It’s never too early to start preparing for your mechanical engineering internship. Major organizations may begin posting their summer internship openings on major job-recruiting websites as early as the preceding January. They may also offer internships in the fall and spring as well. And while internships are generally reserved for juniors and seniors at the bachelor’s level, younger mechanical engineering students can get started early on building their resume and developing a professional network.
Typical requirements for mechanical engineering internships include: current enrollment in a bachelor’s or master’s mechanical engineering program; a competitive GPA (3.0 or greater); and full-time availability (40 hours+ per week) during the internship. Other potential requirements include: the ability to obtain US government security clearance (requires US citizenship); familiarity with CAD software; and coding proficiency. Any other relevant work or educational experience is a plus.
Top mechanical engineering internships can be extremely competitive, with the number of applicants far outweighing the number of available slots. It’s best to apply to several internship opportunities across different subdisciplines of mechanical engineering.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of innovative and rewarding mechanical engineering internships available. To learn more, read on.
Northrop Grumman is a multinational aerospace and defense company. Engineers at Northrop Grumman have helped design the B-21 stealth bomber, the X-47B drone, and the James Webb Space Telescope. The next crop of engineers is working on pushing the envelope even further.
Northrop Grumman is seeking mechanical engineering students for summer internships at its Mission Systems Sector in Baltimore, Maryland. Successful candidates will join Northrop Grumman’s Hardware Engineering Group and help expand a portfolio of secure, affordable, integrated, multi-domain systems and technologies.
Boeing is a multinational aerospace company. Founded in 1916, it’s grown to become one of the largest flight vehicle manufacturers in the world, and the largest US exporter by dollar value. Engineers at Boeing are building more environmentally friendly airplanes, and they’re also pushing the limits of what tech can do through their PhantomWorks division.
Boeing is seeking mechanical engineering students for summer internships through its Engineering Intern Program. Internships fall into one of several categories: mechanical systems design and analysis; structural design; structural analysis; manufacturing; liaison; tooling; payloads; and product support. Those who wish to work in payload and product support will apply in the Seattle area, but internships in other foci are available in several locations.
Tesla is an electric vehicle and clean energy company based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2003, it’s grown to become one of the world’s most valuable companies, and the most valued automaker in the world. Engineers at Tesla are designing self-driving cars and novel batteries that could power a greener, and much more futuristic looking, world.
Tesla is currently seeking mechanical engineering students for summer internships in mechanical design engineering. Applicants will be considered for three different teams: the residential energy hardware engineering team; the Supercharger mechanical design team; and the industrial energy enclosure engineering team. Tesla has a number of other internships for mechanical engineers available in other locations as well.
Lockheed Martin is an American company with interests in aerospace, defense, information security, and technology. It is the world’s largest defense contractor by revenue. Lockheed Martin has won the Collier Trophy six times since 2001, and its engineers have helped design the X-35, the Orion command module, and the United States Air Force Space Fence.
Lockheed Martin’s Space Division is seeking mechanical engineering students for summer internships. Successful candidates will help research, plan, design, and develop mechanical products and systems for use on hypersonic defense missions. Interns will apply research to systems that utilize propulsion, electronics, thermal protection systems, and aerodynamics.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally-funded research and development center. Founded in the 1930s, it is owned by NASA and managed by the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). JPL’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic spacecraft, and JPL engineers have helped design the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, the Curiosity rover, and the forthcoming Psyche asteroid orbiter.
JPL is looking for mechanical engineering students for summer internships. The internship takes place in a campus-like environment, and interns will partner with JPL engineers to work on spacecraft, science instruments, mission control systems, and science analysis pipelines.
Space X is an aerospace manufacturer, space transportation, and communication company based in Hawthorne, California. Founded in 2002 with the goal of reducing the costs of space transportation, it’s grown in ambition to develop technologies that ultimately enable human life on Mars. SpaceX engineers have helped design the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Starlink satellite internet constellation.
SpaceX is seeking a number of engineering students for summer internships. Applicants will be considered across several different SpaceX teams: avionics; build reliability; customer operations and integration; flight reliability; launch engineering; materials engineering; production; propulsion; starship engineering; supply chain; test operations; and vehicle engineering. Interns will be assigned hands-on, challenging projects that directly impact the company’s mission.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the US government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. NASA engineers have been responsible for some of the greatest leaps forward in human innovation including putting people on the moon and launching a craft beyond the reaches of the solar system.
NASA is seeking engineering students for internships in the summer, fall, and spring. Interns will collaborate with leading experts and work under the guidance of a mentor on projects that impact NASA’s mission, such as returning to the moon via the Artemis project. Positions are available at ten NASA center locations across the country.
X is the moonshot factory of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Their goal is to invent, develop, and launch technologies that have a 10x impact on the world’s most intractable problems. While many of X’s projects remain secret, X engineers have helped design: Waymo’s self-driving cars; Google Glass’s augmented-reality eyewear; and Project Loon’s internet network of balloons.
X is seeking mechanical engineering students for an internship in ocean hardware design with Project Tidal, an attempt to protect the ocean and preserve its ability to support life. Interns will work cross-functionally to prepare Tidal hardware for production, and support hardware investigations for future products.
Apple is a multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, software, and online services. It is the largest IT company in the world, and the world’s most valuable company. Apple engineers have helped design products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Apple is seeking mechanical engineering students for its manufacturing design engineer (MDE) internship. As an MDE, interns will handle the selection, implementation, and optimization of manufacturing processes for mechanical enclosure subassemblies of Apple products. Interns will utilize mechanical engineering experience and work cross-functionally with product design engineers and industrial design engineers.
Argo AI is an autonomous driving technology company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2016 by ex-Google and ex-Uber executives, it has received major investments from Ford and Volkswagen, and is valued at over $7.5 billion. Argo AI engineers develop the software, hardware, maps, and infrastructure that powers self-driving vehicles.
Argo AI is seeking mechanical engineering students for summer internships. Each intern will be matched with a senior staff member who will provide guidance and mentorship for the duration of the internship. Mechanical engineering interns will be responsible for the research, design, development, testing, and deployment of automotive robotics hardware for Argo AI products. Remote internships are available in some states.
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Not long ago, self-driving cars were science fiction. Today, not so much. Influential companies like Tesla, Uber, Apple, and Google boast dynamic auto-drive programs, and many new startups are following their lead.