Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery and tools. It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines.
The engineering field requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering, and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others.
Mechanical Engineering Degrees
In the United States, most undergraduate mechanical engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to ensure similar course requirements and standards among universities. The ABET web site lists 302 accredited mechanical engineering programs as of 11 March 2014. Mechanical engineering programs in Canada are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), and most other countries offering engineering degrees have similar accreditation societies.
Some mechanical engineers go on to pursue a postgraduate degree such as a Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Management (M.Eng.Mgt. or M.E.M.), a Doctor of Philosophy in engineering (Eng.D. or Ph.D.) or an engineer's degree. The master's and engineer's degrees may or may not include research. The Doctor of Philosophy includes a significant research component and is often viewed as the entry point to academia. The Engineer's degree exists at a few institutions at an intermediate level between the master's degree and the doctorate.
Mechanical Engineering Studies
- Solid Mechanics
- Fuels / Combustion
- Machine Design
- Instrumentation / Measurement
- Manufacturing / Engineering
- Vibration / Control Engineering
- Mechatronics / Robotics
- Product Design
- Computer Aided Design
Mechanical Engineering Salaries
According to a report released by the bureau of labor statistics in May of 2013 mechanical engineers made on average $85k/annually. The top 10% earners earned over $123k/year.
Who is hiring Mechanical Engineers
Industries hiring the most mechanical engineers include architectural engineering firms, the aerospace industry, scientific and research firms, the federal government, motor vehicle parts manufacturers, industrial machinery manufacturers, general purpose machine manufacturers, metalworking manufacturers, engine turbine and power transmissions manufacturers.
Top Paying Mechanical Engineering Careers
According to the bureau of labor statistics the top paying industries hiring mechanical engineers include oil and gas extraction companies, information services companies and waste treatment companies. Oil and Gas Extraction companies pay the most with an annual salary of around $160k/year.