An enthusiasm for solving problems is a vital trait of mechanical engineers, says Warren Seering, a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It takes creativity to shepherd a theoretical device into a practical reality.
Computers have changed the way mechanical engineers do their work. Computing tools now "allow complex analyses to be performed in seconds that once required days or weeks of hand calculations," Sims writes. But to produce a fully refined product, mechanical engineers use grittier items, such as electric generators, industrial production equipment and material-handling systems. When confronted with the more complex and analytical portions of the occupation, being a wiz in areas like calculus and trigonometry is a major advantage.
Architecture, alternative energies, remanufacturing and nanotechnology are subsets of this profession that will have openings for candidates with the right education and experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3.9 percent employment growth for mechanical engineers between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 12,400 jobs should open up.