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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for mechanical engineers. There are currently 2,610 working mechanical engineers in Iowa; this should grow 5% to 2,740 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.

Mechanical engineers earn about $30 per hour or $64,000 annually on average in Iowa and about $36 hourly or $74,920 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for mechanical engineers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Engineering in Iowa, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. Jobs in this field include: utilization engineer, manufacturing engineer, and air conditioning engineer.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • 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 Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • 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.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineer Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering which graduated sixty-eight, eleven, and five 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, Licensed

Licensing agency: Iowa Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board
Address: Professional Licensing & Regulation Division, Iowa Department of Commerce Ankeny, IA 50021-3941

Phone: (515) 281-7360
Website: Iowa Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board Professional Licensing & Regulation Division Iowa Department of Commerce

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.