What does a mechanical engineer do?

Mechanical engineers play a crucial role in making useful machinery and designing mechanical systems, ensuring the final product of their efforts is both reliable and functional for its purpose. There is a huge range of options for employment for mechanical engineers, such as designing transport systems, manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and robotics, to name just a few. Daily duties often involve working with computer-aided design software, refining existing plans, building prototypes, testing machinery and costing projects.

Tasks:

  • Create designs using CAD software
  • Perform data analysis and refine concepts
  • Oversee the installation of machinery
  • Maintain a project budget

What skills do I need to be a mechanical engineer?

Mechanical engineering is a good fit for those with a natural aptitude for both technical thinking and a logical approach to problem solving. Mechanical engineers must have a superb attention to detail, creating plans and overseeing development of machinery down to the smallest detail is required to ensure the success of a project. Mechanical engineers need also have a love of working with machinery and an aptitude for scientific thinking. 

Skills/attributes
  • Attention to detail
  • Aptitude for scientific and technical thinking
  • Analytical and data-driven
  • Enjoys working with machinery
  • Works well in groups

Specialisations

There are a number of varied roles open to those interested in mechanical engineering, both within the field of engineering and in closely related fields.

Industrial Designer

Industrial designers are involved with the design and creation of products for any use you can think of. Advising on a number of factors in the developmental phase, industrial designers aim to make products that are user friendly, aesthetically appealing and perform their intended use well.

Safety Engineer

Safety engineers apply their gifts in scientific and analytical thinking to ensuring the ongoing safety of people working in the manufacturing industry. Safety engineers observe, analyse and critique methods of production, to ensure that the practices and machinery are operating at their safest capacity.

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers utilise their specific skills and knowledge of engineering and focus it towards the development and manufacture of aircraft. Aerospace engineers are involved through all phases of vehicle development, from the initial plans and designs right through to the testing of materials and manufacturing.

Study pathways for mechanical engineers

There are a number of study options available to the budding mechanical engineer. The structure of each pathway can be chosen to suite your career expectations and your desired level of qualification.

Getting Started

Choose a course that will start you off on the right foot

Skill Building

Target your engineering coursework to suit your personal strengths

Professional Development

Gain practical skills and theoretical knowledge

Industry Recognition

Once you have completed your studies, you can apply for membership with Engineers Australia.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your engineering career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be strong growth in employment opportunities forecasted over the next five years.