How The Strong Interest Inventory Relates to a Career as a Mechanical Engineer

One of the most effective ways of knowing your interest and preferences is to take valid and reliable career interest inventories. The Strong Interest Inventory is one of the widely-known interest inventories. Since the 1920s, the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment has helped thousands of people discover their potential career paths based on their interests and personal and professional preferences. Based on the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment, an individual can be categorized into one to three of the six general theme codes, Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. People who score high in Investigative Themes enjoy tasks that include critical thinking, problem-solving, and analyzing information. Mechanical engineers have a natural interest in investigative codes, which can help them diagnose and solve problems. They are driven to learn more about the processes which are in place and the ways in which they can be improved. They are constantly looking for new ways to optimize the operation of machinery and develop the most efficient solutions. As such, they must possess the ability to interpret and analyze complex data, as well as to identify and implement the best approaches to problem-solving. Furthermore, they must have the ability to think critically and apply innovative ideas to their work. This interest in investigative codes allows them to stay informed of the most up-to-date practices and technologies in the field.

Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) Investigative Theme Code Mechanical Engineers Career

Discover the Strong Interest Inventory career as Mechanical Engineers. Learn about this career in this data-rich write-up, including information such as income, daily tasks, required education, and more.

What Does a Mechanical Engineer Do?

Mechanical Engineers are responsible for designing, manufacturing, and maintaining mechanical systems. This can include engines, tools, robots, and other mechanical systems. A Mechanical Engineer must have a thorough understanding of the principles of engineering, physics, and mathematics and be able to use them to analyze, design, and develop mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers have a broad range of job prospects, both in the private and public sectors. In the private sector, mechanical engineers may find employment in diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, and transportation. In the public sector, mechanical engineers are employed in government agencies, universities, and research centers. Mechanical engineers also have the opportunity to work in the field of consulting, where they can provide advice on how to make processes and systems more efficient.

A Mechanical Engineer’s Day-to-Day Tasks and Tools

Mechanical Engineers use a wide range of tools and technologies in their work, including computer-aided design (CAD) software, simulation and analysis software, and prototyping equipment. These tools allow them to design, test and refine their products and systems and to ensure that they meet the necessary standards and requirements.

As stated by The Department of Labor, The Following Work Tasks are Most Often Completed by Mechanical Engineers:

  • Assess technical papers to plan work.
  • Create industrial processing systems.
  • Design industrial apparatus.
  • Assess characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Consult with other personnel to resolve project or operational problems.
  • Discuss with technical personnel to arrange designs or operative plans.
  • Advocate technical design or course changes to improve productivity, quality, or presentation.
  • Conduct industrial production events.
  • Explore system, equipment, or product failures.
  • Check performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated structures or equipment.
  • Create models of engineering designs or procedures.
  • Execute design or process developments.
  • Counsel others about green practices or environmental concerns.
  • Manage equipment maintenance or restoration activities.
  • Direct installation activities.

(Retrieved from O’  Mechanical Engineers. Career Code: 17-2141.00 Detailed Work Activities)

Core Activities for Mechanical Engineers:

  • Read and explicate blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
  • Research, project, evaluate, install, operate, or sustain mechanical products, equipment, systems, or processes to meet necessities.
  • Consult with engineers or other personnel to implement operational procedures, settle system malfunctions, or provide technical information.
  • Develop, coordinate, or monitor all features of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs.
  • Explore equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and recommend remedial actions.
  • Develop or test models of alternate designs or managing methods to assess feasibility, sustainability, operating condition effects, possible new applications, or necessity of modification.
  • Specify system mechanisms or direct modification of products to certify conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.
  • Recommend design modifications to remove machine or system errors.
  • Support drafters in emerging the structural design of products, using drafting tools or computer-assisted drafting equipment or software.
  • Manage installation, operation, maintenance, or repair to ensure that machines or equipment are installed and running according to specifications.
  • Direct research that tests or examines the feasibility, design, operation, or presentation of equipment, components, or systems.

(Retrieved from O’  Mechanical Engineers. Career Code: 17-2141.00 Tasks- Category-Core)

Experience and Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, although some entry-level positions may require an associate’s degree. Education and training requirements typically include mathematics, computer technology, engineering principles, and a thorough understanding of materials and components. Depending on their field of specialization, mechanical engineers may need to gain certification or licensure to practice. Additionally, continuing education and professional development courses may be beneficial for mechanical engineers to stay up to date on the latest technology and industry trends.

There are plenty of opportunities to develop skills and stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field. Additionally, many professional societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), offer a variety of educational opportunities, such as workshops, webinars, and certification programs.

Salary and Wages

Salary expectations will depend on various factors, such as your experience level, the company you work for, and the region in which you are located. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for Mechanical Engineers in 2019 was $87,370. With experience, the pay can rise significantly – the highest 10% earned more than $136,550. It should be noted that salary increases also depend on the industry in which you are employed.

Below are some employment trends for Mechanical Engineers:

  •     Median Salary: $45.82 hourly, $95,300 annually
  •     Employment: 284,900 employees
  •     Projected growth (2021-2031): Slower than average (2% to 3%)
  •     Projected job openings (2021-2031: 17,900
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections