How to become a Mechanical Engineer

This article provides in-depth information into What is a Mechanical Engineer? What Mechanical Engineers do? Degrees for Mechanical Engineers, Steps to become Mechanical Engineer and much more.

A Mechanical engineer is responsible for combining the mathematical and scientific principles to designing and development of systems with testing the machines and prototypes. He analyses the problem, researches, and learns about the various concepts of manufacturing mechanical systems and innovates new ideas in his field to develop new systems. To become a mechanical engineer, one must follow the specific career path which the career guide leads. 

What does a Mechanical Engineer do ?

A mechanical engineer can easily adapt to other industries he works in, such as in an automobile, energy, construction, electronics, robotics and other.

For example, he works towards designing engines for space crafts in the aerospace industry, he builds robots in the robotics industry and he works on improving the performance of vehicles in the automobile industry.

Steps for becoming a Mechanical Engineer


Start Your Path From Highschool

High school plays a major role in developing an interest in becoming a mechanical engineer. As a high school student, concentrating on math, science, computer science is important to pursue your career as a mechanical engineer. The core mechanical subjects involve the use of math and scientific principles. The computer knowledge is used in designing, simulating the systems developed by you.

Participating in the science fairs and math contest drives you more to the technical side.


Earn A Bachelor's Degree In Mechanical Engineering

To pursue your dream career, you hop into the Bachelor's degree of Mechanical engineering which is the most common degree to students in this path. This four-year program gives you the basic education about the power tools, practical knowledge about the machines, problem-solving with the innovation of new ideas and developing your interest in various other fields of mechanics.


Earn A Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree in mechanical engineering is a two years program that helps you build more theoretical knowledge on the subject. The coursework such as robotics, thermofluids adds up more to your core knowledge. 

However, it is not necessary for students to pursue this degree. At this point, you could start gaining experience by working at a mechanical related job or an internship to get On-the-job training.


Professional Courses

This optional to become mechanical engineers, but it elevates your skills higher by getting certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in various courses of our interest. These professional courses help students to enhance their skills and employability to advance their careers.

Some courses you can choose are advanced mechanics, stress analysis, heat transfer and dynamics in a system, designing and advances control systems.


Get An Engineering License

After completing your formal education and certification, you must apply for the state license to offer services to the general public. You must clear the Fundamentals of Engineering(FE) exam by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying to earn the licence. Prepare for the interview for your dream job related and after four years of working experience you can become a Professional engineer by cracking the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.


Consider PhD

After gaining professionalism, you could still be interested in learning the subject in-depth, then you choose the doctoral degree program in mechanical engineering. You could opt for this when you want to research more or want to teach students about mechanical subjects or when you want to specialize in the topic of your choice. Engineers at this degree level are well versed about the topic and this degree helps them to innovate and contribute towards the advancement of technology in the mechanical field. 

Mechanical Engineer Degree Levels


To be a mechanical engineer the most common degree to earn is the Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and this is pursued by 59% of the students. In this four-year program, you can get formal education for the first two years and then find related work. Most employers hire students who have a certification from the programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

This program includes courses such as advanced mathematics, science, design, and lab classes such as Computer-aided design(CAD) Software.

Introduction to Engineering
  • Understanding the Design Process

  • Application of mathematics and physics

  • Technical Skills

  • To brief about engineering

  • Application of engineering principles

  • Apply the key concepts of design

Product Realization
  • Synthesis and analysis

  • Assembly techniques

  • Product design process

  • Strategic understanding of the overall requirements

  • Understand customer’s requirement

  • Design, manufacture and delivery

Heat Transfer
  • Heat transfer equation

  • Heat transfer analysis techniques

  • Structured programming

  • Understanding of the fundamentals of heat conduction

  • Convection and radiation transfer basics

  • Thermo-fluids systems


A Master's degree in mechanical engineering can give you many opportunities in innovation, leadership, and research. However, it is not a necessary degree to be earned by students. 

It is a degree program for a period of 2 years and some colleges offer a 5-year program combining the bachelor’s and master’s degrees to students.This program gives coursework on material science, robotics, thermofluids, and others. 

Product Definition
  • Identifying the value of the product

  • Supply chain management

  • Creating designs for assembly

  • Drafting various designs of the product

  • Enhancing the value of the product

  • Learn about supply chain management

  • Analyzing the lip of the product

Simulation Modeling and Experimentation
  • Graphics Simulation Programs

  • Conducting simulation tests

  • Simulation system

  • Analyzing the properties of the model

  • Using simulation software to predict the results

  • Simulating the product to experimentation

  • Understanding the application of simulation

Engineering Project Management
  • Assigning the budget to the project

  • Risk management

  • Team management

  • Technique of monitoring engineering projects

  • Importance of the front-end phases

  • Draft a project execution plan


Engineers seeking to specialize in the topics and go in-depth on the subject of their choice can choose the Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering. Engineering in this program research, gain knowledge about future advancement in technology. Before choosing a PhD, students must seek an experienced adviser to guide you through the program to learn about the outcomes in this degree.

