Mechanical Engineering: Why Do you do it?
I need to interview a Mechanical Engineer for a school project. Could you kindly answer one or more of the following questions? This is for a career project. I am studying Mechatronics and am in 11th grade.
1.Why did you choose this job/career?
2. What do you do in a typical day?
3. What education and/or training did you need for this job/career?
4. How long have you been working in this job/career?
5. What do you like best about your job/career?
6. What do you like least about your job/career?
7. What advice would you give me right now knowing that I am interested in a job/career like yours?
I actually studied and became an electrical engineer. However, I think I can speak to your questions regarding mechanical engineering.
I decided to go into engineering because I felt I was good at it and enjoyed it. While in high school I had a part time job and found that I liked repairing things and figuring out how they work, etc.
As an engineer in a typical day I typically jumped around from task to task. Never a dull moment! Some days I was hands-on, very physical. As a mechanical engineer you might test components that you designed in CAD or conduct failure analysis on some type of equipment. On other days I might not be as active. I might spend half or even an entire day at my desk. There is a ton of paperwork with engineering, updating diagrams, writing white papers, maintenance procedures, technical reports, etc. I had to oversee projects and I always had to stay up on technology.
As far as education you will want to get at least a 4 year degree in mechanical engineering.
I have 30 years under my belt.
The thing I liked most was the diversity. In my personal experience, like I said, I did physical work as well as desk work. Never a dull moment. Ever changing. Things break and there are maintenance issues, I had to be on-call. There are upgrades that have to be done and typically outside of regular business hours.
What I liked least was probably the tedious documentation. In engineering, you document everything!
As far as advice, attitude or mindset is everything! Enjoy yourself and don't let things you can't control bug you. Try and be team oriented. While you're in college, intern! Also, start looking for a job before you graduate! https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes172141.htm
Best of luck!!
While Im still in school and will be graduating in the Fall I think I will be able to answer a few of your questions.
1.Why did you choose this job/career?- For me the reason I choose engineering was because I found the concepts very interesting and almost everything that id be learning would help me better understand why the world works the way it does. I think its very easy to go through our day to day lives and not realize that there is so much amazing technology and advancements that have been made around us and it is those advancements that allow us to live the lives that we do today. Another reason I choose engineering was because I wanted to help people and wanted to make peoples day to day lives easier. I think that as an engineer regardless of where it takes you, you will be making some type of impact on improving peoples lives around you. Whether that is in the medical, automotive, aerospace, etc. in almost all these areas people interact with products that come from these industries so being able to advance these areas and improve them was something that I wanted to do.
2. What do you do in a typical day?- While ive only been an intern up to this point I've been able to see the day to day activities that many engineers perform. First off the day to day really depends on the company that you work for and type of engineer that you at said company. While you might be a "mechanical engineer" this title is a broad term and your actually position at a company will depend on the type of work that they do. For the two internships I have had, I worked closely with research/product development and production engineering so ive been exposed to both production and non-production activities. For many engineers their day begins my checking emails and prepping for meeting that they have for the day. In the more production focused job we would then go out onto the floor and talk with operators about how things were doing. For many production engineers they focus on making the job easier and more efficient for operators. That might be creating a new fixture for tool for them to use to creating a new machine to streamline a process. The operators play a key role in a production managers day because ultimately they are the ones using the machines and tools that you design so getting their input it key for them to actually end up using it. When I was doing more research based work we spent a lot of our time having these "round table discussions" where we would come up with new designs for products. From there we would move into prototyping, creating CAD models, using 3D printers to then create a working prototype to see if what we had brainstormed actually worked.
Overall if you like problem solving and working with others to come to a common goal then you'll enjoy engineering.
Hopefully this was helpful!