Do you wonder how rockets are built to withstand the elements of space? Or do you think about how industrial machines create clothing and other products we use on a daily basis? Mechanical engineering, in a broad sense, deals with how devices in our world work. People in this field study, develop, test and create machines that affect our day-to-day lives. Mechanical engineering is the type of major for people who enjoy complex problem solving, like figuring out how things work, and-most importantly-who excel in math and science.

Something to consider

Most mechanical engineering degrees may take students five years instead of the average four years to complete. The additional year is spent completing a cooperative-education program (internship) where you will gain experience that will help propel you into your career. Your schooling will most likely consist of courses filled with research papers and labs.

After graduation

A mechanical engineering degree can put you into many different employment industries, including scientific research and development services, aerospace product and parts manufacturing and government (Federal Executive branch). Within these industries, job titles may include: biomedical engineer, independent consulting/contractor, robotics engineer and nuclear engineer.

Where you could end up living

According to My Next Move in 2013, there are 28 states with average to above-average mechanical engineering career opportunities, including: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Salary and occupation outlook

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, there were more than 258,000 jobs as mechanical engineers with the average salary of $85,930 per year. The projected outlook in the field is a 5 percent growth rate through 2022. Keep in mind that the mechanical engineering job market is actually expanding due to advances in technology, which can create job opportunities and increase the overall growth rate percentage. Mechanical engineering requires various advanced math and science classes, and it won't help to know the concepts without relating it to the real world. Apply what you learn in the classroom to your life. Practical application will help you transition from school to career.

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