Building a successful career as a Mechanical Design Engineer

Are you looking to start a career as a Mechanical Design Engineer? As an engineering design consultancy providing professional CAD services, we have developed a good amount of knowledge on what it takes to be successful in this occupation. Also, acting as a technical and industrial recruitment agency, we are aware of what many of our clients look for when looking to recruit a Design Engineer. If you have natural passion and enthusiasm for mechanical engineering and the techniques used by design engineers, this will go a long way towards ensuring success.

Mechanical engineering | Mechanical design engineerWe would suggest studying the relevant mechanical engineering qualifications at college and University to build a sound base of engineering knowledge to build upon. This would normally be in the form of an HNC/ONC followed by a BEng. As well as developing your knowledge, qualifications are a good indication of how capable you are a Design Engineer, and of how much mechanical engineering knowledge you possess. It’s never too late to get these qualifications, and they are sometimes seen as essential requirements for mechanical design roles, especially for higher level positions within larger companies.

Your qualifications can then be supported by becoming accustomed to CAD software, both 2D and 3D, some of which you will learn to use during your studies and during possible work placements. There are also specific courses provided by training companies and various CAD resellers across the UK if you want to develop your skills on a particular CAD system. Becoming proficient with CAD software will allow you to work more efficiently and develop your design techniques.

Which industry do you have a particular interest in? Is it the automotive industry? The aerospace industry? The nuclear industry? It’s good to decide this as early in your career as possible and then look for positions within your chosen industry, so the experience that you’re gaining is relevant to your career goals. Some Universities and Colleges also offer more specific engineering qualifications geared towards specific industries, so ideally you want to decide this before you begin your studies. You may also want to try and develop your skills across several industries, and working for design consultancies who work on projects for various clients such as ourselves is a good way in which to do this.

Mechanical design engineer | mechanical engineering designBuild up and maintain a portfolio of your best work. Have you worked on certain projects that you’re particularly proud of? Have you produced complex, eye catching CAD drawings or models which you want to show off? Put together a professional portfolio to send to prospective employers along with your CV. If you’re graphically minded you can do this yourself or have one designed professionally, in order to leave a lasting impression with your prospective employers. You may also want to tweak your portfolio depending on the industry you are applying for a position within.

Your portfolio, your CV and your presence on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn are important tools which you can use to market yourself. Build up your connections within engineering recruitment companies and keep yourself up to date with what career opportunities are becoming available. We have many good career opportunities ourselves for positions within our office and for our clients all over the UK, so make sure to check our vacancies page on a regular basis!

Above anything, determination, drive and pride in your work are essential in order to be successful. There is no magical recipe for success, but by following the steps above it will give you a good opportunity to enjoy a strong career as a Mechanical Design Engineer. If you would like further advice, please email personnel@nova-design.co.uk

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