Mechanical engineering is a discipline applying knowledge in physics, engineering, material science, and engineering mathematics to design, analyze, maintain and manufacture mechanical systems. In fact, it is one of the oldest engineering disciplines in the world. This said, it is obvious to see why it would be a lucrative line of career considering that it has had years to develop and revolutionize.
There are certain careers that are admired by kids from the time they are young. This is because of their lucrative nature as far as remuneration is concerned. Mechanical engineering is one of the engineering disciplines that is actually very attractive. This article brings important information concerning this discipline for anyone who wants to venture into it. This is a discipline that is clearly not for the faint-hearted. One needs to have an understanding of various fields including material science, dynamics, mechanics, and electricity, not forgetting structural analysis. Going by these areas, it is easy to see that this is a career path that requires intellect and a high level of attention to details. To understand more about this field, read on.
What you need to know about mechanical engineering
Have you ever wondered or asked yourself the question: What is mechanical engineering? Before you envision a career in mechanical engineering, there are certain things you ought to know in order to excel in the field. The right foundation is crucial as it will help you make the right choices early enough. When you prepare in good time, you will become a better expert in your field of choice.
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According to Accra Technical University, the demand for mechanical engineering courses in Ghana is on the rise since there has been an increase in the number of industries in the country. This calls for more skilled labour in this line. As seen by the courses offered in this school, mechanical engineering is diverse and ensures that competent experts that can work in both engineering and non-engineering capacities are modeled.
Mechanical engineering touches on different areas among them being automobile engineering, refrigeration engineering, plant engineering, and robotics or production engineering, just to mention a few. Courses in engineering, regardless of specification, are geared towards empowering learners to acquire hands-on skills in designing, assembling, and manufacturing components and systems. The courses go further to help students apply all the social science skills learnt in school in order to manage engineering needs in organizations as well as maintain the right relationships with the said companies.
There are different areas where a mechanical engineer could work. They could either be directly related to the course or could fall outside the course. Some of the jobs you can get into as a mechanical engineer include the following:
- Aerospace engineer
- Automotive engineer
- CAD technician
- Contracting civil engineer
- Control and instrumentation engineer
- Maintenance engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Acoustic consultant
- Corporate investment banker
- Mining engineer
- Patent attorney
- Production manager
- Technical sales engineer
- Water engineer
Apart from engineering jobs, you can also work in management, especially if you have a number of years of experience in the field.
Becoming a mechanical engineer step by step
In case you are eyeing any of the mechanical engineering jobs described above, it is important to be prepared on how to achieve this. Some of the useful tips I believe will come in handy include the following.
1. Choosing the right school
This is probably the most basic and logical thing to do when choosing any career. It is important that you settle for a reputable school, especially one that is renowned for the field of study you are interested in. This is the best way to prepare yourself as the skills and knowledge you acquire will be useful in your area of study. Secondly, the school will have an impact on your CV whenever you apply for jobs in the future. Make sure you choose a school that is well-respected locally and internationally, if possible.
Depending on the mechanical engineering school you settle for, you may have to study locally or abroad. If you decide to study abroad, choose a country that supports your study. This calls for extensive research. It helps to note that countries offering the best mechanical engineering courses are also likely to need these engineers more. This means that you can also easily secure a job in these countries.
2. The earlier you start gaining experience, the better
The next thing you should have in mind is to always look out for opportunities to exercise your knowledge. While it is true that the school you choose has a great impact on the engineer you become, experience is even much more important. This means that you should always consider investing your free time in doing internships and voluntary sessions that encourage you to apply the skills you learn at school. This way, you get to build your CV and have an added advantage over the rest of the engineers graduating with just excellent results and no experience.
3. Know and understand your niche
One of the most crucial things any aspiring engineer ought to know is that becoming the best in your field is a crucial element to success. After all, your salary will also depend on it. As you accumulate your experience, which will also boost your earnings, obviously, make sure that you learn and improve in your area each day. It is important to also understand your industry very well especially if you are just getting into employment.
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Mechanical engineering jobs in Ghana
As mentioned earlier, it is obvious that industries in Ghana have been increasing in the last few years. This translates to the need for more engineers. You can look for mechanical engineering jobs on different sites including Glassdoor.com. However, note that mechanical engineering careers are not the easiest to come by. The amount of hard work you have to put in right from the time you start studying warrants that the remuneration you get when you begin working is worth it. It is important, just as it is for other careers, to feel that your effort is valuable.
Engineers spend quite a substantial amount of time at work ensuring that everything runs smoothly. They cannot afford to make silly mistakes as the consequences could run into thousands of dollars in losses, not to mention in some cases, it could cause far more damaging outcomes. This said, understanding the average salary of most mechanical engineers in Ghana will help you decide if it is a career path worth venturing into. You should weigh the pros and cons by comparing the investment in terms of schooling and actual work vs the remuneration before making a decision.
Most of the mechanical engineers' salaries depend on the number of years of experience one has. An intern or a new graduate will definitely earn less than an engineer with several years experience in the industry. The salary will also depend on the hiring company and industry. According to PayScale.com, the average salary for a mechanical engineer in Ghana is about $12,004 per year, translating to about 57,771.65 Ghanaian Cedi. This estimate will give you an idea of what amount to expect in salary when you venture into the mechanical engineering field.