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What's a day in the Life for a mechanical engineer like.

I like math and I'm pretty good at using my hands for work, so I feel like looking towards the career of a mechanical engineer would be something I'd want to do. #engineer #mechanical-engineer

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Craig’s Answer

This sounds great, doing what you enjoy and have a passion for makes for a good long enjoyable career. Skills including maths, design will help you get into a career such as industrial design where you can design electrical appliances, to self driving vehicles. Have an end goal or several of what you want to create

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Garrett’s Answer

Hi McKenzie,

The answer it that it depends. A lot of mechanical engineers will end up doing design work with CAD (computer automated design) programs. They vary greatly from designing power transmission lines to cars to machining parts. A lot of this work is like solving a puzzle. You are given specifications and have to design a product that to fit those specs. CAD is a really neat program, you can have a lot of fun! Plus, you'll more than likely learn how to 3D print, use a lathe, laser cut, and water cut different materials.

In general, mechanical engineers figure out how things work. Many of your potential jobs would revolve around making things work correctly, fixing things that are broken, or improving the way current things work.

In my company, ME's do a good bit of design work. There are many ME's that work in the field daily fixing broken things and replacing equipment before it breaks.

It is a really cool feeling to see something you have designed come to life and be put in use. Good luck in your future endeavors!

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Glenn S.’s Answer

Great question. But the answers are not so straight forward. There are several career paths for a mechanical engineer. I have done product development for my career. That include consumer electronic and medical devices. What I like about my career choice, is that it is always different from one day to the next over the course of the project and always learning new things.

A project can start from an early concept that needs to be proven possible. Or may be a derivative project that starts with a specification. Once you have proven it can be done, assess the risks, define a schedule, you can start with the design. (this is all simplified). Concept prototypes are built and tested. The design issues are resolved, and ready for the second round of prototypes. If everything works out, you move on for final design. Send the designs to the manufacturer for feedback (they do have to be able to mass produce your design). Then back to the design files to resolve the issues.

OK, you get your parts, and try to assemble them and discover some issues. Parts are right, or your design does not work. Or you have a thermal issue. You guessed it, back to the design file to fix your issues. you move to pilot builds and testing of what you think it your final product. Guess what, more issues, more design changes. Finally you hit production and ship. Then there may be cost reductions, reliability improvement, or just on going support for a product in production.

new products that I supported have been as short as 4 months to production and as long as 5 years. Most fit the 1 to 2 year cycle. This was a very short overview and I skipped a lot of steps. But it is always something new and challenging.

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Melisa’s Answer

Hi McKenzie.

Thanks for sharing your question here on CareerVillage. I hope you find helpful information and answers from the caring volunteers that use this site to answer student questions. It’s great you are seeking more information from others who can help.

I am not an engineer, but I wanted to share some additional resources you may find helpful.


Best wishes to you for success in your future career and education goals!

#engineer #mechanical-engineer

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Seek out a mentor or individual in an engineering job who can give you more insight into mechanical engineering.
Check out these helpful TED Talks on "engineering." https://www.ted.com/topics/engineering
If you have interest, you can learn more about internships and careers at AT&T here https://www.att.jobs/students