A bachelor’s in mechanical engineering can lead to a lot of employment opportunities, but for professionals who want to specialize in a very focused way, a certification may be the best choice. Read on for details about the best certifications in mechanical engineering.
What Makes a Certification in Mechanical Engineering Worth Pursuing?
Some certificates for mechanical engineers can become critical to the career and success of someone. Some other certifications for mechanical engineers can increase the engineer’s skills and knowledge, which can help them make career changes or moves within their respective organizations.
Continuing education also shows employers and others that someone will remain current and knowledgeable in their chosen field. In this way, certificates look very good on a resume and offer skills that someone can bring to the table when they’re interviewing, trying to advance, or showing their expertise in other ways.
Certification courses for mechanical engineers can also become necessary to show proficiency with a particular tool, piece of software, or ideology for a specific job. For example, an applicant may need to show they have some sort of certificate in using a type of CAD or CAM software before they can work for a manufacturer.
However, since there really are a lot of certificates for mechanical engineers out there, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of which certificates are worth pursuing and which aren’t. ASME, a standard-setter in the field, certainly thinks certifications for mechanical engineers are worth pursuing.
When Is a Certification in Mechanical Engineering Necessary?
In most cases, certifications for mechanical engineers become necessary to pursue a career in any broad mechanical engineering niche. The different fields of mechanical engineering require a different level of expertise in that field. A mechanical engineering degree only really shows that someone knows the core principles of mechanical engineering, and can likely apply them in a broad sense.
However, a certificate for a particular field shows the engineer has taken the time to learn how to apply those principles to a specific application. For example, a mechanical engineer working as a structural analyst in the HVAC field will probably need an HVAC certificate. If that same engineer wants to work on vehicles, they will then need to become certified for that as well before any vehicle maker hires them.
These are all subdisciplines and sub-subdisciplines of the field. In a larger sense, there are top-level certificates for mechanical engineers that have become industry standards. These are the certifications that aren’t always necessary, but might as well be for those who want to work as a mechanical engineer in any capacity.
Examples of these types of certificates include:
- NACE certifications
- NICET certifications, such as the Technologist Certification
- NCEES licensure through the FE Exam
Beyond these, just about any certificate courses for mechanical engineers offered by any of the larger, nationally recognized professional mechanical engineering associations is a certificate worth considering. Anything sponsored or certified with ASME certification for mechanical engineers will stand at the top of the list.
You may have years of experience, but new job opportunities may require new education requirements. Work experience, internships, and more can help engineering students become a professional engineer.
What are the Different Mechanical Engineering Certifications?
There are as many types of professional certificate programs for mechanical engineers as there are fields, niches, and verticals within this overarching engineering branch. And even for the engineering certificates and certificate courses for mechanical engineers, applicants will find the situation splinters even further.
For example, an aerospace engineering certificate can also mean someone will need certification in a very specific application of aerospace engineering. Then, that person may need certification in using the tools necessary for that specific application. This can become a rabbit hole for an applicant who isn’t sure about their goals.
That’s why it’s a good idea for applicants to know precisely what they want to do, then they can choose the best certifications for mechanical engineers that apply specifically to them. Some examples of the different certification courses for mechanical engineers include:
- Assistive design certificate
- Digital manufacturing certificates
- EPA Operators Safety Certification
- Certified Energy Manger (CEM)
- Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP)
With so many types of real-world mechanical engineering jobs, there are dozens and dozens of professional mechanical engineering certifications out there. Your career path may go toward:
- mechanical design
- mechanical systems
- control systems
- project management
- quality control
- manufacturing processes
- engineering management
Potential employers will appreciate the validation of a degree, certificate, or engineering license. These prove the competency you need to take on entry-level engineering work. It shows you have the fundamentals to become a certified energy manager or a manufacturing engineer.
Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Certificate Online?
Certificate courses for mechanical engineers exist online, and applicants should certainly pursue online certificate courses for mechanical engineers when possible. However, applicants should show care with frivolous online certification courses for mechanical engineers.
They must make sure the course and certificate come from a reputable and professional group. If the course has some type of accreditation, even better.
In addition, free online certification courses for mechanical engineers exist as well. Sometimes these courses will come from specific vendors or manufacturers to help someone become acclimated to one of their tools or software options.
The same rules apply with free online certification courses for mechanical engineering and related fields. Applicants must make sure the courses have worth to them and represent a necessity to their goals.