IntroductionMechanical engineering field aims at improving the lives of the community through innovative design and manufacture of products. This field dates back to the 18th century during the Agrarian Revolution and it is continually evolving to integrate advances. This paper describes the job description, general education experience, career outlook, a general career path, and an average salary of a mechanical engineer. Also, this paper describes the biography of Andrew Burnette, a renowned mechanical engineer. Lastly, the advantages and disadvantages of the mechanical engineering field are highlighted.
A mechanical engineer develops, designs, installs, and manufactures modified or new mechanical systems and components (The Australian Government, 2018). Job responsibilities of a mechanical engineer vary depending on the type and the size of the employer. TARGETjobs (2018) explains that irrespective of the employer, the general duties of a mechanical engineer include:
- Performance measurement of mechanical engines, devices, and components.
- Assessing project requirements
- Agreeing timescales, specifications, and budgets with managers and clients.
- Modifying and maintaining equipment to ascertain that it is reliable, efficient, and safe.
- Using modeling software or computer-aided design.
- Undertaking relevant research
- Liaising with suppliers
- Implementing and producing test procedures and designs
- Presenting designs to clients and managers
- Modifying, testing, evaluating, re-testing mechanical-related products
- Writing documentation and reports
- Interpreting and analyzing data
- Providing technical advice to clients and managers
General Education Experience
The least academic requirement to be a mechanical engineer is a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. This program covers system components such as power systems, computer programming, fluid mechanics, hydraulics, and thermodynamics. The program also entails learning the basics of other engineering disciplines such as electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and civil engineering. To qualify for research and development posts, a master's or a doctoral degree is required. Engineering schools offering mechanical engineering programs require accreditation from an accreditation board (How to Become, 2018).
Other than academic requirements, mechanical engineers must get licensure as a PE (Professional Engineer). The requirements for earning licensure include work experience under a licensed engineer's supervision as well a bachelor's degree. Also, it is a requirement that candidates must pass fundamental engineering tests.
Mechanical engineers have career opportunities with government agencies, utility companies, and automobile industries. Additional education such as a master's degree in business administration exposes and a mechanical engineer to being employed in executive positions as well as working as a researcher at universities and colleges. With the advances in materials science, nanotechnology, and biotechnology, more career opportunities are expected for mechanical engineers (How to Become, 2018).
General Career Path
Earning a degree in mechanical engineering is the first step towards beginning a career as a mechanical engineer. The bachelor's degree provides the foundation for leadership in areas such as academia, industry, public service, healthcare, or even politics. The most common career path for mechanical engineers is through college-level education in mechanical engineering which is a 4-year program. It is also prudent to note that (MET) mechanical engineering technology is also an important avenue for initiating a career path in engineering. MET programs are of two types: a 4-year bachelor program at universities or a 2-year associate degree program at university branch campuses or community colleges (Asme.org, 2018).
Mechanical engineers' salary depends on the industries or agencies they work for. Also, the salary depends on the management level a mechanical engineer occupies and the state or country in which they work. In the United States, a mechanical engineer's average annual salary is $88,190. This translates to an average monthly salary of $7,349. States such as Texas, New Mexico, and Alaska have the highest average annual salaries (How to Become, 2018).
Biography of Andrew Burnette
Andrew Burnette is a specialist in engine emission testing. He helps the emerging motor vehicle industries to reduce pollution and achieve fuel efficiency. Moreover, he is a consultant in the development and research of energy efficiency systems, air pollution control systems in vehicles, and demonstration projects. He has a good knowledge of federal and state environmental regulatory policies. Furthermore, he is well acquainted with chassis and engine dynamometer measurements (Anon, 2018).
He earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas in 1987.
Work and Experience
He heads testing services department at carbonBLU where he advises clients on in-use compliance testing, technical requirements, and regulations. He also designs experiments for clients in fuel efficiency and emission reduction products. Andrew Burnette also performs client lab facilities regulatory audits.
June 2008- Present
Andrew Burnette is the current president of infoWedge and deals with emission testing, business development and consulting for energy-efficient industries and vehicle pollution reduction.
October 2007- June 2008
He was the vice president in charge of marketing at Olson-EcoLogic Engine Test Labs. He was responsible for marketing and new business development, tracked market opportunities and trends, wrote proposals and grants, designed mass mailings, and investigated acquisitions that were investor-funded.
September 1999- October 2007
He served as a manager and principal engineer at Eastern Research Group where he brought the group's mobile sources presence in Sacramento, at California market. He also managed many research projects dealing with in-use emission measurement.
