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What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?
The main tasks of mechanical engineers would involve researching, testing developing, designing, testing and manufacturing engines, machines, tools and a lot of other mechanical devices and systems. Mechanical engineers are able to work on power-generating devices such as internal combustion engines, steam turbines and electric generators. They are also expected to be able to work on power-consuming devices such as air conditioning, refrigeration, industrial production equipment, elevators, escalators, handling systems and robots in general.
Other types of engineers could also work alongside mechanical engineers to make a wide variety of other things. Computers are heavily needed by mechanical engineers because of a lot of reasons. First is that computers aid them in designing and another is that computers help them compute a lot of things which they would be using in their jobs.
Mechanical engineers can be found in a lot of industries and the tasks which they are asked to do would vary depending on what and where they are working. An automotive company for example could hire mechanical engineers for the design and production of automobiles while a manufacturing company could also hire mechanical engineers for the maintenance and operation of their machinery.
Day To Day Tasks Of A Mechanical Engineer
While the work of mechanical engineers may vary depending on what they are tasked to do and where they are working, generally, they would still apply the basic engineering principles which would be planning, designing, organizing and testing. This process is applied virtually on any job that a mechanical engineer is assigned to do.
For mechanical engineers that are assigned for maintenance, they would have to watch how machines work and make sure that those machines are working at optimum capacity. As for those assigned in manufacturing of machines, they would constantly have to do a lot of research and testing in order for them to come up with a lot of new innovations.
Some mechanical engineers work independently, most commonly with other mechanical engineers for research and development of products that they themselves would like to discover.
In 2002, there were about 215,000 mechanical engineers in the country. Most of them would be working in manufacturing plants while some of them would be working on electronic products, computer manufacturing, transportation equipment, and manufacturing metal products.
The outlook for mechanical engineers for the future is unknown, while some trends are showing that there may be more opportunities for aspiring mechanical engineers in the future. This is because the rapid growth of technology especially for computers can open up a lot of opportunities. Some examples of these technologies which would open up new opportunities are nanotechnology, the growth of computers and the advancement of gadgets which are very visible nowadays.
However, since other fields of engineering would already be qualified to do the jobs of mechanical engineers, this could be a threat as positions which were mainly for mechanical engineers before can be filled by engineers with other specialties.
Some of the lowest earning mechanical engineers have been said to earn around $41,500 while some of the highest paid mechanical engineers can earn over $93,400. With that given data, mean earnings for mechanical engineers are about $65,200 for those who work at engineering services, instruments manufacturing for several purposes and aerospace products manufacturing. Those who are working for the federal government earn above average at about $72,500 annually.
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