Mechanical Engineer – Job Description
Mechanical engineers design, construct and install machinery, tools and components. They often service machines as well. They work in a wide range of industries, including power, construction and transport.
The industry sector might differ, but mechanical engineers typically work within three areas: R&D; production and design.
R&D involves working on prototypes and evaluating new products or innovative systems. Production work includes planning and overseeing parts or machinery installation and improving the overall production process. Design is the meat in the R&D/production sandwich, involving computer-aided design (CAD) work and computer modelling to turn the R&D ideas into technical plans for the production process.
A mechanical engineering or related degree is needed to work in the industry. Graduate apprenticeship schemes are available if you received a first.
Once you’ve got your foot in the door, there’s plenty of on-the-job training available, and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers runs the Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) to help keep you ahead of the game and working towards chartered status.
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Other recommended resources:
Institute of Mechanical Engineers
A professional body offering news, research, knowledge exchange and networking, in addition to continuing professional development (CPD) scheme working towards chartered status.
Institute of Engineering and Technology
Also offering chartered status within CPD, membership gets you access to training and networking opportunities in addition to research and a framework of personal career support.
The UK regulatory body for engineering, the EC lists the national register of chartered individuals and sets the standards for work and qualifications. Their website holds a lot of information about improving your status within the industry as well as the latest policy updates and research, helping you stay abreast of a continually evolving environment.
The Skills Sector Council for the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors, these guys put you in touch with courses, qualifications and apprenticeship schemes.
Still in school and interested in how you can get involved? Run by EngineeringUK, Tomorrow’s Engineers offer information, inspiration and the path from your school classroom to a job in the field.
WISE: Women in Science and Engineering
Aiming to promote science and engineering to women and address the current gender balance, WISE has a wealth of information and support for any women who want to get into the industry with apprenticeships, training and networking opportunities available.
A digital magazine resource bring you all the latest in the engineering world.