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Mechanical Engineer Interview

  1. Dec 1, 2008 #1
    I am a high school senior and I was required to interview a profession based upon what I have chosen(mechanical engineer).Basically, what I ask is it is possible for a mechanical engineer with some years in the field take some time to answer these interview questions of mine.The questions are as followed:

    How did you get started in this field, and what was your educational preparation and training? What school, major, or courses would you recommend for preparation in this area? What degree or certificate do employers look for in this field?

    What is the beginning salary range for this and other related fields?

    How are you paid in this type of work? Hourly, piece work, salary, commission, etc.?

    How many hours do you work per week? What is a typical work schedule? Typical duties?

    What are the benefits? Medical, dental, vision insurance? Paid holidays? Profit sharing, etc.?

    Please describe the physical and social job environment.

    How is technology used in this field?

    What are the opportunities for advancement?

    What are the most important personal characteristics a person should possess in order to be successful in this field?

    Other than salary, what is the main satisfaction and fulfillment you find in your career?

    What are the future growth prospects in this field?

    What recommendations or advice would you give to a student wishing to enter this field?

    If someone could reply to these questions I'd be especially appreciative.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You asked nicely, so why not?

    I took a degree in mechanical engineering, and tried to get as much practical and industrial experience as I could along the way. Most of my peers followed a similar route, though an 'apprenticeship' type route is viable for a more hands-on approach.

    Over here, graduate mechanical engineer jobs start between £20k - £30k, with graduate chemical engineer jobs seeming to be the best paid (perhaps £25k - £35k starting). The range for a true engineer probably extends to around £80k, but many people qualified as engineers earn much more than this in higher management, consultancy, and setting up their own businesses.

    Salaried. Low-grade technicians are typically hourly paid, but as soon as any real skill level is achieved, salaried pay is most common.

    Contracted for 37 hours a week, I typically work 45, possibly up to 50 on a bad week. My work schedule involves a lot of test planning and testing, some customer interaction, and some project management.

    This depends hugely from one employer to another. I get 5 weeks paid holiday, pension, profit share, and options of medical cover.

    Team working is fundamental; there are very few jobs these days for insular engineers wanting to work on their own.

    To quote a wise man, "technology is engineering which doesn't work yet". Technology is driven by innovation, and drives the application of science to solve problems creatively. Technology is fundamental to most engineering, whether it's computer modelling, data capture, new design techniques, or breakthroughs in materials science.

    The world is your oyster. Many company directors originally qualified (and worked) as engineers. If you can work as a team, are self-motivated and have a good grasp of how the world works, you can do anything.

    Listening more than contributing, great interpersonal skills, an eye for detail, tenacity, sound technical knowledge, and a good problem solving ethic.

    Seeing my products producing great value for the business and for the customer.

    The way I see it, engineering is fundamental to global growth and social advancement.

    Make damn sure it's what you really want to do, get as much early work experience as possible, and never stop questioning.

    Good luck!
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