What Subjects are Needed to Become a Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers are professionals who are involved in designing, developing, and building machinery and mechanical equipment for products used in heavy industries. Mechanical engineering itself is a broad field where students take on several classes that help them get an understanding of the overall design process as well as specializations in either product design or structures design.

Mechanical engineering deals with the theory, design, development and maintenance of the machinery needed for production of both goods and services. Therefore, a job as a mechanical engineer is incredibly diverse in that you can choose your focus depending on where your interest lies.

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You probably already have an idea about what to expect when studying Mechanical Engineering, but what about the jobs you can look forward to when taking such a degree? If your answer is the typical “be solution-oriented, creative, and have at least passing knowledge of Math and Technology” you’re only at the base of the mountain. There’s still some hiking to do to reach the peak.

what is mechanical engineering?

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Technically, mechanical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering from design to manufacturing to the marketplace for any object. Mechanical engineers analyze their work using the principles of motion, energy, and force—ensuring that designs function safely, efficiently, and reliably, all at a competitive cost.

Mechanical engineers make a difference. That’s because mechanical engineering careers center on creating technologies to meet human needs. Virtually every product or service in modern life has probably been touched in some way by a mechanical engineer to help humankind.

This includes solving today’s problems and creating future solutions in health care, energy, transportation, world hunger, space exploration, climate change, and more.

Being ingrained in many challenges and innovations across many fields means a mechanical engineering education is versatile. To meet this broad demand, mechanical engineers may design a component, a machine, a system, or a process. This ranges from the macro to the micro, from the largest systems like cars and satellites to the smallest components like sensors and switches. Anything that needs to be manufactured—indeed, anything with moving parts—needs the expertise of a mechanical engineer.

What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Mechanical Engineer?

Each university has its own entry requirements. Maths and physics are generally the most important subjects for mechanical engineering, but many students manage to get on a course without having studied them. 

Engineering school admission requirements typically include a high school diploma with a full menu of math and science courses, plus humanities and computer studies. High school preparation should include geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus, plus physics, chemistry and biology. Most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering for entry-level mechanical engineering jobs. A bachelor’s degree normally requires general classes in math, humanities, science, social sciences and engineering during the first two years, and specialized classes during the remaining years. The curriculum also incorporates the basics of other engineering disciplines, such as chemical, electrical and civil engineering. Typical studies include calculus, thermodynamics, physics, materials science, statics, dynamics and fluid dynamics, and laboratory sections. Many engineering degree programs also include internships.

Some graduates with other engineering specialties, or with a bachelor’s in science or math, can find mechanical engineering jobs when demand is particularly high. Mechanical engineering programs at the bachelor’s level normally take at least four years to complete. Many hiring managers prefer graduates of programs with accreditation from ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The fundamental subjects of mechanical engineering usually include:

  • Mathematics (in particular, calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra)
  • Basic physical sciences (including physics and chemistry)
  • Statics and dynamics
  • Strength of materials and solid mechanics
  • Materials engineering, Composites
  • Thermodynamics, heat transfer, energy conversion, and HVAC
  • Fuels, combustion, Internal combustion engine
  • Fluid mechanics (including fluid statics and fluid dynamics)
  • Mechanism and Machine design (including kinematics and dynamics)
  • Instrumentation and measurement
  • Manufacturing engineering, technology, or processes
  • Vibration, control theory and control engineering
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Mechatronics and robotics
  • Engineering design and product design
  • Drafting, computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

requirements for mechanical engineering

A career in mechanical engineering requires at least a bachelor’s degree. These programs include instruction in various system components, from computer programming to power systems, and cover technical subjects such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and hydraulics. Students are also expected to gain a basic understanding of civil engineering, electrical engineering, and chemical engineering. Many programs include coursework in fields where mechanical engineering is often applied, such as business or environmental science.

Students interested in research and development positions in academia or private industry might go on to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in mechanical engineering. Graduate programs in mechanical engineering typically involve research projects in a specific area, culminating in a thesis or dissertation. Engineering schools generally hold an accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

A levels – Entry requirements range from CCC to A*AA, with the universities and colleges most commonly asking for AAB.

Scottish Highers – Entry requirements for Highers (the most common qualification) range from ABBB to AAAAB, with universities or colleges most frequently requiring AABBB. Occasionally, universities ask for Advanced Highers to supplement Highers. If Advanced Highers are requested, universities or colleges typically ask for AA.

Vocational courses – Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma, or an SCQF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative to A levels/Highers by some providers. It’s essential that you check alternative entry requirements with universities or colleges.

mechanical engineering salary

A person working as a Mechanical Engineer in Nigeria typically earns around 302,000 NGN per month. Salaries range from 157,000 NGN (lowest) to 462,000 NGN (highest).

This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Mechanical Engineer salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

Salary Range

Mechanical Engineer salaries in Nigeria range from 157,000 NGN per month (minimum salary) to 462,000 NGN per month (maximum salary).

Median Salary

The median salary is 290,000 NGN per month, which means that half (50%) of people working as Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 290,000 NGN while the other half are earning more than 290,000 NGN. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

Percentiles

Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 201,000 NGN while 75% of them are earning more than 201,000 NGN. Also from the diagram, 75% of Mechanical Engineer(s) are earning less than 361,000 NGN while 25% are earning more than 361,000 NGN.

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