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How to Get a Job as a Mechanical Engineer

"Like other professions, it helps to have some inside demonstrative ability in the field," Loughlin says. “Many schools are using capstone-type projects which give students a chance to sharpen their engineering skills, but also their organizational, management and communication skills." While job prospects look good, mechanical engineers with training in software tools for computational design and simulation, as well as those knowledgeable about 3-D printing, will likely have a leg-up over other candidates. Joining professional organizations can also help you can pick up practical experience and broaden your network. Some organizations include Engineers Without Borders, Engineering for Change and demographic-specific groups like the Society of Women Engineers.

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good High
Stress Level fair Average
Flexibility good Above Average

What is the Job Like?

From laboring on oil platforms in the Gulf Coast, to camping in China to construct a skyscraper, to the simplicity of a suburban office, the work environment for a mechanical engineer is very fluid. According to Loughlin, about 90 percent of those in the profession have a time card that reads 9-to-5, making for a career that is often friendly toward an individual’s personal life. "I'd put it on par with any other profession," Loughlin says about the work-life balance. "Certainly far better than being a lawyer, but maybe not as good as being a dentist." But for those assigned to a project that has a monthslong deadline rather than a yearslong deadline, it's a more feverish pace, adding a little more sweat to the brow.

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Last updated by Harriet Edleson.


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