factories as part of the job, but most mechanical engineers primarily work in offices focusing on architecture, electronics, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment and computers.
If you have decided to become a mechanical engineer, get the ball rolling by pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited online college.