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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineers in Elgin, Illinois

Mechanical engineers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 8,600 working mechanical engineers in Illinois; this should grow 3% to 8,840 working mechanical engineers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mechanical engineers are expected to grow by about 6.0%. Mechanical engineers generally perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment.

A person working as a mechanical engineer can expect to earn about $33 per hour or $70,330 per year on average in Illinois and about $36 per hour or $74,920 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for mechanical engineers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Engineering in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. Mechanical engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: hydroelectric plant mechanical engineer, mechanical development engineer, and air conditioning engineer.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a mechanical engineer. Given that the most common education level for mechanical engineers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a mechanical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mechanical engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. They also oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

Mechanical engineers read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings and computer-generated reports. They also design and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to gauge feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications and necessity of modification. Equally important, mechanical engineers have to conduct research that tests and analyzes the feasibility, layout, operation and effectiveness of equipment, components and systems. Finally, mechanical engineers specify system components or direct modification of products to insure conformance with engineering layout and performance specifications.

Every day, mechanical engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for mechanical engineers to talk with engineers and other personnel to execute operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, and furnish technical data. They are often called upon to recommend layout modifications to remove machine or system malfunctions. They also research and maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems and processes to fit requirements, applying knowledge of engineering principles. They are sometimes expected to assist drafters in developing the structural layout of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted layout (CAD) or drafting equipment and software. Somewhat less frequently, mechanical engineers are also expected to estimate costs and submit bids for engineering or extraction projects, and ready contract documents.

Mechanical engineers sometimes are asked to layout test control apparatus and equipment and develop processes for testing products. They also have to be able to research and analyze customer layout proposals and other data to review the feasibility and maintenance requirements of designs or applications and solicit new business and furnish technical customer service. And finally, they sometimes have to solicit new business and furnish technical customer service.

Like many other jobs, mechanical engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Architect. Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.
  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineer Training

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Mechanical Engineering which graduated sixty-seven and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified in Plumbing Design: The Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) program is an international certification program for engineers and designers of plumbing systems.

For more information, see the American Society of Plumbing Engineers website.

Certified Associate in Materials Handling: MHMS is proud to offer a professional certification program for its members.

For more information, see the Materials Handling and Management Society website.

PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.

LICENSES

ENGINEER, PROFESSIONAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.