WHAT IS IT?
It's basically designing and making all the parts of machines that move. That could mean rocket science or mountain bike design - and everything in between
WHERE DO THEY WORK?
Mechanical engineers are very important to two kinds of industries:
Industriesthat make machines with moving parts - like cars or sewing machines or toy robots.
Industriesthat use machines with moving parts - like the conveyor belts in television factories or the stirry things that mix up the ingredients in chocolate factories.
In other words, they play an important role in designing or making pretty much everything that's designed or made
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO THEY NEED?
What qualifications have you got? Seriously, there are opportunities for all kinds of people in mechanical engineering. These are the main openings:
Modern apprenticeswant to earn while they learn, rather than doing A levels. You'll need good GCSEs for this option and it could lead to a good job or university, depending on how you want to play your career.
Graduatesare people who have studied for a degree at university - usually in mechanical engineering or a related subject. You'll probably need science and maths A levels or an advanced GNVQ to get in, but nowadays there are alternative entry qualifications.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH
Mechanics- they mend cars.
Meccano- the toy you may have got for Christmas when you were a kid.
People who hate machines.
THE PERFECT JOB FOR..
Anyone who likes maths, science and/or design and technology in school, whether it's the thinking that you're into or the satisfaction of doing practical things. Also anyone who understands how all the cogs on their bike work
LINKSInstitute of Mechanical Engineers (IMECHE) The Royal Aeronautical Society