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So You Wanna Be a Mechanical Engineer

by on March 12, 2015 | Top Stories

The job of a mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers create and build mechanical devices that are used to create practical, useful solutions that the rest of us can use. This field can be divided into different types of job functions, most which are related to these areas of technology:

  • Product Design - developing products ranging from biomedical devices to gasoline-powered engines. A mechanical engineer designs anything that uses mechanical motion.
  • Research and Development - discovering new solutions to human needs or improving older methods.
  • Manufacturing - developing the machines that process materials into products. Designing and building machines and systems of machines that improve operating efficiency is of prime importance.
  • Systems management - overseeing operations of a large system, such as a power plant, as well as supervising the people who work there.
  • Energy - planning how energy is generated, stored, and moved. Industries that produce and deliver electrical power, such as natural gas, oil and alternative energy, employ mechanical engineers to develop more fuel-efficient cars, motors, and appliances.

Is this job for you?

If you're very good at math and science and enjoy working complex math problems, you're off to a good start. Mechanical engineers are innovators at heart and enjoy turning ideas into reality. Besides being good at working with your hands, you should also have good communication skills. You should enjoy making things work more efficiently and help people solve problems.

The interest code for this career is IRC (Investigative, Realistic, Conventional).

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work styles

Mechanical Engineering In addition to personality traits, there are also certain work styles suited to the job of a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers need to be careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. They also need to be good at analysing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. In addition, the job of a mechanical engineer requires them to be reliable, responsible, and dependable.

Work values

Mechanical engineers value recognition, achievement and independence. Opportunities for work advancement and leadership are important to them. They like prestige and the feeling of accomplishment. In addition, they enjoy working on their own and making decisions.

Work environment

Mechanical engineers generally work in office settings and may visit worksites where a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention. They work mostly in manufacturing industries, architectural and engineering services, and research and development. They also work in machinery manufacturing, automotive parts manufacturing, and testing laboratories.

Places of employment

Mechanical engineers are employed in industry, business, government and universities. Possible career options include consulting engineer; industrial engineer; plastics fabrication engineer; test engineer; automotive engineer; manufacturing engineer; design engineer; research and development engineer.

Job entry requirement

To practise as an engineer in Malaysia, one must graduate with an engineering degree recognised by the Engineering Accreditation Department, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and be registered as a graduate engineer. Subsequently, one can apply to become a professional engineer. Find out more at BEM's website here.

Education and training qualifications:

  1. Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  2. Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering
  3. Master's degree and Master's & PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Find out where you can pursue a degree at bachelor, master or doctoral level in mechanical engineering on our website.

Watch this video to find out more about what mechanical engineers do.

What can you do with mechanical engineering? Watch this video to find out more.

What is mechanical engineering? Watch this video to find out more.


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