Showing posts with label Engineering Career. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Engineering Career. Show all posts

Specializations offered in Mechanical Engineering

What are the specializations offered in mechanical engineering? Every engineering degree comes with a variety of areas of specialization. Students in their last year of study (i.e. after 6th semester), have to opt certain optional subjects based on their area of interest. These subjects build the baseline for specialization area. Not all engineering degrees offer detailed technical education about each and every aspect of related technology. Only basic courses related to all areas of specializations are taught to mechanical engineers so that they get a basic understanding of all subjects.

Talking specifically about areas of specialization in mechanical engineering, let us first understand what mechanical engineering students are taught during four years of undergraduate degree program. It all starts from some basic courses of physics and mathematics. After you graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, you just have a basic understanding and information about so many subjects that will be enough for you to prosper in any specialized field of work related to mechanical engineering.

Fluid Mechanics or Hydraulics: Mechanical engineers who find themselves interested in fluids and hydraulics, opt for specialization in fluid mechanics or hydraulics. This specialization course enables mechanical engineers to work in industries like dams, irrigation, agriculture and hydraulics.
 
Materials Engineering: Materials play a vital role in product development and innovation. New composite materials are being developed as per requirement of products. A basic degree in mechanical engineering combined with specialization in materials engineering gives an edge to those engineers who find themselves inclined towards production, research and manufacturing.
 
Nanotechnology: Nanomaterials are the next big thing. They are being used in every sector from health industry to robotics etc. This is little advanced specialization than materials engineering.
 
Biomedical Engineering: Biomedical engineering (BME) is the study of engineering principles and design procedures to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes (e.g. diagnostic or therapeutic).
 
Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Energy Systems: In this area of specialization, principles of thermodynamics, and heat transfer (conduction, convection, and radiation) are taught in detail. Thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics are closely related to each other.
 
Automobiles: Mechanical engineers who specialize in automobiles after basic degree in mechanical engineering are taught subjects related to IC Engines, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, power generation, Electric motors, automobile design, Engines etc.
 
Robotics, Automation & Control: As the name is very obvious, students inclined towards robots opt for subjects related to robotics, automation and control. This is a specialized field of mechanical engineering which requires knowledge and understanding of computer languages as well as basic electronics.
 
Transportation Systems: Courses in transportation systems enable mechanical engineers in understanding modern systems introduced in bullet trains, metro trains, aviation, airplanes etc.
 
Engineering Design: Mechanical engineers with specialization in engineering design are required in industries which required designing new products at large scale. This includes consultants, design firms, and contractors etc.
 
HVAC: Heat, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) deals with installation of large scale air conditioning in multi-story buildings, factories, mines etc.
 
Oil and Gas: Oil and gas sector deals with exploration of oil and gas fields etc. This is highly paid specialization in mechanical engineering due to onsite tough nature of the job. Specialization in oil and gas after degree in mechanical engineering is quite rewarding these days.
 
Nuclear Energy: Mechanical engineers who are employed by nuclear sector are sent on training and educational programs with specialization in nuclear energy.
 
Marine Engineering: Some mechanical engineers opt to study marine engineering after basic degree in mechanical engineering.
 
Learn more about courses taught in mechanical engineering and basic concepts of mechanical engineering to understand things in detail.

Job Description of a Mechanical Engineer

What is job description of a mechanical engineer? What are job responsibilities, day to day tasks, duties and responsibilities of a mechanical engineer? A job description (JD) is a formal document containing brief information about mechanical engineer’s responsibilities.

Job description of mechanical engineers vary from industry to industry. For example, JD of a mechanical engineer working in automobile sector will be completely different from an engineer working in energy sector. In this era of automation, mechanical engineers play a pivotal role in growth of a company specially related to manufacturing. Typical job description of a mechanical engineer includes:
  • Design and manufacturing of new products.
  • Supervision of team of technicians.
  • Adherence to mechanical engineering standards, health and safety standards etc. Compliance of government regulations.
  • Writing training manuals, technical reports, handbooks and bulletins for products or engineering operations to help other team members understand the basics.
  • Preparation of feasibility reports for new projects and products based on historical data etc.
  • Assessing project requirements or operational requirements for setting up new projects or expansion of current operations.
  • Measuring performance of mechanical components, processes and products. Keeping log of all observations and necessary maintenance requirements.
  • Calculation of budgeting, estimates, forecasts, financial calculations, projections, sales forecasts, return on investments, payback periods etc.
  • Using CAD software and techniques for design improvements.
  • Planning procurement of different components of a project.
  • Testing, evaluating and modification of products.
  • A mechanical engineer should be well versed in project management tools including MS Project, primavera etc.
  • To perform scheduled maintenance of mechanical products, machinery and equipment
  • Keeping record and maintaining log of all mechanical instruments in use
  • Extracting useful information from large data sets related to different products based on feedback or consumption history of customers
This job description for a mechanical engineer is very generic in nature. Modifications can be done accordingly as per requirements. Key skills required for mechanical engineers along with above mentioned job description are:
  • Technical report writing skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of current and latest practices in mechanical engineering industry
  • Information about computer aided design and manufacturing
  • Planning and design skills
  • Project management skills
I hope this job description of mechanical engineers gives you an idea about responsibilities, day to day tasks and duties of mechanical engineer. Learn more about basic concepts of mechanical engineering before you start applying for mechanical engineering degree.

