The role of a mechanical engineer

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A career in mechanical engineering is bound to be interesting as it involves a huge variety of fields and activities. In South Africa, career opportunities for mechanical engineers are very good.

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager at Robert Walters outlines how you can become a mechanical engineer and what the role involves.

The job of a mechanical engineer is to design, install and evaluate machinery, processes and products.

From robots and microchips to racing cars and power plants, a job as a mechanical engineer is at the head of modern technology. Most of the moving man-made objects that you see around you, as well as those in factories and mines, are the work of mechanical engineers.

Mechanical engineers are involved in almost every other discipline of engineering. Mechanical engineers also focus on research and development because new types of machinery are continually sought-after.  

Mechanical engineers are involved in almost every other discipline of engineering. Mechanical engineers also focus on research and development because new types of machinery are continually sought-after.  

To become a mechanical engineer in South Africa you will need to complete a  four year Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in the discipline of Mechanical Engineering. You will then need to embark on a three year training period in industry before you register as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. 

Your mechanical engineering degree will give you one of the most diverse educations of all the engineering disciplines. As a result, your skills are in demand across a range of engineering industries, such as aerospace, manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical and energy.

Your skills and knowledge gained from a mechanical engineering degree will set you up for a successful career and should include: technical expertise, numeracy skills and data analysis, IT skills, planning and organisational skills, communication skills, creativity, business acumen as well as interpersonal skills, particularly team work.

In South Africa a qualified mechanical engineer can expect to earn anything between R650 - 850k per annum depending on experience, location and speciality. For further insight into engineering salaries and recruitment trends access Robert Walters engineering & natural resources half-yearly review.

Looking to make the next move in your engineering career? Search all our current engineering jobs available.

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For more career advice please contact:

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
nic.sephton-poultney@robertwalters.com
+27 (0) 11 881 2414

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