3. From machine repairer to mechanical engineer
Are you fascinated by how machines work? Do you spend your evenings and weekends in the garage tinkering with old cars and bikes? Or perhaps you love building your own model mechanical railways, airplanes and rockets from scratch.
If the thought of repairing a fault with a car engine gets you searching on YouTube with glee, then a career as a mechanical engineer could be perfect for you. Mechanical engineers develop and design the components and machinery used in manufacturing, construction and other industries.
Choosing a career in mechanical engineering could see you working on components and equipment for many industries including power, transport and water. The job involves using computer-aided design/modelling software. Presenting designs to managers and clients. Measuring the performance of mechanical components, devices and engines. And maintaining and modifying equipment.
If your favourite subjects are maths and physics – you’re in luck, as knowledge of these core subjects – plus engineering and technology – are important. You’ll also need design and analytical thinking skills. Not to mention the ability to think creatively and come up with new ways of doing things, when you’re struggling to fix a piece of equipment.
There are routes into this profession for both school leavers and university graduates. If you’re a school leaver, you could study for an HND in mechanical engineering or complete a manufacturing engineer degree apprenticeship. Graduates need a degree in a relevant subject, such as mechanical, automotive or aeronautical or manufacturing engineering.
Find out more on the National Careers Service.