Mechanical engineering requires a solid foundation in mathematics, science and language arts. Prospective engineering students should enroll in high school algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus courses. Chemistry, biology and physics should also be taken.
Additionally, students should strive to develop strong oral and written communications skills, as they are important to achieving success in mechanical engineering studies. Courses in computer-aided drafting can help students understand the practicalities of engineering projects.
Mechanical Engineering Coursework and Training
Most mechanical engineers will be required to complete a bachelors in mechanical engineering. At the college or university level, mechanical engineering majors take courses in advanced mathematics, calculus, chemistry, and physics. After finishing these fundamental courses, students take engineering courses in:
- Materials Sciences
- Manufacturing Processes
- Heat Transfer
- Fluid Dynamics
- Mechanical and Structural Design
- Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery
- Instruments and Controls
- Advanced computer programming
Students should try to land a paid or unpaid engineering internship. An internship can help the student understand the "real world" of engineering and apply the theories and principles that were taught in the classroom. An internship can also help the student determine his or her professional preferences, strengths and weaknesses.
Once again, because good oral and written communication skills are essential to a successful career in mechanical engineering, the student should not neglect the liberal arts and humanities. Moreover, because many large industrial companies that employ mechanical engineers are international, a second language can be invaluable.