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Mechanical Engineer

  1. Dec 28, 2013 #1
    I am thinking about being a mechanical engineer but there are a few things I wanted to take into account before I picked this field.

    First, the amount of available jobs is important.

    Second, salary. I'm not a money crazed person but I plan on raising a family. I want to be able to pay off all of my debt as fast as I can and never be in debt ever again. I want to be able to pay for my kids' college if I ever end up having any. I want to have a lot of financial security.

    Third, I want to go into the aerospace industry. What jobs would be available for me in this industry with a degree in mechanical engineering?

    Fourth, would it be smart to get a masters degree in aerospace engineering? Would it effect job openings and salary?

    Thank you guys for your time. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2013 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I would try not to limit yourself to aerospace as that industry has a lot of ups and downs. instead you should consider other industries like defense, robotics, nanotech and even petroleum because there always a demand or its cutting edge stuff that you can see will grow in the future. You could investigate aerospace coupled with robotics and nanotech.

    Mechanical engineers make good money enough to support a family:

    http://www.indeed.com/salary/Mechanical-Engineer.html

    Getting a masters is always a good idea it will increase your starting salary by maybe $1000 a month more (this may not be exactly right but you are worth more with a masters).

    Paying for kids college is a good idea too. You should start investing in it when you start your job.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2013 #3
    Awesome that was a lot of help. You mentioned that I should consider industries such as defense, robotics, nanotech and petroleum. Could I got into these fields with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering? Or would I always be fighting a losing battle with petroleum engineers or electrical engineers? As far as a masters degree is concerned, what should I master in? Mechanical engineering or a different branch? Thanks again.
     
  5. Dec 29, 2013 #4

    StatGuy2000

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    I used to work as a statistical consultant for an engineering firm specializing in robotics, automation and defense-related work and many of the engineers who I've worked with had either a bachelors or masters degree in either mechanical or electrical engineering (with slightly more mechanical than electrical engineers).

    So you can definitely get into either defense, robotics or nanotech work with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, although I would recommend pursuing a masters degree as it may open more doors for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  6. Dec 29, 2013 #5
    Legit. This is greatly appreciated.
     
  7. Dec 29, 2013 #6

    jedishrfu

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    dont forget to use the thanks button.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2013 #7

    SteamKing

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    If someone is looking to hire a petroleum or electrical engineer, they won't be looking to hire a mechanical engineer instead. Although all three are engineers, there is some degree of specialization present to such an extent that, for example, a petroleum engineer is unlikely to fulfill the duties of an electrical engineer.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2013 #8

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    That's not strictly true. In any other industry that may be so but petroleum is desperate for engineering talent. They were lax in the 80's and 90's about hiring and now their senior talent is retiring. I personally know at least three people who were ME majors who got jobs and were subsequently trained to become petroleum engineers as part of an on the job Masters program offered by the hiring company.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2013 #9

    SteamKing

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    That's just it: these engineers had to be retrained to do their jobs.

    Since the OP was wondering if an ME degree is what he should get before figuring out what his career prospects were, I thought it prudent to point out that maybe he should figure out what career he wanted to pursue and then get the proper education.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2013 #10

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    They weren't retrained they were fresh out of school and got scooped up by the oil companies desperate to hire engineers of all types.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2013 #11

    SteamKing

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    That's what I'm talking about. Your acquaintances had to receive additional schooling/training to do their jobs. The OP is just starting out; from what I understand, he has not committed to a particular degree program yet. All I'm saying is, if the OP wants to get a job as a petroleum engineer, then he should enter the petroleum engineering program in school, rather than going thru the ME program, and then trying to catch up in another discipline. Likewise if he wants to be an EE.

    Now, there may be a shortage of petroleum engineers, and the oil companies are willing to make the additional training and education investment to turn MEs into petroleum engineers. However, if history is a guide, the petroleum industry has been known to rapidly go from a boom times in exploration to terrible busts where exploration is curtailed and petroleum engineers are laid off. In part, that is why there are fewer such engineers working presently in the industry: the last bust was so prolonged and widespread, the laid off engineers had to find other work outside the petroleum field. By the time the OP hits the job market in four or five years, will there be a shortage of petroleum engineers or a glut?
     
  13. Dec 30, 2013 #12

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    There is no argument here. I'm sharing with you what I'm seeing today. Its good for the OP to know the current trends.

    Using history as a guide all professions go through ups and downs. Sometimes these trends are predictable and sometimes not. Ultimately the OP must talk with industry recruiters about job prospects, keep up with economic news and pick a major that he/she has a passion for to make the best decision.
     
  14. Dec 30, 2013 #13
    Jedishrfu, thank you for telling me about your mechanical engineer friends who were trained to do petroleum engineer jobs. This information is valuable for me because I know that with a mechanical engineering degree, I'm not totally confined. Even though additional training was needed, it's nice to know that there are other jobs out there other than just a mechanical engineer. SteamKing, your post about how the petroleum industry has its major ups and downs was very helpful. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the industry to observe any fluctuations. Both of you have been very helpful.
     
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