Skip to main content
7 answers
Asked Viewed 354 times Translate

What are essential skills for a mechanical engineer?

If I were to gain these skills( both soft and technical ) , and I could apply anywhere with these skills within the mechanical industries, what would they be?
mechanical-engineering engineering mechanical-engineer engineer skill

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

9
100% of 7 Pros

7 answers


Updated Translate

Douglas’s Answer

Hi,
The essential skills for a Mechanical Engineer (ME) are largely shared for with the other types of engineers (electrical, civil, chemical) but the main one for an ME, and for the others as well, is a very strong desire to under stand how things work, for an ME that would mostly be mechanical things: machines, automobiles, airplanes, ships, engines, etc., mechanical devices that primarily move. In the very broadest terms, MEs work on things that move while Civil Engineers work on, and are interested in things that don't move (buildings, bridges, roads, etc.) while Electrical and Chemical Engineers are primarily focused on those broad areas. You can Google these 4 engineering fields for a lengthy explanation of what these types of engineers do and what types of jobs they have.

An ME wants and needs to understand how things work, so that they can either invent, design or maintain mechanical devices. Therefore ME's will have a strong understanding of and background in mathematics and science as well as the ability to intently focus on an issue or problem. Because another trait of an ME is that he or she likes to solve problems.

Additionally, MEs will have communication skills (written and verbal) because sometimes he or she is working as a part of a team, could be directing a team or could be communicating with others when explaining the cause of a problem, or the intended solution to a problem.

Hope this helps.
Doug
2
100% of 1 Pros
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate

Richard’s Answer

Il quote from Mr Doug's answer to start

"An ME wants and needs to understand how things work, so that they can either invent, design or maintain mechanical devices. Therefore ME's will have a strong understanding of and background in mathematics and science as well as the ability to intently focus on an issue or problem. Because another trait of an ME is that he or she likes to solve problems"

Could not have said it better than that!

You must understand that if anyone can solve a problem, then it isnt really a "problem" , now is it? Engineers step in when nobody else can solve things... so it takes a very strong need to understand both nature and physics of things, break down and redefine in solvable terms, then work them through. You learn that creative skill after years of problem solving in school.

The term "engineer" means "creativity" (well... more like "clever" or "devise" by the time it became an English word) ... your natural and acquired solving skills is what it takes to do what others can't.

Richard "AND...Always quote the P.E." Wolf
1
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate

Andrew’s Answer

Hi Rainer,

I've worked with many good mechanical engineers and can share their common skills. First of all, their engineering knowledge is solid. That means good understanding of physics and mechanical engineering. They don't need to be crazily good at math but can apply simple physics equations to estimate the property of the parts they need in ball part, such as size of a certain area and pressure it needs to withstand.

Next is to be handy in building prototypes. In today's world this usually means buying/3D-printing parts to put things. I think this is something one can cultivate from young age --build intuition of how to put things together.

Last but not least, proficiency in computational design tools like Solidworks is a must. Very essential to have is ability to write simple control software. I think Arduino or Raspberry Pi are very good educational platform for this purpose. For data analysis, Excel spreadsheet is usually enough but Python will allow you do to something more sophisticated.

For soft skills, communication is always the key. You will most likely be building things for other people to use or test. Before going too far with your idea, it always helps to run by the people who are going to use or test it. A good engineer always do enough analysis to figure out the specification needed before starting building, which can be clarified through interaction with people. A good mechanical engineer won't build something they like to build (engineers tend to be carried away by technical fanciness), but building something that is simple, robust and does the job.
1
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate

Douglas’s Answer

Hi,
The essential skills for a Mechanical Engineer (ME) are largely shared for with the other types of engineers (electrical, civil, chemical) but the main one for an ME, and for the others as well, is a very strong desire to under stand how things work, for an ME that would mostly be mechanical things: machines, automobiles, airplanes, ships, engines, etc., mechanical devices that primarily move. In the very broadest terms, MEs work on things that move while Civil Engineers work on, and are interested in things that don't move (buildings, bridges, roads, etc.) while Electrical and Chemical Engineers are primarily focused on those broad areas. You can Google these 4 engineering fields for a lengthy explanation of what these types of engineers do and what types of jobs they have.

An ME wants and needs to understand how things work, so that they can either invent, design or maintain mechanical devices. Therefore ME's will have a strong understanding of and background in mathematics and science as well as the ability to intently focus on an issue or problem. Because another trait of an ME is that he or she likes to solve problems.

Additionally, MEs will have communication skills (written and verbal) because sometimes he or she is working as a part of a team, could be directing a team or could be communicating with others when explaining the cause of a problem, or the intended solution to a problem.

Hope this helps.
Doug
0
Updated Translate

Kolbe’s Answer

Many of the answers on this question have touched base on the key aspects on engineering such as, creativity, problem solving, and technical skills. What I'll touch on are some skills that I mainly learned after college by teaching myself that have helped me in my career development.
1. Basic Programming: Many processes in your daily work-life can be automated if you know enough about programming. VBA is extremely useful for this, as well as using SQL databases, Power Query, and reporting programs like Power BI. I've been able to use these skills to automate processes on my team, advanced our reporting measures (allowing us to make better decisions), and generally improve processes we use everyday. 80-90% was self taught on youtube. There are plenty of great resources online just by googling excel VBA, Power Query, or Power BI.
2. Communication: You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you cant articulate your thoughts, then no one will ever know. I took advantage of public speaking opportunities in college to help me with this. Take a class outside your major that emphasizes public speaking (I'd recommend a business class or philosophy class; philosophy shares the "logic" trait with engineering which I found was an interesting parallel). Toast Masters is a good post-college resource (or during college if you find the time for it) and can help you with public speaking.
3. Understand how your company makes money: This seems like a no brainer but it might surprise you to see how many people lose sight of this. Understanding the goals of your company/executive leadership can influence your decisions as an engineer. You goal as an engineer is not always to solve the problem at any cost. Sometimes the benefit may not outweigh the cost, so, being able to see this and elevate it up to your supervision can prove that you understand the "big picture." From there you and your leadership can make an informed decision if you want to continue with a project or a particular strategy or rethink the approach.

These 3 skills can be applied to any engineering job. Hope you find something useful from my answer! Good luck!
0
Updated Translate

sushma’s Answer

Key skills for mechanical engineers
effective technical skills.
the ability to work under pressure.
problem-solving skills.
creativity.
interpersonal skills.
verbal and written communication skills.
commercial awareness.
teamworking skills.
0
Updated Translate

Satish’s Answer

Key skills for mechanical engineers
effective technical skills.
the ability to work under pressure.
problem-solving skills.
creativity.
interpersonal skills.
verbal and written communication skills.
commercial awareness.
teamworking skills
0