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Any mechanical engineers here?

Old 01-31-2008, 04:08 PM
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Yes, I am a Professional Mechanical Engineer.

Obtaining the Bachelors Degree at Univerisity was a definite challenge.

You emerge from the program after 4 or 5 years with all the current technical and theoretical knowledge capable of tackling any mechanical problem or design task....almost.
You have to admit that you really know nothing but are capable of learning anything by yourself.
You need to have a lot of ethics and be reasonable.
Communication is key to taking someones dream or your own ideas from paper to reality.
You will have to put up with Accountants.
You will have to get used to being the fall guy for those higher up the ladder than you are.
Your education will never stop. Continual upgrading needs to be done to stay current.

If you want to make any real money and have control of your own destiny, you should never work for someone else.
Currently grads will make about $50,000 a year to start and rise to about $100,000 a year within 5 years.

You will probably begin working for a Consultant and as Bill stated, he tied to a computer.
Opportunities to move into Industries may come early or later depending on your motivation and goals.
You will live by goals and must have a life plan.....or at least a 5 year one.

You will work 10-12 hour days for 8 hours of recognition.

Someone is always trying to fire you for incompetence, so you have to continually cover your butt.

You will be on a monthly salary with no overtime pay.
You will have to work a lot of holidays.

You will pay the most taxes.

In the end, you will be discarded or retired by an Accountant about 5 years before you are ready.......because your benefits are greater than someone who is 25 years younger.

In summary, an Engineering degree will give you your foot in the door to a decent paying career. A career that can be rewarding in more ways than money alone but it will be up to you to work hard at keeping it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the info SilverBullet. I am finishing my Physics lab and prepping for my 3:30-5:45 CAD class as I type this in our engineering building. This is only my second semester and it is already hard but I do enjoy it so far. I hope it all pays off. Well, have to get back to work, have some floodwalls to draw...
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:30 PM
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Currently in third (and final) year in a ME Technologist program. This semester'* courses:

Mechanical Design 1
Kinematics of Machines
Applications Software and Solid Modeling (read: CATIA)
Programmable Controllers (PLC'* = fun)
Fluid Mechanics
Thermodynamics 1

next semester:

Environmental Systems
Mechanical Design 2
Dynamics of Machines
Material Handling & Plant Layout
Mechanical Design Project (build something!)
Industrial Management
Thermodynamics 2

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Old 01-31-2008, 05:35 PM
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I'm an Industrial Engineering Tech and Computer Assisted Machine Tech. majors at my school. I'm about 1/2 of the way through with engineering classes and about 95% done with core classes.

Just so you know, you can get free 14 month trail versions of any autodesk software from this site, as long as you have a student email account:

So far I've got a pirated copy of AutoCad 2008 on my lappy and I'm looking for a keygen for autodesk inventor.

I hate to say it, but autocad kinda sucks for whats being made these days. Inventor, ProE, or Solidworks is really the way to go but my cad professor is a jerk and thinks that AutoCad is the only software worth learning... gah.....

Anyway, my classes are teaching me a very, very broad field of whats out there. They're trying to get me ready to know the basics about everything so that when I do get a job I can get one in any field, but I'll just have to get a lot of training. The good thing is that on the job training for newbies is common practice so its allright. Maybe not so much with the software side, but more so on the shop/production end of things.

Where I live there are gobs and gobs of shops looking for people so thats pretty good for me. I'm about ready to look for an internship or an apprenticeship too so thats kinda neat, kinda scary at the same time.

My classes this semester:
-Engineering Materials
-Mechanical Deisgn
-AutoCad 115: 3D Design (using autocad instead of inventor... gah....)
-Inspection and Gaging
-German Semester: Building a Representation*

*At our schools each fall semester is themed for a different country where speakers present information and we have plays and performances and stuff. Its kinda neat, but they schedule most of the speakers during class times! Anyway, a couple years ago was the France semester and the shop was asked to build something to get more peoples attention... so they built and eiffel tower. It was pretty sweet and got lots of attention, so we're doing it again for next years german semester.

Anyway... its interesting.... the money will be good when I'm done and in the mean time I get to play in the shop.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:34 PM
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AutoCAD blows goats for 3D. It'* still king for (relatively) quick 2D sketches however.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:53 AM
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Im an M.E. working at Oshkosh Truck (Defense Section). All that i am doing know is basicly a drafters job with the pay of an M.E.

I'm designing parts using CATIA V5 R18.

And yeah, this job is sooooooo much easier then college.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:51 PM
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Thank you all for all the insight into the real engineering world, its greatly appreciated
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