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Oswego Career Ladders - Mechanical Engineer

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Mechanical Engineer

Industry: Energy
Area: Solar Power

Mechanical engineers research, develop, design, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. n the field of solar power the most common technologies produced and used in the United States today include photovoltaics, concentrating solar power (also known as solar thermal electric) systems, solar hot water systems, and passive solar building design. These technologies are currently in different stages of development. The role of the mechanical engineer is to take each technology from the R&D phase toward full-scale commercialization.

Work Settings

Mechanical engineering and business are closely intertwined. Mechanical Engineers work in many different settings, most often as a matter of choice and career planning. They differ in the type of workplace, the problems to be solved, and work schedule. Early-career mechanical engineers tend to spend more time doing testing lab and field work than their more experienced colleagues. Some mechanical engineers work in the design centers and headquarters facilities of high-tech companies, some prefer working in the field, and some travel overseas to serve clients and to develop new markets for products and services. There's a good chance that you won't spend all your waking hours sitting at a workstation.


A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for any mechanical engineering job.

Job Outlook

Mechanical engineers are projected to have an average rate of employment growth through 2014.


According to a 2005 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelor's degree candidates in mechanical engineering received starting salary offers averaging $50,236 a year, master's degree candidates were offered $59,880, and Ph.D. candidates were offered $68,299.

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