Being numerate and computer literate, mechanical engineering graduates are also suited to careers in finance and management
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Aerospace engineer
- Automotive engineer
- CAD technician
- Contracting civil engineer
- Control and instrumentation engineer
- Maintenance engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Nuclear engineer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Acoustic consultant
- Clinical technologist
- Corporate investment banker
- Land-based engineer
- Mining engineer
- Patent attorney
- Production manager
- Technical sales engineer
- Water engineer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your search to the jobs listed here.
Employers value pre-entry work experience and especially that relating to the career you'd like to pursue. Some degree courses offer a year in industry, which is valuable as this will help you develop your skills and commercial awareness.
If you'd like to get into engineering and your course doesn't offer a placement, try to secure one yourself during the summer holidays. Getting in touch directly with large engineering employers will show you take your work seriously. The work is often hands-on and provides a good insight into the engineering environment. It can also be a good idea to shadow different engineers to help you decide which area you'd like to work in.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Mechanical engineering deals with the design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of anything that has moving parts. Because of this, you'll find relevant opportunities in a range of sectors, including:
- aerospace engineering
- automotive engineering
- railway engineering
Work experience provides opportunities for networking which can sometimes lead to a job.
There are plenty of opportunities to work abroad as a mechanical engineer.
Skills for your CV
A mechanical engineering degree is a combination of maths, science, technology, business and management. Courses are designed to ensure graduates are:
- able to solve problems using both logic and creative and innovative approaches
- numerate and highly computer literate, with excellent analytical skills
- able to plan and prioritise, work to deadlines and under pressure
- cost/value-conscious and aware of the necessary social, cultural, environmental, health and safety, and wider professional responsibilities
- capable of careful attention to detail, exercising good judgement and accepting responsibility
- able to communicate with others and work in multidisciplinary teams.
Most courses have a strong focus on preparation for professional practice, but they'll provide you with skills that are suitable for a range of careers.
Many students enrol onto MEng programmes for their first degree. These are integrated four-year Masters courses, recognised as offering extended and enhanced programmes of study. Others complete a separate Masters after their first degree.
An EngD is essentially an industry-based PhD, combining Doctoral-level research with training in practical skills. Research engineers are usually placed with industrial (or sometimes academic) sponsors, and there is a possibility that you may be employed by your sponsor at the end of the programme.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in mechanical engineering.
What do mechanical engineering graduates do?
44% of mechanical engineering graduates employed in the UK are working as engineering professionals 15 months after graduation. Further, IT professionals (6%), science, engineering and production technicians (4%) and metal machining, fitting and instrument making trades (3%) are all among the top five most popular roles reported.
|Working and studying||8.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and finance||8.6|
|Retail, catering and customer service||5|
For a breakdown of what mechanical engineering graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.