He served as a senior engineer at Radian International where he researched on desulfurization technologies that can be used on plants that are coal-fired. He also learned how to control mobile source pollution under the guidance of Sandeep Kishan and Rob Klausmeier. Also, Andrew Burnette helped brought mobile source pollution control policies to Thailand and Mexico.
Andrew Burnette Projects
Starting February 2014
He demonstrated proprietary biotechnology that can be used for the production of bio-methane from landfill biogas by helping startup biotech secure a site to be used for a pilot test and aid in conversion processes.
Starting January 2014
He did a project on an energy-saving project on HVAC refrigerators using charge correction techniques. To achieve this, he used Argonne national Labs' GREET model.
September 2012 - August 2013
He teamed up with Dan Frederick to develop a new switcher that was under a grant from NTRD program.
Advantages of Mechanical Engineering Field
Mechanical engineers are always in demand as there are many companies and agencies in need of mechanical engineers. Therefore, there are work opportunities such as working in the automobile industry as a practising engineer, a government agency as a consultant or a manager, academic field as a research, and so on (Imeche.org, 2018).
Mechanical engineering is a lucrative career. It is prudent to note that the start salary for mechanical engineers is relatively higher compared to other careers such as education, anthropology, social work, and so on (Thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk., 2018). Doing either a master's or doctoral degree in mechanical engineering entitles a mechanical engineer to an even higher salary scale.
Mechanical engineers can work anywhere in the world such as oil rigs, the deep sea, the Antarctic, and the deserts, among others. Thus, mechanical engineering profession enables them to have a new experience.
Mechanical engineering field involves innovation which enables a person to invent, design, innovate, discover, and/or create products that help the community. It is, therefore, a self-satisfying job as mechanical engineers are able to make their mark in solving some of the world's most challenging problems such as food security, global warming, among others.
Disadvantages of Mechanical Engineering
Even though mechanical engineering profession is lucrative, securing a job with top companies for a fresh mechanical engineering graduate is not easy. Most firms prefer recruiting experienced mechanical engineers, thus limiting opportunities for new mechanical engineers in the field. It is prudent to note that promotions in the mechanical engineering field are competitive due to world economic conditions.
Workload and Hours
Mechanical engineers face unpredictability in the workload. For example, in a manufacturing industry, a sudden system breakdown may put more workload on mechanical engineers. Thus, this field calls for dynamism among mechanical engineers which some people who prefer a daily routine work schedule may be unable to handle.
Mechanical engineers undertake team projects throughout their professional life. While team projects enable them to interact and build relationships with their colleagues, these projects are time-consuming as compare to individual assignments. The ramification for this is that mechanical engineers have limited time to interact with their families or friends from other professions.
Mechanical engineering is a very exciting career field that requires passion and commitment. Even though earning a mechanical engineering bachelor's degree requires sacrifice, the field has unprecedented rewards. A mechanical engineer innovatively designs and manufactures products that improve the well-being of the community, which creates a sense of job satisfaction. The mechanical engineering field has more work opportunities in industries, agencies, and academia. However, the field has cons that require a dynamic mentality in order for a person to enjoy working in the mechanical engineering profession.
Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: www.linkedin.com/in/a-burnette-measure-emissions [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
Asme.org. (2018). Pathways to Careers in Mechanical Engineering. [online] Available at: www.asme.org/career-education/k-12-students/pathways-careers-in-mechanical-engineering/which-path-will-you-take [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
How to Become. (2018). Mechanical Engineering Degrees & Careers | How to Become a Mechanical Engineer. [online] Available at: www.learnhowtobecome.org/mechanical-engineer/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
Imeche.org. (2018). Benefits of being a mechanical engineer - IMechE. [online] Available at: www.imeche.org/careers-education/careers-information/what-is-mechanical-engineering/benefits-of-being-a-mechanical-engineer [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
TARGETjobs. (2018). Mechanical engineer: job description. [online] Available at: targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/276099-mechanical-engineer-job-description [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
The Australian Government. (2018). Industrial, Mechanical, and Production Engineers | Job Outlook. [online] Joboutlook.gov.au. Available at: joboutlook.gov.au/occupation.aspx?code=2335 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
Thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. (2018). 7 Reasons Why You Should Study Mechanical Engineering. [online] Available at: www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/courses/mechanical-engineering/7-reasons-why-you-should-study-mechanical-engineering/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
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