Mechanical engineers design and build the systems and products that enable modern industry to function.
From road and rail transport to telecommunications, manufacturing to aeronautics, as a mechanical engineer you will find that your skills are in demand in almost every sector and industry.
A keen attention to detail, sound technical aptitude and an analytical approach to problem-solving are key characteristics needed within this profession.
You will need a first degree in mechanical engineering or a related subject such as aeronautical engineering or manufacturing engineering.
You might then pursue further qualification either through a master’s degree or professional registration while working.
Here at City, University of London we can provide the grounding you need for a career as a mechanical engineer.
Our study programmes are accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and cover a wide range of material sciences, thermodynamics, solid and fluid mechanics and robotics, with the focus always on finding solutions to real-life engineering challenges.
What can I expect from a career as a mechanical engineer?
You can expect a varied career in a fast-moving profession, where you will have opportunities to work across all aspects of the planning, design, development and production of mechanical products and systems.
It is likely that you will often be part of a multi-disciplinary team working on a project basis, perhaps with engineers from other disciplines, manufacturers, architects and builders, technicians and marketing and sales staff.
Your role could include:
- Carrying out feasibility studies for new products, processes or systems
- Agreeing project specifications, budgets and timescales with clients and managers
- Developing project plans using computer assisted engineering and design software
- Coordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
- Testing, analysing, evaluating and modifying products and systems
- Ensuring projects meet all relevant mechanical safety regulations
- Overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes
- Commissioning and monitoring plant and systems
- Providing technical advice.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a mechanical engineer, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career as a mechanical engineer, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
- BEng (Hons) Mechanical and Design Engineering
- MEng (Hons) Mechanical and Design Engineering
- MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering
Who can I work for as a mechanical engineer?
There are opportunities in a huge range of organisations from multinational companies to specialist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in sectors including:
- automotive design
- power generation
- alternative energy sources
- building services.
- the armed forces
- defence research and development.
What about work experience?
Any relevant work experience through a summer placement, work shadowing or industrial year out is valuable in establishing your particular interests and making contacts. The IET has useful information on getting work experience.
Our BEng programme at City includes a year’s paid placement between your second and third years, where you will develop your skills and knowledge working on real-life projects.
What are my prospects as a mechanical engineer?
The range of sectors where your skills are needed means that you have excellent prospects with a great deal of flexibility to decide which direction to take in your career.
Many employers offer structured graduate development programmes, through which you will achieve professional or further academic qualifications and chartered or incorporated engineer status.
As you progress, you might step back from the hands-on technical side, taking greater responsibility for project management, planning, strategy and budget control.
With greater experience and specialism, you could move into freelance consulting, carving out a niche in your particular area of expertise.
There may be opportunities to work abroad, as UK engineering qualifications and chartered status are recognised in most countries, although additional tests may be required in some places.