Trends in Mechanical Engineering Careers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers hold over 226,000 jobs, more than half of which are in manufacturing: machinery, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and fabricated metal products manufacturing industries. Emerging fields like biotechnology, materials science, and nano-technology are expected to create new job opportunities for mechanical engineers; the BLS predicts an increase of nearly 10,000 mechanical engineering jobs by 2016.
In particular, medical biotechnology is gaining more attention from mechanical engineers who specialize in design mechanics. This area involves the design of artificial limbs and organs. Mechanical engineers must work along with medical doctors to develop these products that will withstand stress and yet be compatible with the human body.
A degree in mechanical engineering often can be applied to other engineering specialties, such as manufacturing engineering or aerospace engineering. In addition to those increased job opportunities, many openings will result from the natural replacement of workers who transfer to other occupations or retire.