Online Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering

Tinkering with the next generation of fuel efficient vehicles, salvaging resources through remanufacturing or designing miniature robots for extraterrestrial exploration -- these are potential paths in mechanical engineering. As a mechanical engineer, you could design, build and test machines and equipment for a wide range of industries.

While a bachelor's degree is generally required for entry level positions, master's degrees in mechanical engineering may be needed for leadership roles. The Department of Labor reports that 19.5 percent of mechanical engineers between 25 and 44 years of age have a master's degree.

Exploring master's degrees in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is a very broad discipline with applications such as biomedicine, computational engineering and nanotechnology. Coursework can include subjects like these:

  1. Acoustics and noise control
  2. Combustion
  3. Computer-aided design
  4. Fluid mechanics and propulsion
  5. Manufacturing and materials processing
  6. Mechanics and vibrations
  7. Systems measurement and control
  8. Thermodynamics

If you lack a bachelor's degree in engineering or the physical sciences, you may need additional coursework prior to a graduate program. Your background should be strong in mathematics, the physical sciences, engineering, computers and design. Many programs offer cooperative education or internships to combine education with work experience.

Mechanical engineering career outlook and salaries

Product design engineer, consulting engineer and research engineer are potential career options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment growth for mechanical engineers will be slower than average between 2010 and 2020; however, those with training in the latest software tools may have an edge.

Some other engineering disciplines are expected to experience higher employment growth, especially bioengineering. Median salaries for related careers in 2010 are shown here, with the 2010-2020 job growth rate projected by the BLS:

  1. Biomedical engineer: $81,540; 61.7 percent
  2. Engineering manager: $119,260; 9 percent
  3. Environmental engineer: $78,740; 22 percent
  4. Materials engineer: $83,120; 9 percent
  5. Mechanical engineer: $78,160; 9 percent
  6. Petroleum engineer: $114,080; 17 percent

Engineering management positions call for extensive experience in addition to education.

Other options in mechanical engineering

If you are interested in research, teaching or a leadership career in academia, industry or the government, you can look into a doctorate. Some schools combine engineering master's and doctoral programs.

Online master's degrees in mechanical engineering provide a convenient way to continue working while you increase your professional knowledge and plan your strategy to advance in your career.

Featured Online Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

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