Is Mechanical Engineering Hard: Reasons, Job Outlook, & Requirements

There’s a lot of talk about the “hardness” of various engineering disciplines these days. Mechanical engineering is often cited as one of the hard majors to get into. 

It also appears that there is a lot of overlap between the business and community spheres when estimating the difficulty of becoming an engineer. So I was curious: is mechanical engineering that hard?

While there are challenges and obstacles that mechanical engineers must face daily, the process of becoming a master mechanic is very achievable. 

This is certain, especially if you’re willing to put in the effort. In this article, you’ll learn about mechanical engineering and why it appears to be a hard major. 

After reading, you can make an informed decision on whether mechanical engineering is for you.

What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering is an engineering discipline that deals with designing, manufacturing, and maintaining mechanical devices and systems. 

It encompasses everything from designing vehicles and aircraft to making engines and machines factories use to produce products. 

Mechanical engineers design products to meet customer needs, solve problems and meet performance standards. 

They work on many projects, from big construction projects to tiny gadgets. Mechanical engineers are needed in many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, and energy.

SEE: Compare a mechanic and an engineer

Is mechanical engineering hard?

Mechanical engineering is hard. Mechanical engineering is one of the most difficult disciplines to get into and with good reason. 

The challenging tasks and highly specialized knowledge required for this career path make it competitive. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards are countless. 

So if you’re aspiring to be a mechanical engineer one day, hang in there – it’s a tough road, but the rewards are worth it.

The following are some of the reasons why mechanical engineering is hard: 

1. Mechanical engineering requires a high level of math skills

Mechanical engineering is hard because it requires a high level of math skills. Almost every calculation involves math, whether figuring the torque needed to turn a screw or calculating the load on a beam. 

Anyone who wants to become a mechanical engineer must be able to handle math problems quickly and accurately. 

This is why many mechanical engineering schools require students to take math classes that are challenging yet necessary. 

And because many of your projects will involve machinery, you’ll also need to understand physics well. 

SEE: Explore tips to get better at math

2. It requires a lot of technical drawings and design skills

Engineers use drawings and designs to provide a visual representation of their ideas. Without them, it would be difficult to understand or explain their work. 

For example, a drawing might represent a machine’s size, shape, configuration, or components’ interaction.

Engineers use drawings and designs to communicate with other members of their team, as well as with customers or clients.

SEE: Discover the best ways to draw

3. Unforgiving exams and assessments

It’s no secret that mechanical engineering is hard. One of these reasons is the way exams and assessments are written. 

Not only are there a lot of rules to remember, but there’s also an unforgiving exam and coursework schedule that makes it tough to do well in class.

This makes it difficult for students to see the big picture and prevents them from developing solid skills across multiple areas. 

In short, mechanical engineering tests aren’t tests at all – they’re just exercises in memorization. If you want to succeed in this field, you need to be able to learn quickly and retain information long-term.

SEE: Find out long you should study

4. Classes are often boring

You might think that being a mechanical engineer is all about building things. But the reality is the majority of our classes are spent studying formulas and theories rather than doing hands-on activities. 

And that can be a bit boring for some people. However, once you get past the basics, you’ll be able to start applying your knowledge to real-world problems. And that’s when the fun begins.

5. There’s a serious need for critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Mechanical engineering is one of the most challenging disciplines in the world. It’s no wonder that so many people believe it’s hard. 

After all, it takes a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving skills to design and build machines that make our world a better place. But that’s what Mechanical Engineering is all about. 

It’s about taking complex problems and turning them into solutions. It’s about dreaming up new ways to use technology to improve our lives. 

And it’s about making that dream a reality. That’s what makes mechanical engineering so challenging yet so rewarding.

SEE: Industrial Engineer Vs. Mechanical Engineer – Differences & Similarities

What are the main requirements to become a mechanical engineer?

A mechanical engineer working - lmshero

To be a successful mechanical engineer, you need to have a passion for problem-solving and a knack for working with others. 

You need to think beyond the boundaries of what is usually considered possible and see solutions that nobody else has thought of. 

You also need to be organized and keep track of multiple projects at once. And last but not least, you need to have strong mathematical skills. 

If you are interested in becoming a mechanical engineer, I recommend attending a STEM school. After graduating high school, you will need to obtain a degree in engineering.

SEE: Find out if you can become an engineer without a degree

What is the job outlook for mechanical engineers?

At a compound annual gain rate of 6.6%, the global engineering services market is projected to grow from $991.38 billion in 2021 to $1,383.41 billion in 2026

Furthermore, developing and developed countries are expected to witness steady economic growth in the engineering services market. 

The demand for mechanical engineers is also rising in countries such as India and China, where the manufacturing and construction sectors are growing rapidly. 

Many companies are turning to mechanical engineers to optimize and improve their manufacturing processes, creating opportunities for growth in this field. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17,900 mechanical engineer job openings annually over the next decade.

Mechanical engineers who can solve complex problems and design efficient structures will be in high demand in future years.

Who should become a mechanical engineer?

To become a mechanical engineer, you will need a strong foundation in mathematics and science. You’ll need to be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. 

You’ll also need a good understanding of design principles. And last but not least, you’ll need a strong focus on safety

Mechanical engineering is a highly technical field, and it is essential that you can think critically and stay up to date with current trends. 

You are ready to become a successful mechanical engineer if you have all these qualities.

SEE: Explore profitable tech business ideas with low risk and high returns

FAQs

How much do mechanical engineers make?

In the U.S., the average salary for a mechanical engineer is about $80,000 per year. However, the pay may vary depending on several factors, including experience, education, and location. 

What is the hardest year of mechanical engineering?

An engineering degree’s hardest year is junior year. Most of your engineering courses are taken in your junior year of college. 

During your junior year, you have to demonstrate your theoretical and practical abilities to the fullest extent. There will be a lot of detail and complexity in the courses.

Can you be a mechanical engineer if you are bad at math? 

Math is essential for a successful mechanical engineering career but is not the only requirement. You need to be able to think logically and solve problems quickly.

Are mechanical engineers smart?

Yes, mechanical engineers are often seen as smart due to their ability to solve complex problems and design innovative solutions.

Final Thoughts

Mechanical engineering is hard. Despite its challenges, mechanical engineering is a worthwhile endeavor that can benefit individuals and society. 

The skills and knowledge acquired through mechanical engineering study can be used in many careers and may even play a pivotal role in the future of our planet. 

The difficulties encountered during mechanical engineering study should not discourage students from pursuing this path. 

Instead, it should serve as a reminder of the importance of persevering through the easy and challenging parts of the journey.

With so much fuss about math and mechanical engineering, explore your career prospect in applied mathematics

Thanks for reading.