Is Mechanical Engineering a Good Career in Australia?

Date: 23 Nov 2022

Did you know that the average median income of an Australian is just over 52,000 AUD per year?

Though that may be enough to meet your basic lifestyle needs, if you have an aptitude or passion for maths, physics, design, and creativity, you could pursue mechanical engineering. With a mechanical engineering degree, you could be earning twice the median salary in Australia in your first few years out of university.

Graduates these days, however, want more from their careers than just good pay. Apart from the money, is a mechanical engineering career worth it? Keep reading this helpful guide to find out why it is.

What Mechanical Engineers Do

Mechanical engineers play a very important role in modern society, namely, they make machines and mechanical systems more efficient. At its core, mechanical engineering is the practice of designing or improving machines or machine parts.

All a mechanical engineer’s designs and improvements are meant to improve the efficiency of a project. Sometimes it means re-designing a machine part so that it’s stronger or works faster. At other times it could be re-designing things so that they use fewer resources to create while still being safe as parts of the systems they make up.

Higher-level mechanical engineers even design entirely new systems or machines. Those with a passion for design and invention can make new products or improve the aesthetics of the machines they work on. Those with a passion for people and leadership can become managers of engineering teams and firms.

They also often work alongside civil, mechatronic, structural, and industrial engineers when there are larger projects (like dams or railroads). Even though it’s a job that requires analytic and creative skills, it can also be very people-intensive. Because it’s such a crucial and demanding job, almost all engineers are very well compensated.

Getting Started: Engineering School

To start this career, you must attend an appropriate university and obtain a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering. The course can run for four to six years; once you graduate, you’ll have a BEng (Hons) qualification. The average tuition for these degrees ranges from between 37,000 and 49,000 AUD per year, but studying at an acceptable university in another country may work out much cheaper.

To be eligible to pursue this degree, you need a minimum of 65% in maths at the 12th-grade level, you need to have passed the 12th-grade sufficiently, and you need to pass IELT or TOEFL tests to prove that your mastery of English is also up to standard. If you’re already out of high school and regret not working hard for a sufficient pass, you’re not out of the game yet.

You can sign up for a construction job that you’re qualified for. While you’re working, you can attend remedial courses to improve your marks with an accredited school. Then you can attend university once your grades are strong enough to qualify.

Student Life

Any engineering degree is a tough course. You will need to be disciplined and work hard from the first day of classes. If you prioritize going the extra mile in projects and manage your time well, you will still have time left to rest and enjoy life.

Working hard to pass everything the first time will mean your overall time at university will cost less. You’ll also have more years left in your career to pay off your student debt and save well for retirement.

Mechanical Engineering Career: The First Years

When you have your BEng degree, your next stop is your first job. Entry-level mechanical engineering jobs serve two purposes.

First, you’ll have to prove and improve yourself in the field. It’s very important to be open to learning from the more senior-level engineers at your firm. They can teach you how to hone your craft and about structuring your career for a better future.

Second, you’ll be working under supervision to earn a Professional Engineer’s License. You’ll work in your chosen field for five years to get your license. You also have to meet competency requirements for independent work in that field.

The National Professional Engineering Register is the body that licenses engineers in Australia.

Fully Qualified Mechanical Engineers

Once you’re qualified, you can look for work at a firm that suits your needs. If you’re interested in certain types of projects, you can apply to firms that are looking for those types of engineers. If you’re following the money, then you can look for a firm that offers the best salary or start looking for opportunities to specialize.

There are many important interesting jobs for mechanical engineers. You can work with planes, rockets, and robots with aerospace or mechatronic engineering. Mechanical engineers

It must be stressed that the more projects you work on, the better your design skills will become. The more fellow engineers you work with, the quicker you’ll learn about everything you’ll need to know in the industry. As a mechanical engineer, you’ll be a life-long learner as new design techniques and projects emerge. To get an idea of where a mechanical engineering degree can take you, take a look at this video from Monash University:



Senior-Level Mechanical Engineers

When a licensed engineer wants to advance their career further, they can study for a post-graduate degree and become a specialist or consultant. But because many engineers are analysts, a lot of them also have great business skills. If you spend more time managing projects and teams at your firm, you could become an engineering manager.

If you really love the work, however, it is better to become a consultant. This way, your insights can remain relevant and you can still be called in and paid for projects long after retirement. People in this position easily make more than 200,000 AUD per year.

If Mechanical Engineering Is for You Then Start Today

Mechanical engineers work in many industries improving and creating machines and systems. Their unique job of analyzing and creating improvements for systems is the perfect career for smart, talented, and creative people. It’s a tough and long journey to being a fully qualified engineer, but also a lucrative and rewarding journey.

If you’re considering engineering after high school, or as your next step, you’re encouraged to work hard. Once you have all the required qualifications and your license, you’ll be able to impact industries and businesses for the better.

If you’re looking for a job in the construction or engineering industries, a dedicated recruitment agency like the SSA Group can get you that job. Contact us today to find out how you can start your engineering career.

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