Scope of Mechanical Engineering Degree

What is the scope of mechanical engineering degree? This is the most challenging question revolving in student’s mind when he is struggling to choose a field of study in engineering. The question is how do we define the term “scope”. For many students, scope is:
  • Likelihoods of getting a job soon after graduation
  • A salary offer above median/ average salary of engineers
  • No. of jobs in industry for mechanical engineers
  • Career prospects after graduation
  • Promotions and career growth in mechanical engineering
  • Future scope of the degree in mechanical engineering
  • Demand in the industry for mechanical engineers
With advancement in technology and research, scope of mechanical engineering is increasing rapidly. This is an age of inter-disciplinary skills. Mechanical engineers have focused their research on nano-materials, composite materials, nano-technology, biomedical application and environmental conservation etc. 

There goes a famous saying about mechanical engineering that it is an evergreen field of engineering. There is no industry which can prosper without presence of mechanical engineers. Scope of mechanical engineering is unlimited. It is one of the oldest branch of engineering. I would explain above mentioned measures of scope in a bit detail.

Likelihoods of getting a job soon after graduation: This does not only depend on a degree. It depends on your skills, extracurricular activities, institute where you are getting degree from, presentation and communication skills etc. A company is always looking for an engineer with dynamic personality, good communication and interpersonal skills, an engineer with ideas and innovation.

Salary Offer: Now this is tricky and matters for those who know how to negotiate salary in interview. But I can bet that mechanical engineers get much better salary offers than other fields of study. Mechanical Engineers earn a median salary of $83,590 per year. Salaries typically start from $53,640 and go up to $128,430. (These figures have been quoted with respect to facts of United States). Entry-level mechanical engineers holding bachelor's degrees earned average annual starting salaries of $61,300, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Spring 2012 Salary Survey. NACE reported that mechanical engineers with a master's degree started at an average of $75,700 - significantly more than the average starting salary of mechanical engineers with a bachelor's degree.

No. of jobs for mechanical engineers in industry: Just forget about this. There are plenty of jobs for mechanical engineers. They are in high demand all over the world. There are only a few countries where mechanical industry has almost vanished or it didn’t prosper as much as it must have done. Once you have graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, you have so many options and industries to work in. Ranging from manufacturing, power generation, construction, energy, transportation, automobile, beverages, pharmaceutical, agricultural, IT and other industries.

Promotions and career growth in mechanical engineering: Career growth in mechanical engineering is faster compared to many other fields of study. There are not many graduates with mechanical engineering degree. This gives a boost to the scope of mechanical engineering. I don’t know any mechanical engineer with bad views of job prospects.

How to negotiate salary during interview?

How to negotiate salary during interview and how much salary should be demanded by a mechanical engineer is the most perplexing question in minds of all engineers when they have been shortlisted for a job/ position. These things are learned over time. I received many queries from fresh engineering graduates to provide basic guidelines on how to assess salary demand for a particular job. Here I have divided these guidelines in two portions. One for experienced professionals and job seekers with past experience and one section with guidelines for fresh graduates seeking their first job.

Expected salary for experienced engineers with past experience:

  • Never settle below your current salary.
  • Your current salary includes all net cash that you receive each month, provident funds, medical facilities, fuel/ vehicle etc and whatever other facilities you are getting. Convert your facilities into cash form and this becomes your actual monthly value that you are getting at this stage.
  • Always add one annual increment to your current salary. Because there are high chances that you will not get first annual increment at your new job (if you have not completed six months till December of that particular year). Mostly this practice prevails in all HR departments. So you can tell this to your prospective employer that if you stay at your current job, this much increment you will be receiving at end of the year.
  • Always try to get salary ranges/ salary insights from current employees of the company. Being an engineer, you can always find a link inside all companies. There might be a senior of your engineering college or your junior already working in that company. Even if you do not have a college fellow, you can easily arrange a meeting with any employee of the company to discuss salary ranges for engineers for a particular post.

