I suggest you go to your placement office and find out what companies will
be hiring in your choice of community. It is unfortunate that you did not
do this sooner (say as a sophomore), as "local" businesses will have their
course requirements too.
David A. Smith
Feel like a little more school?
I would suggest this even if you get a job.
Go to your local State Adult Vocational Educational School, or Tech
school/Trade school (whatever you have in your area), and sign up for the
Machinists course. Get your Machinists Certificate, including CNC
programming and applications. After that, take the Welding class.
Most of these schools offer night/evening courses.
You will never regret it, and you will be a much better Engineer down the
road for it.
The experience in knowing HOW something is made, HOW it can be held in a
machine to be made, WHAT the order of operations for manufacture are, and
HOW much time is really involved, will help you reduce design mistakes,
reduce costs of your designs, streamline your design concepts and time to
paper and ensure that WHAT you design, can actually be made.
A good follow up course, would be a class or three in PLC programming and
applications. Much of the manufacturing world today revolves around
automation, and more automation is being done every day. Knowing how a
PLC works and what the limitations/expectations are will help in
streamlining the mechanical and process flow design.
Just a few thoughts......
You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
I could not agree more. If the OP is interested in the HVAC side of
the business, then some coursework in refrigeration at a local JC
would be worthwhile.
In addition, some coursework with some of the building automation
companies would be of value.
I went to a technical college and worked for years as mechanic before
getting my PE. Without question the experience has made me a better
so u mean a BS degree in Meachanical Engineering and the courses I
studied in college are not too helpful for the jobs in industry? I am
in junior now and I will graduate next year. I just want to see what
are the possible job opportunities for a new grad., and try to prepare
myself to fit in mechanical industry.
please advise. Thanks!
Employment is not entering heaven. It is not a fairy tale. It is your
first application of watching out for number one.
Having a degree without a plan, leaves you in a herd of cattle. Well
educated cattle, but nothing to differentiate you from the rest.
To obtain the best place for yourself, resolve industry into
companies-that-hire-mechanical-engineers. Next resolve those companies
into human resource personnel. Next find out what each company requires
its mechanical engineers to know and do. I suggest you find your
counselor, and have him/her help you.
David A. Smith
What you really possess when you get out of school is a good background of
nomenclature. You're a sponge ready to absorb anything and in reality, what
you end up doing is primarily a function of the kind of job (and training)
that you get. Being an ME doesn't mean that you're destined to be doing
design work on machinery/ tools/hardware and the like. You might end up
doing design work on hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, even
hydromechanical control systems. You might end up doing a lot of test and
evaluation or lab work in the very same fields. I make these comments based
on my own experience--an ME that did all of the above and even electronic
systems. Never did a stitch of hardware design, but did specify
requirements, wrote Specs and acceptance tests. I an not in favor of more
schooling, you've had enough already--it's time to go out and get work
experience--that's what pays off. If your school has a co-op program I hope
that you've taken advantage of it. Get a summer job where you can get some
hands on experience in anything related to the practice of engineering--it
all goes into the *experience bank*.
Some curriculums include that already. I graduated from WPI, and
we had welding and machining classes.
(I just noticed the school's long time instructor, who taught me,
passed away last month http://www.wpi.edu/News/Memoriam/ )
Yes, some include a semester or if you are lucky, two. This in NO WAY
really prepares you like a full Machinists Cert. I know, i've trained my
boss who also went through this in his ME degree program in how you
really machine parts. Don't get me wrong, he's a very intelligent fella,
MSME, but had practically no real world experience in machining, save
what he had in school, which was very limited.
For a real world look at what the machinists think of many designs, just
ask about it over in alt.machines.cnc
There is an excellent thread on a fella who has to train some new ME's
this week and next. He asked what to show them while they were in his
shop, excellent thread, from the machinists/moldmaker/tool & die point of
You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
I am studying at UC Berkeley. I am living in San Francisco bay area
now. Maybe I should move out to other states for more job
opportunities?? I think I am interested in automobile mechanics areas.
However, I won't limit myself to work in this area only, and I am
happy to try different fields that can apply what I have learned at
school. Many people said the materials learned at school (math
calculations) are not very practical in industry. I am not sure about
that? Yeah, I know hands-on experience is important to the industry. I
am learning Auto Cad now, which is not studied at school.
Any more suggestions are welcomed. Thanks a lot!!
