To become a mechanical engineer, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is required, as stated by the BLS. This degree is required to obtain most entry-level mechanical engineering positions, and a degree from an AEBT-accredited program is preferred.
After obtaining a bachelors degree, an individual needs a state license in order to work with the general public. Individuals need to pass successfully the Fundamentals of Engineering exam offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, before they can obtain a license. After completing four years on the job, they can take a Practice of Engineering exam to gain a Professional Engineers license. These licenses also require continued education to stay up-to-date.
Once aspiring engineers obtain all the degrees and licenses, they are ready to begin the job search. These individuals should start by submitting resumes for entry-level positions to companies of interest immediately following state licensing. Once hired, continued education courses are required to maintain licenses, and proper certification is necessary to continue to work with the public.
Continued education requirements vary based on the area of mechanical engineering career pursued. Common engineering areas like automotive, energy, biotechnology, computers, electronics and construction all require constant updates to certifications. These certification updates can be taken at the state licensing office, a vocational school, through computer programs, or taught through an in-house certified engineer.