Top 10 Jobs With Mechanical Engineering Degree

Updated 15 March 2023

A career in mechanical engineering can be rewarding, challenging and lucrative. There are many diverse roles that use mechanical engineering skills and knowledge. If you are considering getting a degree or have recently graduated, it would be helpful to know what opportunities are available to you in your field. In this article, we explain what mechanical engineering is, discuss how to become a mechanical engineer and list 10 jobs with mechanical engineering degree.

What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering is a type of engineering that focuses on the design, production, operation and evaluation of machinery. Mechanical engineers learn about the materials used to design, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems. These skills also help them design and diagnose industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transportation systems, medical devices, weaponry, air, watercraft builds and manufacturing plants. Mechanical engineers can specialise in disciplines like:

  • Design: Sometimes referred to as drafting, design involves creating technical drawings and instructions that aid in parts production.

  • Structural analysis: Structural analysis is a branch of mechanical and civil engineering that explores how and why objects or machines fail.

  • Kinematics: Kinematics studies the movement of an object or group of objects, called a system.

  • Mechanics: Mechanics refers to the study of forces' effect on matter.

  • Thermodynamics: The discipline of thermodynamics focuses on how energy transfers from one form to another.

What jobs can you get with a mechanical engineering degree?

A mechanical engineering degree can provide many fulfilling opportunities for students. Because of the degree and technical knowledge requirements, there is often high demand for well-educated engineers. Their skills also lend them to work in many sectors and industries like manufacturing, automobile, biotechnology, agriculture, national defence and nanotechnology.

Related: How to Write A Mechanical Engineering Resume (With Example)

10 in-demand types of jobs with a mechanical engineering degree

Here are the 10 in-demand jobs with a mechanical engineering degree that you can pursue:

1. Automotive engineer

With a job as an automotive engineer, graduates can design and develop the mechanical components and machines related to cars, trains and other automated vehicles. Their job tasks can include research and development, design and production. Engineers in the automotive industry can be at the forefront of innovative new designs and ideas concerning energy efficiency, speed and comfort.

2. Maintenance engineer

Maintenance engineers perform diagnostic checks of machines and equipment to ensure their functionality. Maintenance engineers might work in large plants and work to maintain and large machines like heating and cooling systems, production equipment and engines that are capable of continuous operation. They might work as a team or individually to service all the machines within a single plant.

3. Research and development supervisor

Research and development supervisors oversee processes related to designing new systems. Depending on the industry, this could mean improving current technology, testing customer reactions to prototypes or researching new advances in the field. Mechanical engineers' education usually lends them to more supervisory roles, especially if they possess strong leadership qualities.

4. Construction engineer

Construction engineers use their mechanical knowledge on construction projects. They might service and maintain the machines a group is using for a project, advise on the installation of heavy equipment or help devise system optimisation efforts that can aid in the construction project. Some construction companies even hire mechanical engineers as consultants for projects involving commercial building layout and design.

5. Aerospace Engineer

Mechanical engineers can work alongside aerospace engineers in this field. Here, they help maintain and manufacture aircraft. Mechanical engineers' technical knowledge can help ensure designs are compatible with airport needs and other production aspects. They might also aid in national defence projects like working on missiles or with spacecraft.

6. Control and Instrumentation Engineer

Also called a C&I engineer, these mechanical engineers design, develop, install, manage and maintain the equipment that monitors and controls other machines and systems. Engineers make sure all these processes are running as efficiently, safely and reliably as possible. They might measure and control process variables like pressure, humidity, pH, flow, speed, temperature and force.

7. Contracting Civil Engineer

Contracting civil engineers work to design and consult on various construction and public works projects. They might facilitate the implementation of large scale works like highways, buildings, dams, bridges and canals. Contracting civil engineers often work with other consulting engineers to evaluate ongoing work and projects.

Related: 13 Civil Engineering Interview Questions and Sample Answers

8. Nuclear Engineer

A nuclear engineer offers technical support to nuclear power stations. In their role, they may design, build, operate or disassemble machinery used with nuclear power. Specific roles for mechanical engineers in this field include reactor operators, process engineers, quality engineers, C&I engineers and managers.

9. Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer can be a generic job title within many industries, but the general responsibilities of companies hiring for this position include design, development, maintenance and management. A company may hire a mechanical engineer to test or install new machinery. They might ask for them to work in an advisory capacity to consult on structural engineering or machine maintenance questions.