I'm as you a graduating Mechanical Engineer (5-th year in University) and
I've also want to find good job in any country (exept mine :) ). But now the
best thing I'm found is practics in one University in Germany... About
AutoCAD and others... I'm using quite good: ANSYS 6.0, COSMOS/M 2.7,
SolidWorks 2001, CosmosWorks, AutoCAD 2000, Maple 8.0. Do you think I have
any chances to find good job :) ?
Svyatoslav Gladkov, Kharkov, UKRAINE
For people who are interested in the deign side of engineering.
Well. Some of what a lot of guys have said is good, but your first job
will make or break you. I have been working as a project engineer for
a company that is very large and has facillities all over the world.
They supply equipment to drilling companies in the oil industry. I
have gotten alot of good experience quickly. There have been times
where I have worked 80 hours in a week, with no over time pay. But
those are the brakes when you trade experience for money.
Money will come in time as you be come extremely valuable to other
companies and the one you work for, But getting that experience is
most important for your long term goals.
I have looked at other positions that are similar to mine and the
companies require less ability for alot more years experience. The
position I carry and work in does pigeon hole me a little as the
people looking for a position like mine want a minimum of 5-15 years
just to start in what I am already doing now.
Being good with computers in general and being flexible is very
important. There will be days, when you feel like a complete idiot.
There will be days when you are king of the world and everything goes
your way. Don't be discouraged and be as creative as possible while
I am only 3 years experienced but I am still working in the same
company that first hired me. I was good enough to survive several lay
offs. The pay rate isn't everything, especially in a 1st job. Look
for something that will get you good hands on experience. Getting a
welding certificate or a machinist certificate will not get you into
the Design field. Being able to think on your feet, pay attention to
details, and be methodical while also being creative will. Most
"Design" people won't have the best grades, and it is really hard to
describe who the people are that are best for this type of work.
Design is a talent all on its own and you will either have it or not.
Some people will be better suited to less challenging positions and/or
analysis or other types of work.
The reason why design/ project management type jobs are so challenging
is that you become the salesman, designer, the go-to guy, the person
who does all the calculations, does the bill of material, works with
the machinist/welder in fabrication, does the documention, etc.
Sometimes you end up going to the field for installation or problems
associated with the design of your products. You end up with alot of
stroke once you have gotten good at a "job with many hats". Its a job
with a lot of reponsibility and is not for most.
You become the technical expert and your word is law in some cases
where you have no power in many others. The position of having the
most power and being powerless on decisions is strange to say the
Being good with new ideas, and using the KISS method, which is hard
for some engineers. I am not excluding myself in this, but it works
when you combine the right amount of complexity and simplicity in your
Get a good Resume', and don't lie. Thats the first step to failure
and not being hired. Seem interested in the job, be willing to learn
and get your hands dirty.
When you get the job. The shop is your friend. Get to know the
people making your parts. The fabricators the machinists, etc. Ask
them what you can do to make your designs easier for them to make.
Now there are times when their ideas are not possible, but at least
listen. Check what they propose with the book knowledge you have.
Keep buying books, add to your library. Having a good library helps
you answer problems quickly. I recommend at a minimum of getting
AISC: ASD, Machinery Handbook, Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain,
and the Cameron Hydraulic Data Book. Usually the shop person working
on your product really cares about putting out good work. Help them
in assembly of parts. Get the feel for how easy or hard it is to put
something together or take apart. Learn how to weld on the job as far
as test samples go. Get insight from the people who do the
fabrication, machining and assembly for a living.
Taking a class on this is fairly useless. Talk to Industrial
Engineeing and Quality Control. Industrial Engineering makes all the
fixtures and CNC codes for the products you design. Talk with your
drafters, learn how to look at drawings and check them methodically.
Talk to everyone and you will learn alot. Get to know your drafting
If the shop likes you. They will want to work on your stuff and you
will be known for being a nice guy, but you also get your work done
both on paper but also in productuction. Getting this far will not be
instant but these steps are really important to becoming a good
I can honestly say I have used 80-90% of what I learned in school, but
I also use a whole hell of alot more then what I learned in school on
the job. I am dealing with rotating electromechanical equipment and
many other types of products so I get looks at just about all aspect
in engineering by designing new and same time as last time but
different type projects.
I hope this gives you an idea. Send out as many resume's as you can.
Hit the job websites, the newspapers, job fairs, your carreer
counseling department. You may send out 5000 resume's or more, but
the first good bite is all that counts when looking.
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