Jobs for Mechanical Engineering majors [Mechanical engineering]

Jobs for Mechanical Engineering majors

What jobs can you do with a mechanical engineering degree?

Mechanical engineering graduates are sought by employers in almost all sectors of the engineering industry. These include:

  • Aerospace industry – researches, designs, manufactures, operates and maintains aircraft
  • Automotive industry – designs, manufactures, distributes and markets motor vehicles
  • Chemical industry – covers oil companies, chemicals manufacturers and the businesses that support them (eg to build new plants or develop new process technologies)
  • Construction industry – designs and builds infrastructure, buildings and buildings services (eg heating and ventilation)
  • Defence industry – provides equipment, support and services for the armed forces and national security
  • Electronics industry – designs and manufactures components and complete equipment for sectors from automotive to medicine and the military
  • Fast moving consumer goods industry – manufactures products such as household cleaning items, personal hygiene goods and convenience foods
  • Marine industry – develops and helps operate vessels
  • Materials and metals industry – activities include developing new materials and manufacturing components or end products
  • Pharmaceuticals industry – develops and manufactures drugs
  • Rail industry – designs, constructs, manages and maintains rail system components from trains and tracks to electrical power systems and train control systems
  • Utilities industry – helps supply power, water, waste management and telecoms.

What precisely would my job as a mechanical engineering graduate be?

In many roles you will remain as a mechanical engineering specialist, applying your skills and knowledge to those specific aspects of your employers’ technical operations that call for this skill set. However, engineering careers in some areas involve becoming more of a generalist, drawing on or developing knowledge of other engineering disciplines and perhaps doing the same job as a fellow engineer with a different degree background.

Defence and fast moving consumer goods are two industries that often call for generalists.

  • Paul Jones, enterprise integration manager at BAE systems, explains the situation in the defence industry. He comments: ‘At BAE systems – and at most other defence companies – engineers today mainly work at system level. A ‘system’ could be an aircraft or submarine, or one of its major components, or the whole battle space in which it operates, including the associated communications technologies, people, buildings and legal requirements. Defence systems are now so integrated that engineers need to operate cross-discipline, for example using a mixture of mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering knowledge. Most engineering degrees now cover a range of areas, but if you come from, say, a pure mechanical engineering background you’ll have to pick up how mechanical engineering fits into the bigger picture.’

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