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The design, construction, and maintenance of machinery is usually carried out by a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers are concerned with turning ideas into working products. Engineers utilise computer-aided design software to produce complex plans. Engineers research new ways of developing existing or new materials to improve performance.
Mechanical engineers are often involved in production planning processes and develop ways to enhance systems as new technology is introduced. Increasingly, mechanical engineers have to use a broad knowledge of other disciplines - such as electronics and electrical engineering.
Mechanical engineers work in a variety of sectors including construction, transport, automotive, sports and medical industries.
There are two types of engineers. Incorporated engineers specialise in developing and applying modern technology and have the practical skills and know-how to put plans into practice. Chartered engineers have greater theoretical engineering knowledge and can be involved in research and development or manufacture and installation.
Mechanical engineers require a first degree or BTEC HND/HNC in mechanical engineering or related engineering subject. Employers include research and development companies, government agencies, the armed services, manufacturers, IT companies, and public utilities. There are also jobs with manufacturers in materials development and design, marketing, selling, and customer support.
Starting salaries are about £17,000. With experience, mechanical engineers earn around £30,000. Once qualified as a chartered mechanical engineer you can earn over £40,000.
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