Mechanical engineers design, develop and manufacture machines that produce, transmit and use power. Wherever machines are produced or used, there are mechanical engineers. They play a pivotal role in nearly everything that makes life work. From seemingly simple devices like doorknobs and zip-lock freezer bags to complex robots and spacecrafts, there is hardly an area of everyday life that hasn’t been influenced by a mechanical engineer somewhere along the path from invention to installation.
It is one of the broadest engineering categories. Mechanisms that mechanical engineers design, manufacture and test include:
- space stations
- heating and air conditioning
- pumps and turbines
- electric power generators
- automobiles and engines
- hearing aids
- artificial knees
- air pollution control devices
- energy-conserving devices
- roller coasters
Wages vary significantly by profession, but the median wage for mechanical engineers in May 2008 was $74,920. The number of jobs for mechanical engineers is expected to increase by six percent from 2008 to 2018.
Statistics: May 2008, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics