Mechanical Engineer Careers

How to become Mechanical Engineer

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Chartered mechanical engineers are concerned with all aspects of machinery and its moving parts. They may choose to apply their engineering skills to the design, construction and application of an almost endless range of machinery. Chartered engineers work in one of the three main engineering functions: Design, Research and Production.

Design: Engineers are concerned with turning ideas into plans for new products, or improvements to existing products. They use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist them in the production of highly complex designs.

Research and development: Engineers in research and development are concerned with solving complex engineering problems. They look for ways to modify or improve existing products or processes or develop new ones to take account of changing factors. They also create mathematical models on computer to predict and compare the performance of products or processes and may also build and test prototypes.

Production: Mechanical engineers working in production plan and design new production processes and look for ways to improve existing processes.

What's the working environment like working as a Mechanical Engineer?

Hours of work are normally 37 to 40 per week. However, actual hours worked may be considerably longer, depending on the project they are involved in and the deadline to which they are working.

Work environments may range from quiet, modern, open-plan offices to factory production areas, which may be noisy. At times they may be required to visit outdoor sites, eg. to view product trials. Work can involve travel and short periods away from home.

What does it take to become a Mechanical Engineer?

Chartered mechanical engineers must have an interest in maths, science, technology, design, engineering and construction. They must be logical, inventive and have an inquiring mind, good judgement and reasoning skills. They should have the ability to lead others and work under pressure. They should also be skilled in the use of CAD, and have excellent communication, planning and organisational skills.

Mechanical Engineer Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Mechanical Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Schools/University Liaison Service
1 Birdcage Walk
Tel: 020 7222 7899

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street

Engineering and Marine Training Authority *
EMTA House
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0800 282167

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some will continue operating for several months. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

From March 2002, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills began licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Facts and Stats:

  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5ft tall and wore a top hat to make himself look taller
  • Engineering generates more than 40 per cent of the UK¿s national wealth
  • The Box Hill tunnel, part of Brunel¿s Great Western Railway, took five years to dig and at two miles long was the longest tunnel in the world at the time

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