Mechanical engineers are the professionals that are responsible for turning ideas into real products and systems. They work across every industry from automotive to energy conversion to biotechnology to determine the best way to manufacture products that will operate smoothly and without fail. With the Machine Age is long gone, online mechanical engineering degree programs now focus on technologically-advanced devices. If you enroll in an online mechanical engineering program, expect to study the mechanics of moving machines. This can mean something as simple as a power saw or as complex as a bomb-detecting robot. Mechanical engineering programs study many types of machines and learn how to design, create and fix tools and other devices. Mechanical engineers are able to think through detailed systems and develop machines for businesses, the military and research. Mechanical engineering degree online programs provides a solid foundation for a career in a number of fields, ranging from transportation to robotics to ventilation.
THE CAREER PATH
Mechanical engineering is a broad field, with many different industries. They are the professionals that are responsible for turning ideas into real products and systems. Career options are many, with numerous industries hiring mechanical engineers. As such, they work across every industry from automotive to energy conversion to biotechnology to determine the best way to manufacture products that will operate smoothly and without fail. A few popular fields include aerospace, automotive, the government and manufacturing companies. Regardless of the field, mechanical engineers focus on designing, developing and creating devices. This may involve visiting test sites or be strictly office work. Professionals can find a path into any industry that fits their interests, goals, and lifestyle and they can find work in settings from startups to government institutions, helping to advance technology and make the world a better place.
The Department of Labor (DOL) mentions that mechanical engineers may choose to specialize in a certain type of mechanics. The DOL also explains that the types of tasks that mechanical engineers perform on the job are pretty similar, across the spectrum. Professionals with a degree in mechanical engineering may also be able to apply their skills to other areas of engineering. The average yearly income for mechanical engineers is nearly $85,000 annually, and the demand is on par with the national average across a variety of industries that might appeal to developing professionals in the engineering field.
Another entry level position that professionals might find appealing is the role of mechanical engineering technicians, who assist engineers in the designing, development, testing, and manufacturing of mechanical devices. Technicians may be responsible for making sketches and rough layouts, recording and analyze data, making calculations and estimates, and reporting findings. Technicians make nearly $55,000 each year and positions usually require an associate degree.
Your unique path in mechanical engineering may be the beginning of a career that moves mountains. If you are confident in your ability to understand the different concepts behind solid and fluid mechanics, math, science, and other required knowledge, then there’s a program that’s right for your lifestyle and journey.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Careers in mechanical engineering are for professionals who want to become experts in the unique science of objects and systems in motion. They are critical in every industry, and their skills in math, science, thermodynamics, physics, design, and manufacturing are priceless.
On top of the nitty gritty skills of engineering, professionals in mechanical engineering must be creative enough to work with complex pieces of machinery and to use their imagination to bring ideas to life. They must be able to listen to others and be able to problem-solve in a way that is innovative and solution-oriented. If you get excited about the idea of putting ideas into motion and working with the mechanical sciences, then continue reading about the types of programs you may be interested in to start your mechanical engineering career.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Entry level online certificates in drafting are available for those who want to use online learning to train as mechanical engineering technicians. Entry level technicians may earn online degrees such as the associate’s of applied technology in engineering, as opposed to the bachelor of science in engineering (online BSE).
Most mechanical engineering jobs do require a bachelor’s degree. Some professionals who wish to further their career earn an online master’s degree in mechanical engineering or engineering management. Also, check local state laws for licensing and continuing education requirements for mechanical engineers to help decide the best course of action for you.
Mechanical engineering programs online cover an array of topics, including thermodynamics, mechanics of material, dynamics and design. Online courses in mechanical engineering include studies in heat and power systems and their applications in large systems such as power plants.
The highest quality degree programs will hold additional accreditation through the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Licenses are not required for most entry-level positions, but as competitive professionals seek to advance their careers and educate future students or dedicate time to research, they may be interested in a Professional Engineer certification, issued on a state-by-state basis.
The average cost of an online engineering degree at the master’s level is $28,000—not including books or other additional costs. Make sure to look into the options that offer the best bang for your buck and prepare you to explore your interests and goals in a budget-friendly program.