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What is an Entry Level Mechanical Engineer?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 04, 2024
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An entry level mechanical engineer is someone who has just qualified as a mechanical engineer and is ready to enter the job market. Like other people in entry level positions, an entry level mechanical engineer does not have work experience, but has benefited from the most recent training available. Since many people view mechanical engineering as a lifetime career, entry level mechanical engineers are at the start of their working careers as mechanical engineers.

Typically, an entry level mechanical engineer holds a bachelors or masters degree in mechanical engineering, and may have done some additional graduate level work. Part of the training for mechanical engineers includes some practical experience with mechanical fabrication, the software utilized by mechanical engineers, and other tasks, so these engineering professionals have some experience. In some cases, they may have participated in internships which have given them more hands-on experience.

Many companies are constantly looking for entry level mechanical engineers to hire for basic positions, offering promotions over time. A skilled engineer with a drive to innovate can stay with the same company for life, working his or her way up through the ranks. Others may drift from company to company, following particular interests in the engineering field or acquiring a broad depth of skills. After substantial experience, mechanical engineers may also start their own companies to develop projects they are interested in.

Mechanical engineer jobs can include positions in aerospace, automotive manufacturing, and almost any industry which involves tools and machines, because mechanical engineers work with anything which has mechanical parts. An entry level mechanical engineer has a wide range of career paths to choose from. Companies looking for newly qualified mechanical engineers usually specify that a position is entry level, making it easy for entry level mechanical engineers to find appropriate job listings.

As with all people at the start of their careers, an entry level mechanical engineer may not have a very impressive resume. The important part of the mechanical engineer's qualifications is the training he or she has received. A resume should definitely make note of any honors received, special projects the entry level mechanical engineer was involved in, and internships which have offered practical experience. It can also help to have letters of recommendation or introduction from engineering professors; while professors are not obligated to help with job placement, many are willing to assist talented students when they start building their careers.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AllTheScience researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By MrMoody — On Sep 03, 2011

@everetra - That sounds like excellent advice, but it may be too little, too late for some people who made their career choices while in college, and not before.

However, I think it all depends on what you bring to the job, which is what the resume should show. A good entry level mechanical engineer resume should highlight leadership or project management skills in my opinion; so even if you don’t hail from a perfect school or have the right internship, you should focus on transferable skill sets that demonstrate your ability to get things done and lead others.

In addition, I think that CAD software or other software applications used by engineers have become indispensable; I definitely think that you should put these on your resume as well.

At the top of your resume I think you should phrase your career goals in terms of your strengths and abilities rather than just stating what it is that you seek.

By everetra — On Sep 02, 2011

I think that the market for all kinds of jobs can have its ups and downs, and engineering is no exception. It can be subject to a brief downturn in times of recession like anything else.

However, I got a good tip from a friend of mine who landed a great entry level mechanical engineer job upon graduation. He went to a very good engineering school, in addition to doing an internship - but he thinks the school was the thing that got him hired right away.

He actually told me that companies prefer picking their new hires from the established engineering schools, in good times and bad.

I don’t know if that’s true, but it worked for him and there may be some others who can vouch for what he said.

So in conclusion, you should start your search for the best mechanical engineer entry level jobs before you even go to college; pick the right school, and it will make things easier later on.

By sunnySkys — On Sep 01, 2011

@strawCake - You're right, choosing a field that is well paid and in demand is always a plus. I have a lot of friend that are struggling to find entry level work in their fields.

It sounds like there is a lot of entry level work available for mechanical engineers, and I think that's great! I've always wondered how people are supposed to get started in their field if there are no entry level jobs available!

By strawCake — On Aug 31, 2011

I remember reading somewhere that an engineering degree can set a person up for some pretty high paying jobs later on. I think the article said that the average wage for a mechanical engineer is 80K per year or something like that.

It seems like taking an entry level job as a mechanical engineer and working your way up really pays off. If 80K is the average wage, that means there are people making significantly more than that doing that job! I know it's good to follow your dreams, but it helps if your chose field is a lucrative one.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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