Facts about the Field
- Job Prospects – according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) 11,600 jobs will be generated for mechanical engineers in the United States by 2022 (the unemployment rate in the field is just 2.7%)
- Employment Growth Rate – the BLS also predicts that employment in the field is expected to grow by 4.5 percent between 2012 and 2022
- Salaries – the median salary is $80,500 with the worst-paid earning $52,580 and the best-paid earned $123,340.
- Job Satisfaction – upward mobility in mechanical engineering jobs in America is high, flexibility is above average and stress levels are about average
- What the Work is Like – many mechanical engineers work out of an office on a 9-5 schedule but if your job demands it you may visit sites like oil rigs or skyscrapers
- Top-paying metropolitan areas – these include Anchorage, Alaska; Taunton, Massachusetts; and San Jose, California.
Advice on Getting a Job
- Explore different jobs in America and specializations when you are in your 20’s – it may take you until your 30s, to figure out what you actually want to do in the field
- On your first job find a company that lets you continue to learn – that’s more important than location or salary
- Multidisciplinary engineering is becoming increasingly important in the industry, so familiarize yourself with related disciplines: electronics, control systems and chemical reactions are some you could consider.
- Sustainable design is also becoming important since we are running out of resources and design has to take this into account
- To get a good job after graduation you need to convince prospective employers that you can help their business to be successful. This means you have to have the organizational and management skills required to successfully complete a project. To acquire these skills take project-oriented courses in college and get practical experience in summer internships.
(Source: US News)