The Mechanical Engineer: An Introduction
Mechanical Engineers do a lot. If you can touch, hold, or use something the odds are good that at least one Mechanical Engineer was involved in its creation. They deal with all things mechanical, thermal, or fluid. Now if that sounds broad, it's because it is. There are many aspects to mechanical engineering; far too many to master them all. This leads to many Mechanical Engineers becoming "specialized" or focused on one aspect:
- Aquatic Vehicles
- Heating/Cooling Systems
- Fluid Dynamics
- Medical Devices
- Structural Design
- Weapons Systems
- And many, many others...
- Developing a more efficient engine
- Creating the layout for a heating system
- Managing a product's life cycle
- Finding inefficiencies in manufacturing
- Approving design changes in architecture
New Mechanical Engineers can expect to make between $62k-$65k base salary with a handful or two of vacation days, sick days, retirement plan options and healthcare.
As they progress in their career Mechanical Engineers on average make between $72k-$79k base salary with a handful or more vacation days than entry level Engineers, but the other benefits remain fairly unchanged.
Late in their career Mechanical Engineers can diverge along many paths. Staying in a technical-focused career will get you an average of $94k-$131k and around a month (or more) of vacation, not to mention all the benefits mentioned earlier.
There is a growing demand for Mechanical Engineers, with an expected 5% year-after-year growth rate. Common sense would agree with this prediction: as society needs more things there must be more Engineers to design/create/test them.
Even as products shift to electronic or digital versions, and while the software market explodes, there will always need to be someone to help with all the physical, thermal, or fluid objects we use every day.