- Design and develop all kinds of components and machinery for a range of industries
- You could focus on an area of interest like automotive, manufacturing, health or energy production
- Progress to become a senior engineer, move into research and teaching, or become a consultant
As a mechanical engineer, there are a variety of industries and different projects you could work on. This could range from the installation of offshore wind turbines through to designing and testing improvements to prosthetic implants.
- Turning research ideas into technical plans using computer aided design/modelling (CAD/CAM)
- Carrying out surveys of mechanical systems and equipment
- Researching and assessing new products and innovations
- Presenting design plans and data to managers and clients
- Producing other technical documents
- Supporting the contract team when bidding for new work
- Overseeing maintenance programmes and quality control
- Managing and leading a project team of technicians, designers and other engineering professionals
You could work at a client's business, in an office, or in a factory. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
To be a mechanical engineer, you'll need knowledge of maths, engineering science and technology; design skills; the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools; analytical thinking skills; thoroughness and attention to detail; knowledge of physics; and the ability to come up with new ways of doing things.
You could do a higher national diploma or degree in mechanical engineering, electromechanical engineering, mechatronics, or engineering manufacturing. Some courses include a year working in industry which is useful for when you start applying for jobs. If this option isn't available, you could also arrange your own work placement with a company.
You can do a level 4 and 5 Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at college before looking for work.
You may be able to get into this role by doing a manufacturing engineer degree apprenticeship.
You could start as a mechanical engineering technician and do further training on the job to qualify as an engineer.
Also, you can directly apply for jobs if you've got qualifications and several years' experience in engineering.
With experience, you could work for local and central government, the armed services, manufacturers in all industries, research and development facilities and public utilities.
With incorporated or chartered engineer status you could move into project management roles, specialise in a particular field, work in research or become an engineering consultant.