Your degree can lead to many careers; some require the specific academic and technical knowledge developed from your studies while others will utilise the wider transferable skills that you will two mechanical engineers working on a carhave developed.

Each academic department has a careers consultant and placement & internship adviser based in the Careers Service, who work closely with the departments via a Departmental Careers Adviser (DCA) to provide tailored careers education and events. You can find out more about our team or view a list of DCAs. We are always interested to hear your ideas and feedback!

Our consultants and advisers offer one to one appointments that can be booked via JobsLive but we strongly recommend that you do some work first, to get the most from any meeting. We’ve put together some resources and reference links below to get you started.

What can you do with Mechanical Engineering?

You might also find the following useful:

  • We run a number of events throughout the year, these include careers fairs, employer presentations, networking events and application workshops. The vast majority are advertised on JobsLive or by department emails. As a student of Mechanical Engineering you may find our Engineering Careers Fair (held in mid-October) to be of particular relevance. Also we run a Career Options in Energy Forum and a Career Options in Manufacturing Forum in the autumn term which may also be of interest.
  • Many Imperial students from Mechanical Engineering pursue further study at MSc or PhD level. Find out more about your Further study and funding options.
  • Everyone’s situation is unique but there’re some key steps you can take to develop and progress your career. Check out our Plan your career webpages to better understand your skills and make some tough decisions.
  • Research job sectors and occupations - finding out more about different careers will help you decide whether they are appropriate options for you.
  • Whether writing a CV, compiling a Cover Letter or preparing for interview our application process webpages are a great starting point to help you at each stage of a recruitment process.

Finding Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

SMEs offer a wide range of interesting and unique roles. They generally have less of a web presence, are harder to find and may not advertise their roles, relying on you approaching them speculatively to show your interest. Below are useful websites to find SMEs relevant to mechanical engineering and more can be found by exploring the career resources PDF on this page.

  • The Design Directory can be used to find specialist design engineering companies.
  • SpaceCareersUK contains a list of companies of all sizes, including SMEs, working in the space sector.

SMEs can also be found by doing Google map searches in areas where you would like to work or where you know one organisation is. Often SMEs will cluster together geographically around a larger organisation related to their work (e.g hospitals) or transport hubs (e.g. airports). LinkedIn is also a good tool to discover SMEs. Explore different people who have roles that you are interested in and scroll down to see where they have worked. You may find SMEs and other interesting organisations that you didn’t know about. For further support with LinkedIn, attend a Careers Essentials: LinkedIn courses. The Imperial Enterprise Lab also runs events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.

Mechanical engineering tabs

Develop your skills

The typical skills developed by Imperial Mechanical Engineering students during their degree are highly valued by employers and include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Analysis
  • Project management
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to learn fast
  • Working under pressure

It’s good to reflect on your abilities and consider what skills you can evidence and which skills you may need to enhance. Use our self reflection webpages to help you understand and document your abilities.

During your degree you will have many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Employers will want to see what you have been doing to develop your skills and knowledge outside your course while you have been a student. Experiences such as student societies, part-time work, volunteering and sports can develop your skills and will be valuable additions to your CV. Work experience can also help develop skills and help you decide what career direction you want to go in and become more competitive in future job or further study applications.

As an Imperial student you can participate, or take a leadership role, in a wide variety of Students’ Union activities where you’ll develop many skills. You also have free access to LinkedIn Learning and can use this to develop or improve your knowledge and abilities with software tools and skills through instructional videos taught by industry experts skills.

You can learn and develop the skills required to be successful in the job or internship market. For example, you will need to know how to create a strong CV, write a good cover letter and perform well in interviews. We can help you to learn these skills. Start with the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops.The typical skills developed by Imperial Mech Eng students during their degree are highly valued by employers and include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Analysis
  • Project management
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to learn fast
  • Working under pressure

It’s good to reflect on your abilities and consider what skills you can evidence and which skills you may need to enhance. Use our self reflection webpages to help you understand and document your abilities.

During your degree you will have many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Employers will want to see what you have been doing to develop your skills and knowledge outside your course while you have been a student. Experiences such as student societies, part-time work, volunteering and sports can develop your skills and will be valuable additions to your CV. Work experience can also help develop skills and help you decide what career direction you want to go in and become more competitive in future job or further study applications.