Related: Mechanical Engineer Resume Objective (Definition And Examples)

10. Manufacturing engineer

Manufacturing engineers use their degrees to aid them in the manufacturing industry. They focus on the operation and design of integrated systems. This can help them and the companies they work for produce high-quality products that are competitive in the marketplace.

How to become a mechanical engineer

If you are interested in becoming a mechanical engineer, here are some steps you can take:

1. Pass your entrance exam

To begin your career as a mechanical engineer, you must pass your state or national level entrance exams like the Joint Entrance Exam Main (JEE Main) or the All India Common Entrance Test (AICET). Admissions within the engineering fields can be highly competitive. Your entrance test scores can influence your admission eligibility.

Related: How To Become a Mechanical Engineer

2. Get an engineering degree

Most engineering jobs require either a BTech in mechanical engineering or a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited college. Besides your exam scores, passing your 10+2 with physics, chemistry and math as your major subjects can help you work toward your degree. You can expect to take science and math-based courses in your studies. Technical and undergraduate bachelor degree programmes can take three to four years to complete. You may consider pursuing your MTech for additional career opportunities as well.

3. Become certified

While optional, additional certifications can help you grow in your career and qualify you for more opportunities as an engineer. Licensed engineers, or professional engineers (PEs), have to clear the fundamental engineering (FE) exam to earn their credentials. The exam lasts for six hours and includes 110 questions. The exam covers many disciplines of engineering, including mechanical engineering.

The mechanical engineering exam covers 14 topics:

  • Mathematics

  • Probability and statistics

  • Ethics and professional practice

  • Engineering economics

  • Electricity and magnetism

  • Statics

  • Dynamics, kinematics and vibration

  • Mechanics of materials

  • Material properties and processing

  • Fluid mechanics

  • Thermodynamics

  • Heat transfer

  • Measurement, instrumentation and controls

  • Mechanical design and analysis

4. Begin working in the field

As the broadest engineering field, mechanical engineering includes many professional branches. Your work could involve producing power plants, automobiles and heating and cooling systems. Sometimes, mechanical engineering jobs overlap with other engineering disciplines. Some industries that commonly employ mechanical engineering graduates are:

  • Power plant engineering: Power plant engineering often places special emphasis on thermodynamics and energy. Professionals in this field might work to design, establish, maintain and analyse plants powered by electricity, solar, nuclear, wind-turbine and hydroelectric energy.

  • Thermal engineering: Thermal engineering focuses on producing closed system heating and cooling systems. This branch involves maintaining heating, ventilating, refrigeration and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

  • Vehicle engineering: Vehicle engineering jobs focus on the design, production, operation and maintenance of vehicle propulsion systems and equipment.

  • Automotive engineering: A subbranch of vehicle engineering, automotive engineering deals with the production and design of vehicles that run on roads. Mechanical engineers who double as safety specialists often fill these roles.

  • Biomedical engineering: Biomedical engineering for mechanical engineers works to apply mechanical engineering concepts to the biological systems at work in humans, organs, cells, animals and plants. Mechanical limbs and artificial organs are some examples of mechanical engineering at work.

Skills for mechanical engineers

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a mechanical engineer, it can be helpful to possess some of these skills:

  • Computer skills: Some more complicated mechanical engineering processes use computers and other automated tools. Some jobs rely heavily on computer-aided engineering (CAE) programs like computer-aided design (CAD) software. Having a working knowledge of common programs can help you find opportunities in the field.

  • Mechanical knowledge: Many mechanical engineering processes take place in workshops. Having a basic understanding of how to use tools like wrenches, spanners, hammers and screwdrivers can help you in your work.

  • Strong physics and mathematical foundation: Having a strong academic foundation can be highly important in your work as a mechanical engineer. Understanding concepts related to motion, energy and force can aid you in your career as a mechanical engineer.

Related: Mechanical Engineering Skills: Definition and Examples

Mechanical engineering qualifications

Having a relevant engineering degree is a requirement of most mechanical engineering jobs. In order to qualify for these positions, consider finishing your schooling and pursuing continuing education opportunities. Licensure and certifications can also be a major boost for your job search efforts. Most mechanical engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree.

How much do mechanical engineers make?

While exact salaries differ based on experience, company and geographic location, the average base salary of a mechanical engineer is ₹2,35,806 per year. Salary expectations for mechanical engineers are often a little higher than other occupations. This is because the academic process can require extensive study and commitment compared to other degree programmes.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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