How To Become a Mechanical Engineer

Updated 16 March 2023

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest branches of engineering. It is an important part of developing and producing modern technologies. A career in mechanical engineering can be very diverse and offer multiple career paths. Understanding what mechanical engineering is and the steps to become a mechanical engineer will make it easy for you to decide if it is the right career path for you. In this article, we discuss how to become a mechanical engineer, what is mechanical engineering, what mechanical engineers do and what are different specialisations in this field.

Related: How To Become A Mechatronics Engineer (Skills And Salary)

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How To Become A Mechanical Engineer

Here are the steps to become a mechanical engineer:

1. Understand the requirement

You need to meet various requirements in terms of education, experience, certifications and skills to become a good mechanical engineer. Learn about what you need to acquire to become a potential mechanical engineer by reviewing job listings on different portals. Working professionals can guide you with your queries and Job listings will give you a fair idea of current expectations in the market from a mechanical engineer.

2. Attain the mandatory education

Basic research on the mandatory education to become a mechanical engineer is very important. Typically, you need to have a science background with physics, chemistry and maths as your mandatory subjects in the 12th standard of the school. An aggregate of 50% in these subjects is needed to appear for the entrance exams and apply for this course in various institutions.

Along with this, there are different entrance exams at the national and state levels like IIT-JEE, AIEEE, BITSAT for admission in different engineering colleges. To be a mechanical engineer, it is mandatory to complete a four-year course in Bachelor in Technology (B.Tech) in mechanical engineering.

If a candidate can not do a four-year degree in engineering, they can also pursue a three-year diploma course in mechanical engineering from polytechnic colleges. The eligibility criteria for getting admission in a diploma in engineering is a minimum of 50% marks in 10th standard in school.

In addition, to advance in your career, you can also pursue a master's in mechanical engineering (M.Tech), which is a two-year course. To get admission for pursuing M.Tech, there are different entrance exams such as GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering), PGECET (Post- Graduation Engineering Common Entrance Test). M. Tech can be pursued either immediately after completing B.Tech or after gaining few years of professional working experience. You can also pursue Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

3. Build experience

An experience that showcases your skills is usually essential for most mechanical job positions. You can develop your experience via internships or via shadowing professionals during your undergraduate days. It will help to enhance your skills and will give you exposure to the original work a mechanical engineer does. It will also help you get a good job once your studies are completed. With this, you will explore your area of interest and can build your career in that field. Additionally, on-the-job experience is essential to gain key certifications such as the Professional Engineer license.

4. Gain relevant skills

A mechanical engineer needs several soft and hard skills. Soft skills such as good listening skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, teamwork and time management skills are important to have to be a good mechanical engineer. Hard skills such as CAD, MS-Excel, Maths, CAE, blueprint interpretation are also very important.

You need to do your research and find in which area in mechanical engineering you want to build your expertise and develop skills accordingly.

5. Earn an engineering license or certifications

If you want to enhance your career, you can get a PE (professional engineer) license. To become PE, you can give an exam by fulfilling the eligibility criteria. You should have a bachelor's degree in engineering or equivalent recognised by the Statutory Authority or Government of India and a minimum of five years of professional working experience. Individual states issue PE licenses, thus you need to check if there is any other requirement to meet as per your state. Apart from this, you can also look for various certifications in your field to grow in your career.

6. Enhance your resume

You should keep enhancing your resume with the latest experience and new skills developed over time. You should look for certifications and skills that are in demand in the industry and try to enhance those skills. Also, to increase your chances to get shortlisted by a potential employer, customise your resume as per the requirements of the job you are applying for.

What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering that deals with machines. It is the study of objects in motion. It is the branch of engineering that combines physics and mathematical principles with material science to design and manufacture mechanised products. This field is very broad and mechanical engineering works to solve problems and create solutions in almost all industries like health care, automobile, and aerospace. It basically works to create machines that ease work for humankind.

What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?

Mechanical engineers use knowledge, creativity and analytical tools to shape the idea into reality. They research, study, design, develop and test mechanical devices which include tools, engines, power-plant equipment, heating and cooling systems. They work on providing a solution to problems in different industries like the automotive industry, manufacturing industry, aerospace industry and aircraft industry. They also perform several activities, such as:

  • Use the principles of force, motion, energy and temperature to design components and build systems that involve mechanisation

  • Combine concepts of physics and computer-aided technology to build mechanical engineering solutions

  • Project management

  • Data interpretation

  • Analysis

  • Conceptual and Developmental design

  • Work in teams and build professional networks

  • Test designs to ensure efficiency, cost-effectiveness and safety of new prototypes

  • Presentations and reporting

  • Assess needs for mechanical systems and develop solutions that address them

Specialisations In Mechanica Engineering

You can specialise in various fields of mechanical engineering such as:

1. Advanced energy systems

Advanced energy systems involve the use of mechanical engineering for analysis and the use of different energy conversion technologies. The systems produced in this field can be implemented worldwide. With the growing awareness of climate change and the need for environmental protection, most professionals who specialise in this area are likely to work on making more sustainable energy systems and harvesting renewable energy. They work on developing energy that is clean, affordable and secure.

National Average Salary: Rs.16550 per month

2. Aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineering has two overlapping branches named aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Engineers build and design components that are suitable for air and space. It is an area where engineers have the skills and knowledge to design and maintain spacecraft, aircraft, air missiles and satellites. They are also responsible to create and test the prototypes to check if the equipment functions as per the requirement.

National Average Salary: Rs. 20823 per month

3. Robotics

This specialisation of mechanical engineering focuses on building and maintaining robots that substitute human actions. They are also in charge of the physical makeup of a robot. In the robotics field, mechanical engineers work on building and designing mechanical sensors and devices. This specialisation is a combination of various technologies like computer engineering, artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.

The increasing automation in various industries makes this area very dynamic and interesting. Also, there are further subfields in robotics that you can explore as per your area of interest.

National Average Salary: Rs. 18928 per month

4. Healthcare

Mechanical engineering is becoming more common in healthcare with the integration of technology and medical science. There are significant innovations done, such as developing artificial organs like hearts and other assistive devices. This has improved the quality of treatment and care that is now available in the healthcare industry. With the growing understanding of the human physiological system, professionals in this area are likely to work on more products that mimic the natural functions of the human body.

5. Automative technology

This subfield of mechanical engineering involves the practical application of the knowledge you have gained to build cars. It is the study that focuses on mechanics and technology used for driving cars. With the growing focus on sustainable transportation products such as electric cars, professionals in this area are likely to work on designs that use innovative energy technologies. As innovation is increasing in the automotive industry, engineers of various backgrounds like mechanical, electrical and computer, work together to design cars.

If you have an interest in problem-solving and innovation, this industry has very lucrative opportunities for you.

National Average Salary: Rs. 642812 per year

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.


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