5 answers

What kind of job can I get if I have a mechanical engineering degree

Asked Denver, Colorado

5 answers

G. Mark’s Answer


Well, the obvious answer is a job as a "mechanical engineer". Duh. But be aware that engineering disciplines all overlap quite a bit. All engineers need mathematics and all the technical fields. This sort of background prepares you for a whole host of other jobs as well. The sorts of projects you will be valuable for are tremendous. I've found though my career that my studies in every part of engineering have come in handy, and some in surprising ways. One of the things I've found as an engineer and as a manager for projects is that the engineering "mindset" and the "Global Engineering Process" are applicable to EVERY problem, from building a bridge to writing a song to baking a cake. The problem-solving methodology is universal. If an employer is savvy at all, they will realize that the engineer is useful for just about any situation or project or problem-solving. As an aside, a job as, specifically, a "mechanical engineer" will pay better than most, you may want to just look for a job that you enjoy. In general, if you enjoy a job, you'll be better at it. And frankly, enjoying your job is a great goal. So the answer to your question is, "pretty much any job".

Glenn’s Answer

Asiel, this is a great question. The Mechanical Engineering degree is the broadest engineering degree and it wide range of career opportunities. For me, my passion was for product development and I was fortunate to get a job in that area. I develop consumer electronics and medical devices.

However, Mechanical Engineer work in many other areas. Manufacturing environment has ME for Design and setting up the production line, design of test equipment, quality engineers, supplier quality engineers, etc. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning) use MEs to determine the size of the air handlers, ducts, and even layout the building plumbing. There are technical sales roles where having a technical background allows you to relate to the customers. Mechanical engineers also support energy production and distribution. There opportunities are endless.

Glenn recommends the following next steps:

  • Talk with your parents and guidance councilors. See if they can put you in touch with MEs that you can do a face to face informational interview
  • Create a LinkedIn account and profile. Find MEs in your hometown and invite them to connect by creating a personal greeting stating that you want to learn more about their career as your decide on your path.

G. Mark’s Answer


The obvious answer is "mechanical engineer", but that's a bit simplistic. Be aware of the fact that engineering is a major part of just about any human activity that requires tools. Even if you work at a Dairy Queen, you might use engineering to fix something. But I assume you're talking about higher-paid positions requiring engineering all the time. Also note that all engineering -- electrical, chemical, civil, etc. -- will rely even partly on some aspect of mechanical engineering. It helps to know about those aspects of your project outside your area of specialty. So if you have a mechanical engineering degree, and you're interviewing for a position that uses tools to any degree, that will be a plus in getting that job. Sometimes the hiring manager may think you're overqualified or not "focused" on that particular position, but that's another issue that you'll have to deal with with your persuasive argument for getting the job and wanting it. Another issue is that some positions have a detailed list of specific experience and tools you have used so as to minimize your training required. But that's on a case-by-case basis. So the bottom line of "what kind of job can I get" is really "quite a few".

Lisa’s Answer

Updated Allentown, Pennsylvania

A mechanical engineering degree will open many doors, as will any other engineering degree. It is one of the hardest 4-year degrees, but you are not limited to an engineering job: you could continue on to graduate school for further education, go to law or medical school. You could enter technical sales, or general business management. It's really up to you.

But most engineers enter industry. As an MechE, you can enter just about any industry and I highly recommend you intern or co-op in at least two different industries while you are a college student to help you figure out where you'd like to work after college.

While you're in college, you'll have the chance to take engineering electives that sound interesting, these will also help you figure out the type of industry you'd like to be in, or the type of job you'd like to have: research and development, product design, manufacturing, quality, testing, sales, service, systems, consulting, to name a few.

Best wishes and good luck as you contemplate your future!

Gordon’s Answer

Updated Sebastopol, California

OK, any mfg environment. As mfg makes somewhat of a come back in the US, go where the jobs are for your degree even international, Canada for example. Plastic injection molding is should be considered, any one who makes medical devices will need your skills, and FDA knowledge. The FDA rules are very structured and are easily understood by folks who have a mechanical engineering degree. The gov't either Federal of State should be considered, as in Corp of engineers, ect. Any automotive industry , supplier included in any state or country will be ideal.

Gordon recommends the following next steps:

  • Keep your eye out for employment opportunities
  • Find an internship, if possible to get your feet wet
  • Consider out of the country
Ask a question