Thursday, 25th April 2019


Mechanical engineers oversee design, production, installation and servicing of machinery, tools and components. Any mechanical system in existence will have been overseen by a mechanical engineer at some stage. They can work in a vast range of industries, principally manufacturing, although other key sectors include construction, resources and medicine.

There are three principle types of mechanical engineer, each one responsible for a different element of a process.

  • Research – Engineers research new products, staying abreast of current and future trends in the manufacturing world. They must convince others of new innovations and take ideas to prototype stage.
  • Design – Engineers take concepts from researchers and turn them into workable plans using Computer-Assisted Design software (CAD) and modelling. These engineers must work out how a machine, tool or component will actually work, how reliable it will be under a variety of conditions and how much it will cost.
  • Production- Engineers put together products and look to see how they can be improved or upgraded. They will oversee installation and maintenance.

Mechanical engineering is an extremely broad discipline and engineers can work not only across many fields, but they can specialise in working on any number of mechanical products, from the very largest (wind turbines) to the smallest (smoke alarms). There are also numerous sub-disciplines that mechanical engineers can specialise in.

Most work is office based but it can involve time in manufacturing plants, laboratories and at testing facilities.

The industry is regulated by the Engineering Council.