Career Paths For Junior Mechanical Engineers
Mechanical engineering is a field that encompasses the principles of materials science and physics for the analysis, design, fabrication, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It requires a thorough understanding of several areas of knowledge including but not limited to mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, and structural analysis. It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines which involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the operation of machines and tools. All of these are just but some of the important tools that equip the mechanical engineer.
The various fields of mechanical engineering are placed under various categories including some of the following.
- Energy systems
- Applied mechanics
- Manufacturing materials
- Plant engineering and maintenance
- Automotive design
- Pressure vessels and piping
- HVAC systems
Each of these fields provide an option for the mechanical engineer to apply the concepts that he has learned, in making this world a better place to live.
Due to the broadness of the scope of mechanical engineering, there is never an industry and entity that does not need mechanical engineers. Moreover, because most industries employ machines and tools in their production and manufacturing, there are always plenty of opportunities for mechanical engineers as well.
However, what would be expected from someone who just got out of school and is about to start a career in mechanical engineering? In the most appropriate terms, mechanical engineers who do not have any or sufficient working experience are referred to as junior engineers. What are the entry level jobs available for junior mechanical engineers? Furthermore, where would these engineers look for jobs and work vacancies?
Academe. The academe is one of the areas that demand for mechanical engineers. Junior mechanical engineers can actually start a career with the academe. There are plenty of schools and universities all over the world that look for mechanical engineers in the teaching profession. Moreover, for as long as mechanical engineering is taught, there would always be opportunities for mechanical engineers in the academe.
Industry. One of the basic principles of mechanical engineering is energy conversion; such that in any energy exploration, mechanical engineers are needed. Some of the most common fields of the energy industry are geothermal, hydro, wind, natural gas, and oil. Thus, junior mechanical engineers can apply as cadet engineers in various fields of the energy industry. In offshore drilling though, the entry level for junior mechanical engineers are roustabouts.
On the other hand, the manufacturing industry offers a wide range of job vacancies for junior mechanical engineers. Some of the positions which can be filled up by mechanical engineers include quality control engineer, process engineer, supervisor, administrative and managerial tasks, technical sales, and plant maintenance among others.
Government. The government also offers a wide range of opportunities for junior mechanical engineers. There are a lot of sectors and agencies of the government that require mechanical engineers for planning, construction, and supervision.
With all these available opportunities for junior mechanical engineers in practically all sectors of the society, it is not surprising why a lot of people are pursuing this career. Aside from enticing salary packages that go with the job, there are numerous job vacancies awaiting junior mechanical engineers.
Fig. 1. Offshore Rig
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Fig.2. Mechanical Engineer at Work in a Manufacturing Plant
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