Mechanical engineering degrees online are currently offered by an increasing number of accredited colleges and universities.
What is mechanical engineering?
Mechanical engineering is the scientific way of designing and developing machine devices, prototypes, and products. It is considered a broad-based engineering program, because mechanical engineering students are exposed to a wide-range of courses. Mechanical engineers typically deal with issues involving motion, energy, force, and the design and development of machines or devices to solve common mechanical problems.
Mechanical engineers design and develop prototypes or devices to solve problems in a wide-range of areas, including electrical and gas-powered machines or plants, as well as internal combustion engines. Mechanical engineers also design and develop equipment and machines that cool or freeze things.
Typical entry requirements into mechanical engineering programs.
A bachelor's degree in engineering is usually a basic requirement for most mechanical
engineering degrees because most online programs offer only graduate level mechanical engineering degrees.
Why Pursue an Online Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
The online degree option is conducive to flexible scheduling and a working engineer does not need to take off time from work in order to pursue a master's degree in mechanical engineering. The program permits students to keep their jobs and only study or attend classes during their private time. Some employers may even refund their employees' tuition. Potential applicants should consult their HR department about tuition reimbursement.
Online education is also cost-effective because students do not have to travel to class. This eliminates transportation costs, and other hassles such as parking, traffic accidents, and traffic infractions. Online classes also offer handicapped people the ability to earn their degrees from the comfort of their homes.
Are Online Engineering Degrees Recognized by Employers?
The majority of mechanical engineering degrees online are offered by accredited colleges and universities. Employers recognize online degrees from accredited online institutions just as degrees from traditional campuses. Distance learning programs have become very popular, and practically every major university offers online classes. Many working professionals are returning to school all the time, and online education is a realistic option because it permits professionals to expand their academic knowledge without taking off time from work.
List of Schools Offering Accredited Online Mechanical Engineering Programs
- BS in Computer Engineering Technology
- BS in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Master of Electrical Engineering
Penn Foster College
Mechanical Engineering Career Options
Manufacturing – Any company engaged in designing prototypes and manufacturing products, needs a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers are also involved in research and academia. Many government agencies also hire mechanical engineers.
Design – When a new product is needed, or if an old product needs improvement, a mechanical engineer is often needed to get the job done.
Automotive - Mechanical engineers play leading roles in the design and testing of automobile components, and they design and develop safer and more efficient parts for vehicles.
Biomedical engineering – Mechanical engineers are needed to design prostheses and other human mobility products.
Consulting - Some experienced mechanical engineers work as independent consultants.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) – Mechanical engineers are needed to design cutting edge devices for use in coolers, freezers and air conditioning systems.
Nuclear engineering – Mechanical engineers are very much involved in the design and the safe operation of nuclear power plants.
Robotics – When there is a need to design and build machines to be used in the production of other machines, the services of mechanical engineers always come in handy. Many car assembly plants use robots which are overseen by mechanical engineers. They ensure that the robots are functioning efficiently.
Teaching – Universities all over the world need experienced mechanical engineers to help train future mechanical engineers.
Mechanical engineers are also needed in the following areas: acoustics, design, energy conservation, power generation, fluid mechanics, mechanical maintenance, pipe production, thermal products, tool design and production.
Mechanical Engineering Employment Outlook and Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Mechanical Engineers will increase by 4% from now to the year 2016 and about 9,400 new mechanical engineers will be hired.
In May 2008, the average annual salary of experienced mechanical engineers was $78,200, and senior mechanical engineers earned an average of $114,740.
The largest employers of Mechanical engineers in 2008 and the average annual salaries were:
Engineering services companies, $81,400; Research & Development, $$90,830; Navigational and Control Instruments Manufacturers, $83,480; and the Aerospace industry, $93,980.
The highest annual mechanical engineering salaries in 2008 were in:
Oil and gas exploration, $93,980
Computer parts manufacturers, $90,980.
Mechanical engineers in the following states received the highest salaries in 2008:
District of Columbia, Idaho, Colorado, Alaska and New Mexico. Mechanical Engineering annual salaries in these states ranged from $90,610 to $96,370 on the average, in 2008.
Based on the above information, it is clear that mechanical engineering degrees online are in demand because mechanical engineers are needed in all industries in every country on earth.