Mechanical Engineers

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Also known as:
Auto Research Engineer, Combustion Engineer, Engine Designer, Heating and Cooling Systems Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Tool and Die Engineer, Tool Engineer

ABOUT MECHANICAL ENGINEER CAREERS
Video transcript

Mechanical engineers know about machines. They design engines, robots, and generators. But they also design everyday items like kitchen appliances and power tools. Whatever the device - if it has moving parts, mechanical engineers were almost certainly involved in its creation. That's because this is the broadest of all engineering disciplines.

Some mechanical engineers, for example, do the research needed to create a product. Others design the product itself, while still others design the machines to make the product. When an item is highly technical, mechanical engineers may even be involved in selling the product.

You'll need excellent math and science skills, plus the ability to think analytically and to deal with abstract ideas. A knack for creative problem-solving is also helpful. The work can be demanding, but mechanical engineers often get to see their designs turned into new products or machines, which can be very satisfying indeed.

SNAPSHOT
Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Design test control apparatus or equipment or develop procedures for testing products.

Provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems or needs.

Estimate costs or submit bids for engineering, construction, or extraction projects.

Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.

Assist drafters in developing the structural design of products, using drafting tools or computer-assisted drafting equipment or software.

Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals, or other data to evaluate the feasibility, cost, or maintenance requirements of designs or applications.

Recommend design modifications to eliminate machine or system malfunctions.

Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend remedial actions.

Develop or test models of alternate designs or processing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, potential new applications, or necessity of modification.

Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.

Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, components, or systems.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.