Common job duties for mechanical engineers include drafting designs for thermal and mechanical devices, such as tools, machines and engines, as well as building and testing them. Engineers also supervise the creation of their devices.
Mechanical engineers look for problems that can be solved with a mechanical or thermal device and use computer-aided design machines to either create a brand new invention or revamp a currently existing product. Before the final version of a device can be created, engineers create and test prototypes and study the test data to improve the final design.
Additional examples of items created by mechanical engineers include internal combustion engines, electric generators, turbines and air conditioners. Escalators, elevators and other machines found inside buildings are also created by mechanical engineers.
To learn how to carry out their job duties, mechanical engineers complete undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering. Bachelor's degree courses focus on subjects such as physical sciences, mathematics and design. Programs also offer internship or co-op opportunities to provide students with real-world training. Those more interested in research can go on to earn graduate degrees. To improve their chances of being hired and to become licensed, mechanical engineers should attend programs that have been officially accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.