The area of engineering has a huge range of applications. Engineers in various fields, from aeronautical to nanotechnology, combine mathematical and scientific concepts with improving the existing way of doing things with a product, object, or service. Engineers have a hand in many facets of daily life, each somewhat different from the next, whether it’s commercial jetliners that travel the globe or appliances that make dinner preparation easier.
Certain engineering disciplines, on the other hand, are strikingly similar. Consider the difference between mechanical and electrical engineers. Both careers are highly rewarding and include equipment and system investigation, research, and design, but one has a slightly wider reach than the other.
What factors do you consider when deciding between electrical and mechanical engineering diploma? By gaining a deeper understanding of the differences and similarities between the two. No matter which discipline you want to pursue, an online Master of Science in Engineering from the University of California Riverside will provide you with the preparation, experience, and skills you need to succeed as an engineer.
Why should I pursue: electrical engineering or mechanical engineering?
Mechanical engineers and electrical engineers may appear to be cut from the same cloth to the untrained eye. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each job necessitates a high level of imagination, mathematical and mechanical abilities, and the ability to recognize and solve problems (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). Many of the same businesses employ them, including research and development, computer networks, software, telecommunications, and food manufacturing firms, to name a few.
The way energy is used in each discipline is perhaps the most significant difference between electrical and mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineers concentrate on power application – having physical parts, motors, and modules to behave or function in the desired manner. Electrical engineers focus on power generation, such as electricity. Internal combustion engines, gas turbines, fans in air conditioning systems, and rechargeable batteries in portable devices are examples of machines that mechanical engineers can design or manufacture.
Mechanical engineers also perform the following tasks, according to the BLS:
- Material-handling systems should be designed (conveyor belts, pulleys, automated transfer stations).
- Investigate technical issues with sensors or modules and suggest ways to resolve them.
- Supervise the production of cutting-edge products.
When it comes to the study of power use and generation, electrical engineers, on the other hand, are more “big picture.” They may be charged with finding new or alternative ways to use electricity (e.g., current management) or other energy sources to increase production or reduce costs. They may also be in charge of determining what is causing electronic, technological, or service-related equipment to malfunction. Electrical engineers are primarily concerned with energy consumption, while electronics engineers are concerned with problems with equipment caused by faulty components or chips.
Problems can arise during the production and design process or after the product has entered the consumer market. Electrical and electronics engineers may collaborate with other agencies or organizations, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission or ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), or federal governing bodies, such as the Department of Energy, to ensure quality assurance.
Other duties that electrical and electronics engineers often perform include:
- Make computer chips for new applications or computer systems.
- Introduce new software or make changes to improve technological efficiency.
- Examine energy systems and make suggestions about how to improve them so that they last longer.
The fields of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering have a lot in common. As a result, many people who specialize in either discipline work for the same companies, such as semiconductor companies, navigation device designers, or utility companies.
Which specialty you should pursue is entirely dependent on your personal preferences and interests, as well as where you feel your professional strengths lie.
An online Mechanical Engineering degree from Auston University will energize your future, whether your area of interest is machinery and tools or the power and processes that make those machines work. To learn more, fill out an application today.