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Hinkley Point Project

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

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With a number of high profile projects planned across the country and widespread investment in our infrastructure, there are fantastic mechanical engineering jobs available.

Read on to find out more about the skills you’ll need and to discover whether a career as a mechanical engineer is the right fit for you.

 

 

Rates

£22-60k dependent on experience

 

 

Hot Spots

Hinkley Point C / HS2

 

 

Qualifications

HNC, HND or Engineering Degree

 

 

 

What do mechanical engineering jobs involve?

Mechanical engineers can work on all stages of a project, in a wide range of different industries, from construction and manufacturing to aerospace and transportation. They play a vital role in providing efficient solutions and solving problems through designing and developing components and machinery.

Your day-to-day duties could vary, depending on the project you’re working on, but can include planning and designing new processes and components, carrying out surveys and assessments of mechanical systems and equipment, producing design plans and technical documents, overseeing projects and much more.

 

What is a mechanical engineer’s salary?

The salary you can earn as a mechanical engineer can vary depending on the scope, location and nature of the project, as well as the employer you’re working for. Starting out, you can expect to earn between £22,000 and £26,000 per year, with this increasing as you gain more experience.

Mechanical engineers at the peak of their career can earn up to £60,000 per year.

These figures are intended as a guideline only. 

 

What skills do I need?

Due to the nature of the work, it’s important that you have excellent technical knowledge, and the desire to keep your knowledge and skills updated. You’ll need good communication and presentation skills, and the ability to manage both your own time and wider projects.

Maths and arithmetic skills are required, as well as a good level of IT ability, especially computer-aided design. Part of your job will involve considering the financial implications of projects, so commercial and budgeting skills are also important.

 

What qualifications do I need?

To enter into mechanical engineering jobs, you’ll usually need a minimum of an HNC, HND or degree in a related subject. Applicable subjects include:

»   Engineering

»   Mechanical Engineering

»   Electromechanical Engineering

»   Mechatronics

»   Engineering Science

»   Aeronautical Engineering

»   Computer-aided Engineering

It can be helpful to complete some work experience during your studies, which a number of courses include via an industry placement. If this isn’t included on your course, you can opt to organise your own placement instead.

While not necessary, many people also complete a postgraduate qualification, especially if their initial degree isn’t in an engineering or other related subject.

If you’re going to be working on a construction site, you may also need to apply for a relevant Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

 

What are the hours and conditions?

In mechanical engineering jobs your normal working week will be between 37 and 40 hours, but you may have to work overtime as and when deadlines require it. While many mechanical engineers work a standard Monday to Friday week, others will work on a shift basis, which could include working evenings and weekends.

The majority of your work will be office-based, but you’ll have regular off-site visits to plants, workshops, factories or construction sites. This means there will be an element of travel involved, as well as the potential of time spent away from home. Depending on your employer and project, there may also be the possibility for overseas travel.

 

Career progression

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there are excellent opportunities for progression as a mechanical engineer. While not essential, gaining incorporated or chartered engineer status can help give your career a welcome boost.

A common progression path is to move into project management roles, while becoming an engineering consultant is another option.

 

Areas of specialism 

The vast scope of mechanical engineering means that there are lots of areas you can choose to specialise in, from aerospace and automotive to the armed forces and other government agencies. Alternatively, you could move into energy and utilities, construction, the public sector or any number of other areas.

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