While you are studying to be a mechanical engineer, you may learn that mechanical engineering is one of the most flexible professions in the world.
Flexibility is an excellent feature in any career, allowing you to choose where you want to live, and what your specific job entails, amongst other fine details.
Yet, the number of options may leave you with questions.
In this guide, you will learn the answers to some of the most popular questions regarding where you can work as a mechanical engineer.
As a mechanical engineer, you can work inside, outside, or a combination of both, depending on your specific job position, and description.
If you are working in research, testing, repair, or higher-level project management, you may work in factories, outdoor settings, or work-from-home positions.
Additionally, you may work outside more often earlier in your career.
If you are a recent graduate, you may conduct more fieldwork and data collection than advanced colleagues.
On the other hand, if you are in data analysis, conceptual design, development, manufacturing, or consulting, you may work inside.
Typically, if your specialization requires using a computer and software, you will most likely work in an office.
You can work anywhere in the United States, and may even have the chance to relocate to other countries.
These opportunities are due to many large industries hiring mechanical engineers.
As the United States is a leader in a few of these sectors, you can expect there to be plenty of job opportunities as a graduate.
Yet, as a mechanical engineer, you may be an essential part of a custom house building team, or a commercial and industrial building team.
You can provide unique insights into sustainable building, energy-efficient building, heating and cooling, and mechanical elements of a building.
However, the most relevant engineers for home building are civil engineers, architecture engineers, structural engineers, and electrical engineers.
Learn more: Do Mechanical Engineers Work In Groups?
Most mechanical engineers work in offices or buildings.
A large portion of mechanical engineering work is in analysis and design.
If you are in this field, you collect, compile, and interpret data collected from research and testing on a computer.
Likewise, you design parts, devices, machines, and systems on specialized software.
You can also carry out simulations of your devices or systems on your computer.
The majority of mechanical engineers do not physically work with their hands.
Although, in fieldwork, research, repairs, and testing you may have the chance to collect data, change physical elements, perform repairs, or view your designs in action.
In some leadership positions, you can also oversee the development team that builds a device or machine.
However, most employers hire mechanical engineers for their superior intellect and creative skills.
This way, they trust you with the responsibility to handle intellectual and conceptual components of design and development.
When you are deciding between a job in an office, in the lab, or the field, it is important to understand which job would best suit your preferences and needs.
One of the best options is to choose a job position and description combining both indoor and outdoor work.
However, if only office work is available, be sure to take into account other elements of the workplace.
If they have excellent employee engagement, a high retention rate, employee benefit packages and perks, and chances to reset or refresh during your workday, these may all improve your office experience.
If you prefer to work in the lab or the field, you may have the chance to perform more hands-on work.
You may find this ideal if you like directly working with materials and other people.
If you can find a mechanical engineering job that fits your specific needs, you are more likely to enjoy your job, engage in your work, and stay with the company for a long time.
The most important factors to consider include:
- Your Specializations: If you specialized in a certain area of mechanical engineering, you may already be familiar with the type of job setting you enjoy. For instance, if your concentration is in conceptual design, you may prefer to work in an office environment.
- Salary: The average salary for mechanical engineers is $95,300 per year. Advanced degrees or extensive experience may grant you upwards of $136,210. Weigh the salary against the cost of living in the area and other personal, and financial needs.
- Workplace Morale: A company can inform you if they have a high rate of employee retention, and their employee benefits packages. Great workplace morale may influence your overall decision.
- Relocation Options: Some large companies offer relocation and career advancement options. If you are not happy in your current location or job position in the future, you may enjoy looking forward to opportunities.
Mechanical engineers are in demand in almost every industry, as industries either use machines or manufacture machines.
In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected there are 299,200 new mechanical engineering jobs per year.
They also predict a growth rate of 7% till 2030.
This is an average growth rate for most industries.
Learn more: Electrical Vs. Electromechanical Engineering
The highest-paying mechanical engineering jobs include automation engineers, research and development engineers, instrumentation engineers, and any senior-level positions.
The best mechanical engineering jobs may be at Illumina, Microsoft, Apple, SpaceX, Google, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, GE Aviation, and Ford Motor Company as employees indicate high levels of job satisfaction.
Learn more: Is Automation A Good Career?
It can be difficult to find the perfect mechanical engineering job as a graduate.
Now that you understand where mechanical engineers work and how they can work within those job environments, it may be easier to find a job description matching your needs and preferences.