Are you interested in becoming a mechanical engineer? It’s a rewarding career that offers job security, great salary potential, and fascinating work opportunities. Here’s all the information you need to get started with an entry-level engineering job, from what qualifications and skills are needed to find internships and salaries for various disciplines.
Know the Basics of Mechanical Engineering
Before getting into an entry-level mechanical engineering job, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the field. Mechanical engineering usually involves working on physical parts, mechanisms, and systems to make sure they’re properly designed, manufactured, and operated. It requires expertise in mathematics, science, drafting, and engineering principles. You should also be familiar with manufacturing processes so you can create products quickly and efficiently.
Depending on your job, you may build structures, develop machines for various applications, optimize the design of mechanical components, or work with electrical systems. As a mechanical engineer, you can research and develop machines, systems, products, and processes to solve all kinds of engineering problems. You’ll use a range of skills from technical analysis to problem-solving and resource management. You should be prepared to bring creativity to the table while playing an important role in developing new parts or products that meet certain standards regarding cost-effectiveness, safety, or environmental impact.
To be successful, someone looking to become a mechanical engineer must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They should understand the properties of materials and be able to design, analyze, test, and manufacture machines, components, and systems. Communication is another key factor for success because you’ll need to communicate effectively with clients and your team when discussing designs or solving problems. Lastly, you should have an understanding of industry standards and regulations that relate to the work you do so that your products remain safe for both sales in the market as well as used by customers.
Research Salary Information for Different Positions
Knowing the salary range of different mechanical engineering jobs can be helpful when deciding on a career path. Mechanical engineering jobs offer a wide range of salaries from entry-level positions to highly specialized roles. Researching salary information can also benefit you if you need to negotiate your salary with a potential employer. Check out engineering industry websites, Glassdoor, and other job boards for reliable information about average salaries for different positions in mechanical engineering.
When researching expected salaries for mechanical engineering positions, it is important to consider factors such as the type of job, location, and experience level. Salaries typically vary from location to location, so researching mechanical engineering jobs in a certain geographical area can give you a better idea of the salary range. Additionally, many employers have different pay scales based on an engineer’s experience level. For example, experienced engineers are often paid significantly more than entry-level engineers because they tend to possess specialized knowledge that can benefit the company. Finally, roles like engineering managers or senior scientists may also be eligible for bonuses and other incentives. It’s important to research these factors to get an accurate understanding of what you can expect to earn as a mechanical engineer.
There are a number of online resources available to research mechanical engineering salaries. Websites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics list salary averages for all occupations, including mechanical engineering roles. Industry websites such as ASME and SME provide average salary estimates for different positions within the field. Job search sites like Glassdoor and Indeed can also be helpful in researching the average salary range for various positions in your area. Additionally, talking to friends and family who work as engineers can give you insight into what you could expect to earn in certain roles with different companies.
Explore Your Career Options
There are many great career options for entry-level mechanical engineers. In general, you should look for roles that allow you to develop your skills, such as retail and service positions, drafting positions in engineering services firms, or CAD (Computer Aided Design) operator positions. You could also consider internships at engineering departments in companies and universities of your interest to gain experience and build your resume for a full-time position. Make sure to research the job requirements, salaries, and growth opportunities offered by each option so you can make an informed decision.
While exploring the different entry-level opportunities in mechanical engineering, it’s important to remember that the development of your skills should be the main priority. Even if a job does not pay well now, there may be prospects for professional growth and career enhancement. Additionally, drafting and CAD operator positions are usually supported by on-the-job training, so you can learn while earning and developing your knowledge base in the field. Last but not least, don’t forget to look into internships or apprenticeships as they often provide a great foundation for future career aspirations while offering hands-on experience.
Understand Job Requirements and Qualifications
Understanding the job requirements and qualifications expected by employers is essential to success in any entry-level mechanical engineering role. A good starting point to determine if you have what it takes is to research roles that are currently posted in your field. From these listings, you’ll be able to identify skills, knowledge, and abilities that are necessary for the positions. Companies may also outline qualification requirements such as educational credentials or experience as well as certifications or specializations related to mechanics. Once you understand the criteria, it can help you tailor your resume so you are well-suited for jobs in the field.
To make sure your resume is as compelling and comprehensive as possible, consider going through the job descriptions posted by employers and noting specific keywords or skills they are looking for. You can use these phrases to create targeted sections on your resume that showcase your knowledge of the principles of mechanics, computer-aided design, thermodynamics, or any other necessary qualifications. Doing so could mean the difference between a job offer, and a rejection letter. Finally, it may be a good idea to seek out special training programs that you could take advantage of to cement your skill set and make yourself a more attractive prospect for employers.
It’s also important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field. To get ahead, you should be familiar with advanced engineering software, new methods of prototyping and testing designs, advances in 3D printing technology, and other cutting-edge topics. Technical skills and knowledge are essential for a successful mechanical engineer. You could even consider getting certified by a professional employer association or professional services firm to give your application an extra boost.
Get a Mechanical Engineering Internship to Gain Experience
If you’re a recent graduate without any relevant experience, gaining an entry-level position in mechanical engineering can be difficult. The best way to gain that necessary experience is through internships and apprenticeships. You may also be able to find positions with smaller companies that are willing to provide on-the-job training. Building relationships with professionals in the field can also help you form a network of contacts who could recommend you for mechanical engineering opportunities.
If at all possible, try to secure a paid internship in the mechanical engineering field. This will allow you to gain valuable experience that you can use to move forward and create a successful career. It may also give you the opportunity to build relationships with companies you would like to work for after graduation. Additionally, getting an internship will demonstrate to future employers that you are serious about pursuing a career as a mechanical engineer and that you have what it takes to succeed in this field.
Contact a Staffing Agency
Reaching out to a temp agency means being able to contact multiple potential employers or supervisors at the same time. Your recruiter will be able to highlight any relevant training or research projects that you completed as part of college requirements. Be prepared to answer any questions about your mechanical engineering background during interviews, and always dress professionally for engagements with potential employers and at the staffing agency.
We’re hiring for a variety of mechanical engineering positions, including entry-level. NESC Staffing has an A+ grade from the Better Business Bureau, was awarded by Forbes as America’s Best Recruiting and Temporary Staffing Firm, and has been successfully putting people to work since 1984. You can see our latest opportunities here or contact us.