A Career as a Mechanical Engineer

Jaysen Hohn

Career overveiw

Mechanical engineers draw their designs using drafting tools and computer-assisted design (CAD) software. They also study blueprints, schematics, and technical drawings. They work with clients and other designers to fine-tune designs.

Mechanical engineers build a prototype (or model) of a design so they can test to see if it works properly. They adjust the design and construction so that machines and tools function as intended.

They calculate the cost and get bids from different companies for materials and production. Some may assess the system’s impact on the environment.

Engineers may oversee the construction and assembly of the machines and tools they design. This allows them to continue fine-tuning their designs in order to improve their function.

Mechanical engineers also develop a maintenance schedule for machines and tools. If there are problems, mechanical engineers evaluate and find solutions to the problem. They tell mechanics which repairs to make and test the fixed system.

Mechanical engineers may work in a company with many departments. They may be responsible for all mechanical tools and machines for each department. They provide technical advice and consultation to others. They also manage groups of people who may do the actual construction and installation of tools and machines.

Career skills and interests


  • Communicate.
  • Reason and Problem solving.
  • Use Math and Science.
  • Manage Oneself, People, Time, and things.
  • Work with people.
  • Perceive and Visualize.

Working Conditions

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a medium level of social interaction. They spend some time talking to clients or coworkers about projects.
  • Communicate by telephone, e-mail, letters, memos, and in person on a daily basis.
Physical Work Conditions
  • Almost always work indoors.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous equipment. They may wear safety attire, such as masks and hard hats, to protect themselves.
  • May on occasion be exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable.
  • Work near others. They often share the same office space with other engineers.

Work Performance

  • Must be highly accurate and thorough in performing the job. Errors could seriously endanger the safety of those who use their products.
  • Make decisions that strongly affect their employer and clients. This is because they rarely consult a supervisor before deciding a course of action.


  • Generally work a set schedule.
  • Work 40 hours per week.
  • Often work longer hours to meet project deadlines.

Career Wages and Outlook

Wages vary by employer and the engineer's level of training and responsibility.

Mechanical engineers usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, health and life insurance, and a retirement plan.

Hourly- $38.43

Salary- $79,940

Related Occupations

  • Architects.
  • Bio-medical Engineers.
  • Engineering Technicians.
  • Nuclear Engineers.
  • Petroleum Engineers.

Programs of Study - Mechanical Engineering

Program Overview

Mechanical Engineering programs prepare people to design and improve tools and machines.

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Biology.
  • Calculus.
  • Chemistry.
  • Computer Science and Programming.
  • English Composition.
  • Physics.

Program Typical Class Work

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects

  • Calculus.
  • Chemistry.
  • Design of Mechanical Elements.
  • Dynamics.
  • Electronic Circuits.
  • Engineering Physics.
  • English Composition.
  • Fluid Mechanics.
  • Introduction to Computer Science.
Graduate study in this field typically includes

  • Required Courses.
  • Master's Thesis (Which usually takes the form of a significant project).
  • Preliminary exams (Doctoral degree only).
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (Doctoral degree).

Related Programs

  • Physics.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology.
  • Engineering.
  • Engineering Physics.
  • Materials Engineering.

Schools that offer my program of study

Minnesota State University

St. Cloud State University

College Choice - MSU Mankato

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College Info

  • Size and location - Located in Mankato, Mn. Mankato is about 18 sq miles.
  • Admission requirements- Apply by April 1st 2015. Taken ACT and scored 21.
  • College expenses- $453 per credit.
  • Financial Aid- FAFSA, and different scholarships for every major.
  • Housing- You can get a apartment of campus and they have community housing as well.
  • Activities- Baseball, Basketball, Handball, Football, MMA

Informational interview

February 21st

Tim Jensen

Fest Trucking

Trucking company

Truck Driver


Briefly record your thoughts and feelings about the workplace and the person you just visited.

I enjoyed it and the experience of the interview.

What did you like? What didn't you like?

I liked the driving and the pay from the driving. I didn't like being away from home for weeks at a time.

Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation?

Winter, Big city driving (LA, and New York)

What advice did you receive?

To drive as much as possible and to do what i want to do after graduating.

Did you discover another occupation to explore?


How was the work environment?

Didn't get to go on the road. so wasn't able to really experience work environment.

Do you think you would be happy in this occupation?


Plans to reach my goal

  • Continue working part-time and save money for college.
  • After saving money for a few years for college, I will apply to MSU.
  • After applying (if I got accepted), go to college and get my Doctoral in Mechanical Engineering.
  • After receiving my Doctoral, apply for a engineering job.