Mechanical engineers design, build, install and service mechanical machinery, components and tools across a range of industries. Depending on the sector, you will be involved in three key areas: research and development, design and production.
Who can I work for?
You could work in a range of industries including manufacturing, construction, power, transport, sports and medical sectors.
Where and when can I work?
You will typically work 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. However, overtime may be required if a project is close to deadline. Working environments range from offices to factories and construction sites.
What can I earn?
Graduate mechanical engineers start between £19,500 and £22,000. Experienced mechanical engineers earn between £26,000 and £37,000 and Chartered engineers can earn more than £40,000 a year.
What are the benefits?
Self-employment and freelance work are possible for qualified mechanical engineers with a good track record and experience. Short-term contract work is also possible, often arranged through agencies and there is the potential for travel around the country and abroad.
Are there chances of promotion?
You could go on to specialise in a particular area of engineering or move into project management, specialist research or consultancy.
What will I be responsible for?
You will be assessing new products and innovations and building prototypes, turning research ideas into technical plans and improving production processes, and planning and supervising the installation of machinery and parts in line with design plans and timescales.
Do I need any experience?
Most mechanical engineers have a degree in mechanical engineering or a related engineering subject. You will be required to continue on-the-job training and Continued Professional Development (CPD) in order to enhance your career potential.
What attributes are needed?
You should have excellent communication and presentation skills plus the ability to prioritise and plan your workload effectively. You should have excellent technical knowledge and great team working skills.