As an Imperial student you can participate, or take a leadership role, in a wide variety of Students’ Union activities where you’ll develop many skills. You also have free access to LinkedIn Learning and can use this to develop or improve your knowledge and abilities with software tools and skills through instructional videos taught by industry experts skills.

You can learn and develop the skills required to be successful in the job or internship market. For example, you will need to know how to create a strong CV, write a good cover letter and perform well in interviews. We can help you to learn these skills. Start with the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops.

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Explore career ideas

When you understand your skills through self reflection it’s a good idea to then learn about the range of career areas that might be of interest. Our what do Imperial Graduates Do? contains our Graduate Outcomes data which gives examples of employers and further study options of previous graduates. You can search the data to find what Mech Eng graduates went on to do immediately after graduation and you may also find it useful to explore Imperial College LinkedIn – “Mechanical Engineering” where you can explore the career paths of our Mechanical Engineering alumni as their careers develop over time. However, don't feel limited by what others have done, but instead, follow your own interests.

To help you begin we have listed some of the career areas that Imperial maths students often go into which is taken from our what do Imperial Graduates Do? Graduate Outcomes data. Our how to research job sectors and occupations resources can help you to learn more about these sectors including desirable skills, responsibilities, professional development and salary expectations across different roles and industries. You can also meet employers from many of these areas through Careers Service events and fairs which are advertised on JobsLive and in our weekly newsletter

  • Banking/finance
  • Civil service/government
  • Consulting
  • Data Science/AI
  • Energy Consulting
  • Financial services
  • Insurance
  • IT/technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Operational research
  • Patents & IP
  • Risk
  • Start-ups
  • Teaching/education
  • Telecommunications
  • Trading

You may be interested in something not on this list and that is fine – graduates go in many different career directions. Many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. But you can use the list above as a starting point to explore and add other ideas as well.

Professional bodies

A professional body, association or society seeks to further a particular profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession. The body maintains an oversight of the knowledge, skills, conduct and practice of that profession and can offer accreditation or chartership. You can often use professional bodies to access training or networking events and explore related career options.

Below are some links to professional bodies that deal with various areas related to Mech Eng. Many offer student membership which can give you access to job listings and careers information while offering great networking opportunities. Some memberships may even allow you to register your CV to vacancy matching services or to be viewed by other members of the community.

Industry links

There are many well-known Multinational Companies (MNCs) offering graduate level jobs but Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), defined as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, also offer a wide range of interesting and unique graduate level roles. Due to a smaller marketing budget SMEs can be harder to find and they often rely on you approaching them speculatively to show motivation and interest. They will sometimes engage with universities through incubation hubs to help them grow skills and expertise. The Imperial Enterprise Lab often run events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.

  • The Design Directory can be used to find specialist design engineering companies.
  • SpaceCareersUK contains a list of companies of all sizes, including SMEs, working in the space sector.

SMEs can also be found using Google Maps by running a search for a specific term (e.g. “engineering consulting”) in geographic areas where you would like to work or where you know one organisation is. Often SMEs will cluster together geographically around a larger organisation related to their work from energy hubs and airports, to tech city.

LinkedIn is also a good tool to discover SMEs. Explore the profiles of different people who have roles that you are interested in and scroll down their profile to see where they have worked. You may find SMEs and other interesting organisations that you did not know about. For further support with LinkedIn, attend a Careers Essentials: LinkedIn course.

Next steps

Career planning often takes time and can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s a good idea to set aside a small amount of time on a regular basis to maintain momentum. Below are some things to get you started:

  • Sign up to the Imperial Careers Newsletter by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive
  • Learn about the timescales for applying for further study, work experience and graduate employment
  • See our what's on pages to find out about the different types of events that we run, including: workshops, careers fairs, career talks  - and hear from alumni and employers about different types of work.
  • Learn the skills that will help you succeed on the job market in the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops

If you feel stuck with your career planning, you could book a one to one appointment to talk it through with a careers consultant. Mark Allen is the careers consultant for Mechanical Engineering but you can see any of our consultants for your first appointment.