Job Outlook for Mechanical Engineering
What is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest fields of engineering. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and implement mechanical devices and systems. Our fascination with mechanical devices dates back to the invention of the wheel in Lower Mesopotamia, over 5,500 years ago. Since then, mechanical engineering has contributed to many of the most important innovations, including steel, windmills, sailing ships, the printing press, motors, the locomotive, ramps, springs, and even screws.
Today, mechanical engineering is at the forefront of new technological advancements in a wide variety of industries, such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. Like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering is one of the most versatile and popular engineering degrees with over 35,000 new graduates each year.
How Can I Become a Mechanical Engineer?
Student courses will focus on materials science, engineering, physics, and mathematics.
Like most STEM fields, mechanical engineering professionals must demonstrate proficiencies in many hard and soft skills. Because mechanical engineering is such a vast field, your technical skills will vary. Here are some examples of hard skills to might include on a resume:
- Designing software, such as AutoCAD, Creo, or SolidWorks.
- Analysis or simulation software, and
- Coding software/language like Python, Java, or C++.
Equally important are good workplace soft skills and interpersonal skills. Mechanical engineers will often need to collaborate with many different people. Rather than just listing it as a skill on a resume, include an example demonstrating teamwork and communication skills in a previous role.
What Career Opportunities are Available for Mechanical Engineers?
These professionals have many different career paths to choose from, including aerospace, automotive, construction, energy, pharmaceuticals, and robotics just to name a few. As of 2020, there were roughly 300,000 mechanical engineering jobs, which was a decrease from 2019. Like most professions, engineering was not exempt from the impact of the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic began slowing down, the job market sped back up. The advances in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that came of the pandemic created ripple effects through the profession, expanding the responsibilities and applications for mechanical engineering skills.
How Much Does Mechanical Engineering Pay?
When it comes to salary or earning potential, engineering degrees tend to rank high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for mechanical engineers in 2021 was $95,300 per year. Mechanical engineers working within scientific research and development, architectural services, and machinery manufacturing are among the top high-paying careers.
If you're a mechanical engineer seeking career opportunities, Progressive is here to support you and take the stress out of finding your next role. Contact us today to get in touch with a consultant!