3D design of machine made by an mechanical engineer

An Overview of Mechanical Engineering

There are many types of engineers, including civil, electrical, biomedical, and mechanical engineers. Here are the basic facts about mechanical engineering.

What is Mechanical Engineering Exactly?

A mechanical engineer designs various types of tools, equipment, and the building plans for pieces of large machinery. In addition, mechanical engineers run tests on devices to uncover any issues that need to be resolved. Someone may bring a piece of machinery to a mechanical engineer to find out why it's not operating properly. A mechanical engineer has the skills to take apart a machine or piece of equipment and diagnose the problem in its design. Along with designing new machines, a mechanical engineer can improve on the design of outdated machines. Computer science, physics, mathematics, materials science, and chemistry are just a few of the subjects studied by a mechanical engineer in order to perform this technical work. Hands-on experience with many types of machinery is extremely important in the education of any mechanical engineer.

What Projects Do Mechanical Engineers Work On?

Unlike a civil engineer who designs buildings or a biomedical engineer who uses his or her skills in the medical field, a mechanical engineer may design an engine for a car or a plane. Mechanical engineers also work on designing devices such as air conditioners, generators, furnaces, and robots. Though a mechanical engineer may not physically build a piece of equipment, he or she creates the plan that allows it to become a reality. A mechanical engineer can look at a set of plans and recognize faults in the design and can go about making adjustments so the machine or piece of equipment operates in an efficient way. A manufacturing plant, a government facility, or the research and development department of a company are all common places to find mechanical engineers at work.

What are the Educational Requirements?

In order to work as a mechanical engineer, you must possess a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from a school that is accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Some mechanical engineers go on to earn a master’s degree, but all professional engineers must be licensed to perform this type of work.

Along with the proper education and training, a mechanical engineer must be curious about how things work. In addition, mechanical engineers must possess patience and persistence in order to solve problems during the testing of devices.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015