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Oswego Career Ladders - Mechanical Engineer

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Mechanical Engineer

Industry: Energy
Area: Wind Power

Mechanical engineers have a particularly important role to play in wind power, since all renewable energy systems require energy conversion from one form to another. Mechanical Engineers develop innovative systems to improve efficiency and reduce costs in technologies which are already deployed commercially. For example, materials such as glass fibers may be embedded in wind turbine blades systems to improve strength. There is a degree of crossover between research, development and implementation. For example, while the potential benefits of "off shore" wind farming are large, there are many technical issues which need to be studied before the technology can be applied cost effectively.

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.

Education

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.

Salary

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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