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what is the differnce between master mechanics and mechanical engineer?

# master-mechanics #automotive

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Katherine’s Answer

Lucky for you, I know a master mechanic and I'm an engineer, myself.

Master mechanics are elite technicians who specialize in diagnosing and repairing mechanical problems. If you're in the automotive industry, this can mean holding a number of different practical certifications from different auto manufacturers and trade associations. Your job will be based mostly in practical experience rather than in formal classroom study at a university.

A mechanical engineer, meanwhile, requires a Bachelor's Degree from an ABET-accredited (if you're in the US) engineering program. All engineering disciplines share a few common courses: statics, dynamics, and strengths of materials.

The popular comparison at my university between civil and mechanical was that civil engineers deal primarily with static structures (things that don't move), while mechanical engineers deal primarily with moving parts and systems. The career paths that you'll pursue are also different in each.

A good number of my friends who were mechanical engineers in college went on to work in HVAC systems design, automotive design, and a few even in robotics.

Katherine recommends the following next steps:

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to learn more about the career outlook for mechanical engineers (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mobile/mechanical-engineers.htm) and automotive technicians (https://www.bls.gov/OOH/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm).
Job shadow a master mechanic who lives nearby. In the trades, it's important to develop a mentor network of experienced professionals who might be willing to train you or alert you to new opportunities.
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Adam’s Answer

That's a good question. In high school I asked the same question. A good way to think about it is a mechanical engineer designs new parts, systems, etc. for a car, while a master mechanic will fix current parts. Most master mechanics have many years of experience and typically will oversee big fixes with newer or less experienced folks.
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Kathy’s Answer

I can't speak much to being a master mechanic, but I have my Masters in Mechanical Engineering (I did my undergraduate in biomedical engineering). Being a mechanical engineer is a broad career path. You can work in many fields and specialize in many areas using mechanical engineering as basis for your career. For instance, I'm in the medical device industry and I can use my degree to do test method design and validation, device design, component design, manufacturing and process development, project management, human factors engineering, procedure development, new technology research, or device education! And there are more I could list. So being a mechanical engineer gives you a broad knowledge of problem solving and failure analysis that you can build on in your career.
Its pretty hands-on since you do some prototyping, test method development, device builds, but its not nearly as hands-on as being a master mechanic.
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