Mechanical Engineering Degree Information

To start working and earning a salary in this profession, obtaining a mechanical engineering degree is necessary. Going through schooling for 1 to 2 years and getting yourself an associates degree will not enable you to get the higher end jobs that pay a better salary. A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is the absolute minimal requirement in terms of education level, and you will most likely study more later on in your career to get the relevant qualifications (see below).

If your job as an engineer offers services to the public or is related to the health, or property sectors, you will need to be licensed by the state in which you work. Being able to work in these industries means that you will need to obtain a degree from an approved university at the very least and a minimum of 4 years working in the field as a mechanical engineer. On top of that, you will need to pass a state examination before you can be considered a professionally licensed mechanical engineer.

Here are the types of programs that you can study which will enable you to get your foot into the industry:

Associates Degree

An associate’s degree in mechanical engineering will enable you to gain entry-level jobs within the industry as a technician. What a technician does is basically provide assistance to licensed mechanical engineers. An associate degree will normally take 2 years to complete and it can also be transferred to a 4 year program to achieve your full degree.

Bachelors Degree

In the United States, undergraduate programs are normally accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) to keep requirements and standards amongst the universities country-wide similar.  In general, mechanical engineering programs in the USA will land you with a BS degree (Bachelor of Science) where you will learn to problem solve and to think analytically – these skills are crucial for all types of engineers. You will also study design, applied sciences and be trained in computer and simulation software, to name a few.

Higher Learning Programs

After getting your undergraduate degree, you may choose to obtain higher qualifications to raise your salary threshold or to get your foot into more specialized areas or industries that you are interested in. If this is the case, need an advanced degree in one of the following depending on your career aims:

•    Master of Engineering
•    Master of Technology
•    Master of Science
•    Master of Engineering Management

If teaching and academia is what you are considering, you will require a PhD in Engineering and it will require a significant amount of research work to be completed as part of your thesis.

Studying Online

There is also the option for you to get your mechanical engineering degree online. There are more and more institutions offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and even doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering. These programs are very flexible time-wise and will allow you to study externally (distance learning) if you are unable to attend school in person because you live out of state or have a full-time or part-time job.

Career Advancement Possibilities After School

Individuals will generally start off their careers being assistants to engineers who have been in the field for a while. As the fresh graduates gain experience on the job, they may progress and be promoted to become supervisors, managers, executives or even experts in their chosen field. Some who have the necessary qualifications may end up becoming research directors and others may go into business for themselves either as consultants or starting their own manufacturing companies.

Engineers are always dealing with new technologies, advancements in science, materials, tools and also computer programs, to improve the way they plan their projects and design their systems or products. Getting that mechanical engineering degree is just the start. You will need to go through continual training and take courses throughout your career, unlike other types of careers such as accounting for example, where new knowledge does not progress at such a rapid rate and methods used decades ago are still applicable today.

In many cases, employers will send their employees to undertake specialized courses in order to advance their skills and knowledge to become more skilled and efficient at what they do, at the expense of the company.

It might seem like a lot of hoops to jump through in order for you to become a mechanical engineer but the rewards are definitely worth it, and the salary potential at the end of it all will be quite substantial. As long as you are the type who enjoys constant learning, and you remain persistent and dedicated, you will definitely succeed in this field after obtaining your mechanical engineering degree.