A career in mechanical engineering is an exciting field that involves the design, development, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. This is a prominent career path in Nigeria, with numerous opportunities.
Mechanical engineering is a vast discipline that includes all aspects of automation, fabrication, robotics, and manufacturing. It covers numerous aspects of our personal and professional lives. A career in mechanical engineering is an intriguing one. However, it requires certain requirements to venture into and thrive in this career path.
I will walk you through the nitty-gritty of this field and all you need to succeed.
Steps to start a Career in Mechanical Engineering
- Obtain your O’ level certificate: You need to have a minimum of credits units in compulsory subjects such as Mathematics, English, Physics and Chemistry.
- Register and write the JAMB examination: To have a better chance of being admitted, you must have a JAMB score of 250 or above. Furthermore, the cumulative score that the university will use to assess your candidature for admission will be based on your JAMB score in addition to your POST UTME result. The four core subjects required are English, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics.
- Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree: Apply to a University and study to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. This undergraduate program typically takes four years and provides a solid foundation in core mechanical engineering concepts.
- Focus on Core Subjects: As a student, it is advisable to pay attention to core courses such as mathematics, physics, thermodynamics, mechanics, materials science, and engineering design. Mastering these fundamental principles is essential for starting a career in mechanical engineering.
- Build a Strong Technical Skill Set: It is important you learn engineering software tools such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and FEA (Finite Element Analysis). Additionally, cultivate hands-on skills in areas like machining, prototyping, and experimental testing.
- Apply for internships: After obtaining your bachelor’s degree, look for opportunities to do internships to gain real-world experience. You can apply theoretical knowledge, develop technical abilities, and get exposure to the industry with the aid of these experiences.
- Join Engineering Societies: Join professional engineering societies such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) or the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME). Membership gives networking opportunities, access to information, and exposure to the most recent business trends.
- Job Search and Career Opportunities: Explore job prospects in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, energy, and consulting organisations. Find job openings and submit applications using job boards, company websites, and professional networks.
Areas of Specialisation in Mechanical Engineering
- Robotics and Automation: Mechanical engineers in this field create intelligent machines for manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries.
- Automotive Engineering: Automotive engineers work on areas such as engine design, powertrain systems, vehicle dynamics, and safety. This specialisation entails the design, development, and production of automotive systems and vehicles.
- Aerospace Engineering: Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design, manufacture, and testing of aeroplanes and spacecraft. Aerodynamics, propulsion systems, flight control, and space exploration are some of the fields in which they operate.
- Power and Energy Engineering: This discipline is concerned with the design and optimisation of energy systems such as renewable energy, power generation, transmission, and distribution.
- HVAC and Energy Systems: Engineers in this field work on designing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for buildings, as well as energy-efficient systems for power generation and distribution.
Industries where Mechanical Engineers can work
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Power generation Industry
- Manufacturing Industry
- Construction Industry
- Transportation Industry
- Research and Development Industry
- Consulting firms
- Government agencies.
Salary of Mechanical Engineers
The amount of money earned by mechanical engineers is dependent on the level of experience and the industry sector you work under. The average salary ranges from N200,000 to N700,000 monthly.
Starting a career in mechanical engineering is an excellent career choice because there is so much room for growth and development. To be successful in this sector, you must be up to date on developing technologies and trends, as well as have a thorough understanding of sustainability and its applications in many industries. When you have the necessary skills and expertise, you can build a successful and enjoyable career in this sector.