The major duties of mechanical engineers are to plan, design and oversee the development, installation, operation and maintenance of machinery. In addition, mechanical engineers conduct research to solve practical engineering problems and to improve efficiency.
Personal requirements of a mechanical engineer may include:
- Enjoy technical and engineering activities
- Willing to adhere to safety requirements
- To be able to identify, analyse and solve problems
- Good oral and written communication skills
- Enjoy computing and technical design
- Creativity and practicality
- Able to work independently or as part of a team
- Able to accept responsibility
Mechanical engineers may complete the following tasks:
- Design new machines, equipment or systems
- Carry out research in the use of different types of fuel and energy, materials handling, heating and cooling processes, the storage and pumping of liquids and gases, and environmental controls
- Use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to assist in design and drawing
- Undertake the design and construction of resource development projects such as offshore platforms, onshore gas plants
- Supervise the operation of manufacturing process plants such as power stations, electrical appliance production plants and coal handling installations
- Set up work control systems (e.g. testing of equipment) to make sure that standards of performance, quality, cost and safety are met
To become a mechanical engineer you usually have to study engineering at university with a major in mechanical engineering and graduate with a Bachelor degree. Universities may have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. For further information it is recommended to contact universities as entry requirements may change. Some jobs may also require a post-graduate degree such as graduate certificate, graduate diploma, or Master degree.
Mechanical engineers may specialise in areas such as research and development, engineering design, production, plant and maintenance.
Mechanical engineers may work for private engineering firms and in the building, minerals, power, manufacturing and processing industries.