Expected salary for fresh engineers:

  • If you are a fresh engineer with no past experience, then situation is a bit different. You do not have past experience. Usually employers exploit this situation and offer lesser salaries quoting your inexperience as the main cause of lesser salary. You have to counter this wisely.
  • Always try to get insights from employees already working in that department on how much salary is being offered to engineers in that department.
  • Never settle below a minimum ethical wage for engineers. I cannot quote a figure/ amount here. Because minimum ethical salary varies from country to country. You have to assess that minimum level. For example salary of an engineer with four years degree cannot be equal to the salary of a diploma holder/ technician.
  • Never set your mind on too much high demands that employers find it difficult to select you. Be humble and set your focus on getting experience. But in lure of this humbleness, do not set you salary demands too low that it becomes difficult for you to get out of this vicious cycle.
  • Always remember that once you start your first job with lesser salary, employers at other job interviews will not offer you a bigger jump. They will always consider your previous salary. So keep this thing in mind. There are rare cases where employee get good salary jumps during job switching.
I hope this article helps you decide how much salary should be demanded in an interview. If you have any questions in mind, post your queries in comments. Good luck for your interview. Read more about interview tips and interview questions.

Types of Jobs for Mechanical Engineers

What type of jobs are offered to mechanical engineers and what are career options for them? – One of the most commonly asked question from prospective mechanical engineering students. I have seen students worrying about career choices after graduation in mechanical engineering. Unfortunately, education system in most of the countries is run so badly that students are not given any guideline for selection of subjects and career field at school or college level. Almost all parents want their children to be doctors or engineers without knowing that what will be career prospects after getting into a particular field of engineering

Let’s talk about types of jobs for mechanical engineers. Mechanical engineering is as vast a field of engineering as this universe itself. When students ask me “what types of jobs mechanical engineers do after graduation?”. I usually reply with a counter question that “what type of job they cannot do?”. I have seen mechanical engineers working in all departments including security agencies, forensic departments, irrigation departments, energy departments, manufacturing sector, telecom sector, automobile sector, livestock, medical, pharmaceutical, industrial, space research, nuclear programs, waste management, legal, railways, transportation sector, chemical sector and even management sector. There is no field where mechanical engineers have not outshined through their performance, extra ordinary arithmetic and logical skills, and management practices.

Now the question arises, how a mechanical engineer is beneficial to forensic/ security agencies? I have a friend working in forensic agencies as a forensic engineer with basic degree in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is 50% physics. At forensic departments, they need mechanical engineers to investigate cases and to identify damages done to vehicles, injuries caused by arms and tools keeping in mind basic action and reaction rules of physics. In security agencies, they need mechanical engineers to investigate industrial matters, to operate and maintain fleets of modern security vehicles, to develop new security tools and firearms, to develop modern micro level robots to investigate crime scenes and to get secret reports from areas occupied by militant forces.

Law firms require services of mechanical engineers to investigate all cases related to engineering sector. They hire freelance mechanical engineers for this purpose. Mechanical engineers are hired as consultants to work with legal and law firms. A law graduate cannot understand the complexities of an engineering case without help from a mechanical engineer. After discussing all these odd jobs for mechanical engineers, do I need to say more about types of jobs for mechanical engineers?

In short, there is no department where mechanical engineers cannot serve. Even I know few mechanical engineers working in spy agencies. Really? Do you believe this? Yes they do need mechanical engineers to keep an eye on what is happening in leading engineering sectors of other countries. Once you have decided to opt for mechanical engineering, they will teach you all the general courses of mechanical engineering without being specific to any field. Specializations are done only after graduation in Bachelors of mechanical engineering.

If you have any other question in mind, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jobs for engineers in NASA for MARS project

Jobs for engineers in NASA
Are you and engineer looking for a job in NASA? Have you ever dreamed of working on a space station, on another planet or maybe Mars? Here is your chance to find a job in NASA. NASA has announced that engineers are required for next batch of astronauts in a recent press release of NASA. Along with many other vacant posts of scientists, doctors and pilots, engineers are also required!

As we all know that NASA is working on its next mega project i.e. establishment of human life on Mars. NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars till 2030. "This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden on the NASA website. "Those selected for this service will fly on U.S.-made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space."

This is an exciting job opportunity for all engineers from all over the world who are thrilled to work in an adventurous atmosphere. When we talk about adventure, there is nothing better than NASA, space crafts and space stations.

How to apply for a job in NASA?

NASA will accept astronaut applications between mid December and mid February. Final and successful candidates will be announced in mid of 2017 according to the agency. Applications can be submitted at USAjobs.gov, the federal government's job listings site. A bachelor’s degree is required but advance degree will get a preference. All further training about space exploration and space machines will be provided by NASA at best institutes of the world.

Successful candidates will be required to pass physical fitness test of NASA. If you find this job interesting for you, please tell us your views in comments section. I would like to hear from all engineers if they are excited about this or not. Many students may ask what will be average salary of an engineer working in NASA? I am not sure what it will be but i am sure no other department will offer you a better salary than NASA. So here is your chance to represent your college, country and family in NASA as an engineer. Just g ahead and apply for this job. Fortune favours the brave.

There is no age requirement for job application in NASA, although the average age of astronauts and engineers working at NASA has been 34. Military or armed forces experience is also not required. What is required is skill and knowledge. Candidates must also pass NASA's spaceflight physical fitness tests.
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