I am overwhelmed by the number of fields and opportunities that mechanical engineers are involved in. Mechanical engineering is a type of engineering that uses principles of physics and chemistry to analyze, design, manufacture, and maintain different systems.
Because of the recent heat wave to hit the East Coast, the kind of mechanical engineer that seems the most interesting to me today is the kind that designs, updates, and improves the mechanics of air conditioning units and systems.
Without air conditioning in my house today, I would be hiding in the freezing cold public library. That said this video
does take a cynical look at air conditioners because of what they are
doing to our environment — in terms of chemical pollution — but it also does a great job of explaining how solar-powered air conditioners work (these are better!). Thankfully, mechanical engineers these days are working hard to come up with ways of producing appliances
that are using the sun’s energy or another form of reusable energy to
make the world more endurable.
Have you ever thought about a career in mechanical engineering? Do you like to build things? Are you good at math and fascinated by puzzles and how things are put might work on electric
generators, internal combustion engines, manufacturing equipment, power tools, robots, steam and gas turbines,
and the list goes on…
Not all career paths in this field focus on technology, a master’s or bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering can also lead to careers in product design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and energy planning. [WorldWideLearn.com]
Salary may be determined by your choice of career: According to EngineerSalary.com, "mechanical engineers held about 253,800 jobs in 2008." They also state that in 2008, graduates who received a Bachelors of Science in the field had a starting salary of approximately $58,000 a year.
But before you think about that salary and changing your career to mechanical engineering, you need to receive an education — at least a bachelor’s, and possibly a master’s degree – in the field. Whether you’re a high school student contemplating your choice of school or college major or an early-career professional thinking about switching to this career, we recommend you talk to mechanical engineers or read their stories on this site, to find out if this is the right path for you.
Amanda Romaniello is an editorial intern and frequent writer for Under The Microscope.