1. Be A Mechanical Engineering Degree Holder
To be a mechanical engineer, one needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field. The course generally includes life in mathematics, science, design, and engineering. Another route to this career is a degree in mechanical engineering technology. Focus on practically applying engineering principles compared to mechanical theory.
If you prefer to focus on a particular niche, such as automotive or robot technology, you will have to get a master’s degree. You should focus on a doctorate if your interest is in teaching or research.
2. Teach Yourself About Business Fundamentals
To succeed in mechanical engineering jobs, you have to show more than your mechanical engineering skills. Learning basic business skills will help you attract your employer’s eyes to you. Today, businesses are focusing on employing an employee who understands the total cost of production and takes decisions that will help improve the company or business. As such, the ability to navigate income statements and balance sheets will give you a competitive edge.
3. Constantly Develop Your Technical Skills
Due to advancements in technology in the mechanical sector, a majority of the tasks are done using computers. For this reason, it would make sense to gain experience in relevant areas of computer science and IT. Having such skills will be helpful down the road if your job description will include integrating sensors into machinery or analyzing designs, and running simulations.
4. Think Outside Of The Box (Beyond Mechanical Engineering)
In today’s world, mechanical engineers are often tasked with creating designs and innovating solutions. These tasks demand skills that go beyond the traditional mechanical engineering programs. In fact, the leading mechanical engineering firms recommend employees have training in other areas that do not involve mechanical engineering.
5. Have A Mentor
Who is a mentor? Because of their level of experience, this is a person who guides others through a specific field. As such, to succeed as a mechanical engineer, it is wise to have a mentor who will help and guide you. It should be someone with a lot of experience in the industry. A mentor will shape your career path. You can achieve this by joining an internship, connecting through social media, or joining engineering societies.
6. Don’t Forget About the License
If you want to reach a higher leadership level or become independent, you should highly prioritize getting a license. However, it is important to note that state license requirements differ. In some states, you will be required to have a specified number of years of relevant work experience to get a license. In other states, aside from getting a specified number of years of relevant experience, you will be required to take and pass a licensure exam.
7. Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication is the backbone of a successful career. This is why employers will look for candidates who are capable of explaining their designs or concepts effectively and efficiently to clients and colleagues who may not be familiar with mechanical engineering terms or systems. You may also be tasked with writing reports, which demand proficient communication skills as well.
Of course, other skills such as time management, attention to detail, problem-solving, and excellent organization are important.
8. A Resume
The purpose of a resume is to attract the attention of an employer to you by highlighting your skills that are relevant to the engineering job you are applying for. For this reason, you have to highlight relevant work experience and education. The resume should be rich in keywords that are industry-specific.