Are you interested in becoming an entry level mechanical engineer? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post we discuss the steps needed to start out with a career in mechanical engineering and get your first entry level engineering jobs.
First, it is important to understand what mechanical engineering is and why it may be the right fit for you. Mechanical engineering focuses on designing, building, testing, and improving machinery and other products used in today's society. It requires a strong understanding of math, physics, chemistry, and materials science which can make it quite challenging but highly rewarding. So be sure to consider this in your decision making process.
To pursue a career in mechanical engineering you will need to first have finished a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or related field from an accredited university. This degree must include the basic core subject topics such as materials science, manufacturing, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics. In Southern California, this could mean a UC or CSU Mechanical Engineering program, a vocational or technical school, or even an accredited online program. With this degree you will have the necessary qualifications to look for positions as an entry level engineer.
The next step is to gain experience in the field by taking an internship or apprenticeship with a reputable company. This can be through a direct relationship with your university or through other means. You should also use this time to build relationships with people within your profession, which is extremely valuable when looking for future employment opportunities. Networking is a huge part of landing a job in any career field and mechanical engineering is no different. Additionally, attending professional conferences and seminars will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and establish yourself as an expert in the field.
Once you have gained some experience it is time to apply for entry level engineering jobs. Use your network and reach out to contacts you may have made through your internships, professional events, or other networking channels. You can also apply for jobs directly through job-search websites such as Indeed, Dice, or LinkedIn. As well as going through a staffing and recruiting agency such as SkillsetGroup to help with your job hunt.
Be a Life-Long Learner
Lastly, don’t forget to keep learning! As an entry level engineer it is important that you stay up-to-date on industry trends, new technology, and best practices. This will help you remain competitive in the job market. One way to do this is by becoming a certified mechanical engineering technician. This certification will not only demonstrate your commitment to the craft but also show employers that you are knowledgeable in the field and dedicated to improving your skillset. This certification can be earned after completing an Associate's Degree or vocational school training in Mechanical Engineering or related field and can be a great first step in your career advancement.
With these steps it is possible to find a great entry level engineering job. Good luck and happy job hunting!
For a full list of Engineering and other salaries to help in your search see our 2023 Salary Guides here.
"Getting an Entry Level Mechanical Engineering Job." Study in the USA, August 27, 2019
"How to Become a Certified Mechanical Technician." Chron, August 27, 2020
"Occupational Outlook Handbook: Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians" Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 15th 2023
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