Mechanical engineers work with machines. They are involved at all stages of a machines lifecycle, designing, manufacturing and maintaining them as well as guiding their operation. The scale of machinery worked with can range from small to large complex networks of machines that are core to entire production plants.
Mechanical engineering interacts with many other engineering disciplines, including agricultural machinery, precision engineering, tool-making, metal fabrication and processing. Essentially any sector that makes use of heavy machinery will involve mechanical engineers. This variety means mechanical engineers work on anything from racing cars to major power generation plants.
The options open to you after graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering are almost endless. Many will go on to work in manufacturing of some form, with almost every manufacturing or other industrial operation requiring the input of mechanical engineers. This means you could work in aerospace, food production, energy plants or computer hardware manufacturing. Essentially anything that requires the use of machinery with moving parts will need your insight and skills.
The challenges of mechanical engineering mean graduates have a diverse and highly developed skillset, enabling to work in many areas beyond traditional mechanical engineering environments. They can be found building careers in areas such as building services, construction, project management and production design.
With over 400 engineering courses offered across undergraduate and postgraduate level, there are no shortage of entry routes to a career in engineering. Most of these courses focus on a specific field of engineering and at postgraduate level the degree of specialisation becomes greater. If you’re set on a field there is likely to be a course that will allow you to study it from the outset, but many undergraduate engineering programs offer a general entry option, allowing students to study a range of topics and make a decision on their area of focus later, with the benefit of direct experience.