Acoustics and Vibrations
  • Aeroacoustics

  • Vibrations in the built world

  • Vibrations at the MEMS scale

  • Acoustic and vibration research studies

  • All aspects of sound (audible or inaudible)

  • Most dominant sources of noise and vibration

MEMS and Nanotechnology
  • Nanoscience and Biotechnology

  • Microscopic Energy-transport

  • MEME fabrication

  • Finding new discoveries in the field of science

  • Allowing synergy between different fields of science

  • Provide a broad view of the nascent field of nanoscience and nanotechnology

  • Skeletal Mechanics

  • Mechanics of Active muscle

  • Muscle coordination

  • To study the mechanical aspects of biological systems

  • Anatomical principles that govern human motion

  • Quantify linear and angular characteristics of motion

Online mechanical engineering degree

Online mode of acquiring a mechanical degree is a great way to obtain an education on the accredited courses, this accelerates the period of study while allowing you to manage other responsibilities. This may also result in students taking the degree lightly. However, really interested students can get the best from this with flexible study time and credit hours. Choose accredited courses online gives you more academic focus and learning opportunities. Online courses can be very beneficial to students who want to gain knowledge in different fields of mechanical engineering with flexible study hours. Some courses offered are,

Associate System Engineering Professional

ASAP provides training for the certification form the INCOSE that targets the engineers with basic knowledge and experience with the professional tools.

Skills acquired:

  • Understanding the overview of the system

  • System engineering analysis 

  • Validating the engineering system

  • Architectural synthesis of systems

Test and balance engineer

Energy engineering has the subcategories of Testing, Balancing, and Adjusting(TAB). This is related to the design and development of systems, improving the overall efficiency of the system. 

Skills acquired:

  • Analyze the balance report

  • Understanding technical operation

  • Supervising test and test reporting

Job concentrations for mechanical engineers

Diving into the field of mechanical engineering gives you various other career options, Hence you can choose career concentrations according to your interest such as,

Automotive engineer

The automotive engineer's concern is to design and develop new products and also modifying the existing ones. As a mechanical engineer, you can easily adapt to this job which is directly related to the design, research and innovation of concepts. An automotive engineer earns about $51,000 to $110,000 annually.

Maintenance engineer

The maintenance engineer is working towards the inspection, repairing and maintaining the machinery to avoid the breakdown. It also involves continuous control and monitoring of devices to help in maintenance for it to function smoothly. The salary for a maintenance engineer is about $45,000 to $91,000 per year.

Patent attorney

Mechanical engineers study this topic during their degree programs and by working as a patent attorney you could assist the clients in obtaining patents and to follow the procedures regarding patent law. The average salary for this job is about $78,000 to $198,000 per year.

Production manager

A production manager is responsible for planning, organizing, controlling and directing the processes. He is also responsible for the productivity and increasing the efficiency of the overall process with the reduction in the level of the cost. The salary of the production manager ranges from $75,000 to $130,000 per year.

CAD Technician

A mechanical engineer is well versed in modeling software to design the product. Designing is  essential for manufacturing parts, and it requires technicality to convert the 2D design to 3D models. Computer-aided drawing is important in every field and a mechanical engineer can make the most of it.

The average salary of the CADtechnician is $20.17 per year. 

Skills you need to stand out as a mechanical engineer

A professional mechanical engineer not only requires good education but also he must develop the additional skill to help though the career, some outstanding skills, they  are:

Innovative- Engineering profession calls creativity and problem-solving ideology. An engineer must be better at approaching the existing problems to analyze and come up with a solution. 

He must be able to relate the textbook knowledge to the existing problem to come up with new innovations. 

Attention to detail- Details play a major role in creating a design or developing a model. Hence a mechanical engineer who is closely related in designing and building the system must pay attention to the smallest details to produce an effective product.

Good technical knowledge- To stand out as a mechanical engineer, you could take online classes to enhance your skills. Good technical skills about the subject and combining the scientific principle and mathematics could get you a higher position.

Updated knowledge- He must be well aware of the latest technologies and software to come up with better solutions. For the problem. Updating the skills continuously helps in increasing your potential for the job.

Research skills- This is when you want to really go in-depth about the subject and specialize in the topic. An active researcher brings new ideas with enhancing the overall concept, this could also be helpful to get an alternate career as a teacher at the college after sufficient research.