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Thread: Career advice for a Mechanical Engineer

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Mar 2021
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    Career advice for a Mechanical Engineer

    I've got Master's in Mechanical Engineering (Machine Building) in a university in Russia. Few years ago I moved to Canada and just recently got Engineer-in-training license with local engineering association.


    Now I'm trying to figure out my future career, I haven't got any engineering experience in Canada yet, and what concerns me the most is that there are very few positions that fit me in my area, there are mostly opportunities for HVAC, electrical, civil engineers which I am not ( I don't consider moving as an option), and even if I get a job my opportunities for the future career growth will be limited, I will be most likely stuck in one company for 5+ year.


    I started to think about studying switching my career to IT, but not sure that it will be the best choice time-wise, and I wouldn't want to start from the scratch. As engineering is becoming more and more integrated with IT, probably the best way would be to combine them and get additional IT skills on top of my engineering background, like SolidWorks API. Another thing I am considering is Data Analysis which also could be useful.
    Any other suggestions?


  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Myrtle Beach, SC
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    I feel your pain. Like you, I am a mechanical engineer specializing in machine design. I followed my father into the field. He was the inventor of the fiberglass extrusion process, called Pultrusion. It is used today to make many products, the most familiar of which is fiberglass ladders.

    My early career was in various manufacturing plants, designing new production equipment and some product design. I went to work for a small consulting engineering firm that designed equipment for several local manufacturing plants. When we were bought out by a much larger engineering firm I became more familiar with the other more common engineering disciplines such as civil and structural. I also learned more about the need for a PE license, a requirement in most US states if you want to have your own engineering consulting firm, which I did for 10 years.

    I got my PE license and was registered in three states. Keeping your license requires annual Continuing Education (CE) credits. Good luck finding ANY CE training classes that have anything to do with machine design. If you want to build bridges, or dams, or pressure vessels, You are well covered. But if you want to learn more about how to design a multi-station automatic assembly machine, you're out of luck. To the people that run those engineering training companies, the field of machine design simply does not exist.

    The PE license is not required for most engineers if you are an employee of a manufacturing company and are not creating designs that might expose the public to injury. So that's where I am now, and very happy indeed. I gave up the annual rat race to try to find a CE training course that had any relation to my chosen profession.

    So, my suggestion is to look for jobs that involve the design of manufacturing and production equipment. Usually that would be working directly for the manufacturer, or working for a high-end machine builder that has their own engineering and design function.

    Hang in there!

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