For the mechanically minded, there’s nothing more exciting than watching ideas be transformed from initial thoughts and sketches into 3D models and working prototypes. Autodesk’s mechanical design products, such as Autodesk® Inventor® make this process more accessible.
Mechanical engineers design a broad spectrum of parts, tools, assemblies, and machines. They typically focus on power-producing machines (such as motors, turbines, and engines) and power-using machines (such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, robots, and machine tools). A degree in mechanical engineering can also open doors to other careers. Many engineering graduates move into professions such as medicine, law, and business where their engineering background is a valuable asset. Learn more about professions in mechanical design and engineering and get a head start on your career.
Reach for the stars as you create tomorrow's flying machines—from passenger airplanes to orbiting spacecraft. Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles, and they supervise manufacturing these products. Aeronautical engineers work with aircraft. Astronautical engineers work specifically with spacecraft.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, and navigation and control. They may also specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial transports, helicopters, or military aircraft and satellites.
When you think of a pilot, you may picture someone transporting passenger and cargo. But that's not all pilots do. More unusual tasks include dusting crops, conducting atmospheric research, spreading seed for reforestation, testing aircraft, tracking criminals, and directing fire-fighting efforts. It used to be that most pilots learned to fly in the military, but now growing numbers are entering the field from civilian pilot training schools.
Except on small aircraft, the cockpit crew is usually made up of two pilots. And usually the most experienced pilot, the captain, is in command and supervises all other crewmembers. Together the pilot and copilot share flying and other duties, such as communicating with air traffic controllers and monitoring the instruments. Some large aircraft have a third pilot—the flight engineer, who monitors and operates many of the instruments and systems, makes minor in-flight repairs and watches for other aircraft.
Do you want to develop the next miracle chemical or develop a new, more efficient system to manufacture one? Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry and engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals. They design equipment and develop processes for large-scale chemical manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing the products and treating the by-products, and supervise production. Chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing, such as electronics, photographic equipment, and pulp and paper mills.
Computer technology is essential to chemical engineers as they optimize all phases of research and production. Understanding how to apply computer skills to process analysis, automated control systems, and statistical quality control is key.
In a world so reliant on computers, you're the one who calls the shots! Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the software that computers use to perform their functions. It's a highly technical profession that calls for an enormous amount of critical thinking as well as innovative ideas. Programmers conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems via a computer.
Innovations in programming—advanced computing technologies, new hardware, and sophisticated new languages and programming tools—have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today. Job titles are shifting rapidly, as new areas of specialization arise and changes in technology take place. Keeping current with the latest skills and technologies is essential to landing the job you want.
Autodesk software you're likely to use in this career includes AutoCAD.
Do you like problem-solving and working with new technologies? You're in high demand. The rapid spread of computers and information technology brings with it a growing need for people to develop new hardware and software systems and to bring new technologies into existing systems. Computer systems analysts solve computer problems and tailor computer technology to meet the changing needs of an organization.
Systems analysts may design new systems or add a new software application to get more power. They test, debug, and recommend solutions. Many systems analysts work with business, financial, or scientific systems specific to the type of organization that employs them.
Autodesk software you're likely to use in this career includes AutoCAD.
From computer chips that process millions of instructions every second to radar systems that detect weather patterns days in advance, a fascinating range of technologies engage electrical and electronics engineers. They design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment, such as power generating, controlling, and transmissions devices used by electric utilities; lighting and wiring in building, automobiles, and aircraft; radar and navigation systems; and broadcast and communications.
Electrical and electronics engineers specialize in different areas such as power generation, transmission, and distribution; communications; computer electronics; and electrical equipment manufacturing. Some further specialize in a subdivision of these areas—industrial robot control systems or aviation electronics, for example. Staying current on the rapid changes in technology is essential to success in this field.
You can't go anywhere or do anything without encountering the work of engineers. They provide the link between science and commercial applications. Engineers design products, the machinery to build those products, the factories in which those products are made, and the systems that help ensure the quality of the product and efficiency of the workforce and manufacturing.
Engineers design, plan, and supervise the construction of buildings, highways, and transit systems. They develop and implement improved ways to extract, process, and use raw materials. They harness the power of the sun, the earth, atoms, and electricity. Engineering knowledge is applied to improving things, including the quality of health care, the safety of food products, and the efficient operation of financial systems. Engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates; and to generate specifications for parts.
Practical and focused, engineering technicians are problem-solvers. They use the principles and theories of science, engineering, and mathematics to solve technical problems in such areas as research and development, manufacturing, and construction. Many engineering technicians assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development or quality control. In manufacturing, they offer support in product design, development, or production.
Engineering technicians who work in research and development may build or set up equipment, prepare and conduct experiments, and calculate or record the results. Those who work in manufacturing may prepare specifications for materials, devise and run tests to ensure product quality, or study ways to improve manufacturing efficiency.
Poised between management goals and operational performance, industrial engineers are the ones who design the success story. Since their focus is increasing productivity, their work revolves around finding the best ways for an organization to benefit from the efficiency of its employees, machines, materials, information, and energy.
To solve organizational, production, and related problems most efficiently, industrial engineers carefully study the product and its requirements. They develop management control systems to aid in financial planning and cost analysis, design production planning and control systems to coordinate activities and control product quality, and design or improve systems for the physical distribution of goods and services. Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work is closely related.
Are you interested in a job playing with the molecular structure of things? From computer chips and television screens to golf clubs and snow skis, materials engineers manipulate the atomic and molecular structure of substances. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and composites to create new materials that meet mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also test and evaluate existing materials for new applications. Materials engineers specializing in metals can be considered metallurgical engineers, while those specializing in ceramics can be considered ceramic engineers.
Most metallurgical engineers work in one of the three main branches of metallurgy—extractive or chemical, physical, and mechanical or process. Ceramic engineers develop new ceramic materials and methods for making ceramic materials into useful products. Ceramics include all nonmetallic, inorganic materials that generally require high temperatures in their processing.
Nuclear energy generates much of the world's electricity, and it has always attracted the attention of cutting-edge scientists and engineers. Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation.
Nuclear engineers design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear plants used to generate power. They may work on the nuclear fuel cycle—the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel and the safe disposal of waste produced by nuclear energy—or on fusion energy. Some specialize in the development of nuclear power sources for spacecraft; others develop industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials, such as equipment to diagnose and treat medical problems.
If you're driven to find a cure for diseases, preserve the natural environment, or launch new areas of biological research, this may be the career path for you. It may take you to the farthest corners of the earth or into the quiet depths of the research library. Biological and medical scientists study living organisms and their relationship to their environment. Most specialize in some area of biology, such as zoology (the study of animals) or microbiology (the study of microscopic organisms).
Many biological scientists and medical scientists work in research and development. Past research has resulted in the development of vaccines, medicines, and treatments for cancer and other diseases. Basic biological and medical research continues to provide the building blocks necessary to develop solutions to human health problems and to preserve and repair the natural environment.