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Know more about Mechanical Engineers, training, qualifications and salary breakdown.
Job Description A mechanical engineer has the job of planning and designing tools, engines and almost any type of mechanically functioning equipment as well as supervising the installation and maintenance of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water and steam systems. Being one of the most wide-ranging engineering disciplines, the job itself has numerous ramifications as the job description depends on what type of engineering the professional is hired to perform. As their skills are applicable to almost all type of systems that involve moving parts, mechanical engineers can be employed in most industries to oversee and even operate almost any type of mechanical system or engine. It is part of a mechanical engineer's job to possess a good knowledge of force, center of balance, friction and inertia as many complex systems like automobile engines require a mechanical engineer's perspective and ability. A mechanical engineer may also be responsible for operating a component of a larger system as well as providing solutions for the better functionality of the system as a whole. Teamwork is an important aspect of the profession, as It is part of a mechanical engineer's job to work together with other engineers in order to determine the best solutions for a more efficient functionality of a mechanical system. Some mechanical engineers occupy consulting positions as well as performing research and development tasks for universities within mechanically inclined laboratories. Training and Education Requirements Aspiring mechanical engineers are required to complete a four year undergraduate course at the end of which they will receive a degree in mechanical engineering from an institution of higher learning accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The course requires an understanding of mathematics and physics as these disciplines in tandem with an advanced understanding of the engineering theory are needed for academic success. Among the early academic projects, students are required to participate in design projects as well as basic mechanical systems they will be required to improve during their undergraduate engineering program. Internship may also prove useful for engineering students as it is recommended for mechanical engineers to have physical experience when it comes to designing and testing constructions. A bachelor's degree should be enough to guarantee entry level positions, but for a mechanical engineer to be able to conduct academic research at university level, a graduate degree is required. Within some industries, the most lucrative salaries are received by professionals working jobs with a higher level of responsibility and for a mechanical engineer to have access to a job of this sort, an advanced degree is imperative. Certifications After the completion of university courses, the graduates will spend a considerable amount of time under the guidance of experienced mechanical engineers in order to get a stronger grasp on the job at hand, as the more experience the young engineer gathers, the more complex projects he can expect and that has a considerable effect on job responsibilities and basic wage. However, despite one's experience and natural understanding of mechanical engineering, certification is required by most employers. At the moment of graduation from the university, a mechanical engineer must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination before engaging in around four years of professional experience. After completion of the minimum professional experience time, one must pass the Professional Engineer examination and after passing this examination, an individual becomes a certified professional engineer. Outlook and Salary With the number of jobs being held by mechanical engineers being greater than 250,000 in the last year, we can safely assume that the nature of the profession is not only versatile but essential with more than two out of five jobs held by mechanical engineers being in manufacturing, instruments, transportation equipment and much more. Most jobs are provided by the federal government, business services and engineering and management services, through jobs employing almost three out of five certified mechanical engineers. Being involved in the production of a broad range of products, mechanical engineers will always be needed in a wide range of industries, with an employment growth of over 6% during the next 10 years. The development of technologies in the fields of biotechnology, materials science and nanotechnology are expected to contribute to the employment growth even more. Within recent years, a variety of jobs have paid an average yearly salary of $50,000 for individuals holding a bachelor's degree. Individuals holding a master degree however, have been claiming an average of $59,000 per year while mechanical engineers with doctorate degrees have been working jobs providing a wage of more than $68,000 per year. Some of the best paid jobs for mechanical engineers can be found in the manufacturing industry and it provides an average of $71,000 per year for certified mechanical engineers while the motor vehicles and equipment industry provides an even higher wage of almost $73,000 per year. The Federal government however, features jobs paying a yearly salary of $68,000 for certified mechanical engineers, but the number of jobs provided by the federal government is significantly greater than other employers. An important aspect about holding a degree in mechanical engineering is the fact that job opportunities can be found in various working environments, mainly because of the versatile skills acquired by mechanical engineers during their rigorous training.
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