traits of mechanical engineering technologistsThe world's smallest, fastest nanomotor. Robot cheetahs and kangaroos that seem to think, move, and react on their own. Squid-inspired autonomous camouflage. Spacecraft capable of landing on comets.

These are just a few of the modern-day mechanical engineering marvels introduced to the world within the last two years. Each has the potential to change the world for the better. None would have been possible without the work of mechanical engineering technologists.

Mechanical engineering technologists play an important role in turning ideas into innovations. They work closely with engineers to design, develop and manufacture mechanical devices that impact nearly every industry—from automotive to aviation and beyond.

And they are in demand.

As manufacturing in the United States makes a comeback, companies are increasingly interested in hiring workers with the skills and education to make exciting new innovations a reality. Between 2012 and 2022, demand for mechanical engineering technologists is expected to grow by 5 percent (according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Here's a look at five essential traits that are shared by successful mechanical engineering technologists:

1.  An interest in driving innovation

Every product that changes the world begins as an idea. Ideas can't become realities without people who are willing to design, develop, test and push the limits of what is believed to be possible. Mechanical engineering technologists are these people. Most share an interest in innovation—and a desire to be a part of the process that makes it all possible.

2. A desire to be on the cutting edge of technology

Many of the tools used by mechanical engineering technologists have been used for decades, including drill and punch presses, screwdrivers, and amplifiers. But as technology has advanced, so have the tools, which now include computer-aided design applications, analytical and scientific software, computer-aided manufacturing software and computerized 3D modeling software. In other words, as a mechanical engineering technologist, you'll probably be using cutting edge technology to create cutting edge products.

3. Practical wisdom

Good mechanical engineering technologists know how to do something. Great mechanical engineering technologists know how to do something as well as why they are doing it. As a mechanical engineering technologist, you will likely be asked to understand the principles of science and math and to understand how to apply them to real-world engineering challenges. You will roll up your sleeves and work with your hands. But you will also consider complicated conceptual challenges—and find solutions using both knowledge and skills. In other words, you need practical wisdom—theoretical knowledge along with the ability to put it to work in the real world.

4. Communication skills

Driving innovation doesn't happen in a vacuum. It involves a team of inspired and intellectually curious individuals who all work together to push logic and reasoning to the brink. And it takes communication. If you like working as part of a team and have the ability to listen carefully, read and understand written documents and convey information clearly and concisely, you have communication skills. And communication skills are needed to be an effective mechanical engineering technologist.

5. A desire to work on really cool projects

Imagine working on a spacecraft that has the ability to land on a comet, where it will gather information about the universe that has never before been known. Or what if you were part of a team that made the world's smallest and fastest motor, which could someday be injected into humans to fight (and possibly even cure) cancer. If you are interested in working on super cool, super important projects, you just might be meant to for a career as a mechanical engineering technologist.

Take the Next Step:

Earn a Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology

The next revolutionary product has not yet been designed, developed, tested and created. It could save lives, answer questions about the cosmos, make life better for millions of people, or simply change the way societies share information. If you have an interest in innovation and want the opportunity to work on really cool projects, consider a career as a mechanical engineering technologist.

Contact ECPI today to learn how you can earn your Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology and start your career in as little as two-and-a-half years. It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

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