Mechanical Engineering Degrees

Salaries For Degrees in Mechanical Engineering

Graduates with online bachelors mechanical engineering degrees can work in a variety of jobs.  It is impossible to say what you personally will do with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, our survey panel picked the following occupations as likely options:

  • Mechanical engineers
  • Mechanical drafters
  • Sound engineering technicians

The median salary for people with online masters mechanical engineering degrees is $59,828.07.  The lifetime value of this degree is approximately $1,461,924.00.

Salaries are highly dependent on individual negotiating skill, experience, your employer, area, and more besides.  The estimates we show on these pages are just that: estimates.  Your individual experience will likely vary.

Where does this come from?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US government, classifies all workers into some 800-odd occupational categories.  We paid a team of freelancers to solicit their opinion on what type of degree a holder of each type of job would likely have majored in.  For pairs which had a high degree of consensus, we created a link between the degree and the job.

From this, we calculated the average salary for Mechanical Engineering degrees and converted it into a lifetime value.  We then compared it against other degrees at the same level of schooling (such as online associate mechanical engineering degrees), so that you can make informed educational and employment decisions.

What Can a Mechanical Engineer Student Expect to Learn?

A student studying Mechanical Engineering will have to learn a number of core concepts in order to successfully complete the program of study. This includes the areas of mechanics, structural analysis, thermodynamics, and kinematics. When combined with up to date software programs like computer-aided engineering (CAE) and computer-aided drafting (CAD), an undergraduate will have the necessary tools to be able to design a new system or repair an old one.

This branch of engineering is one of the oldest known disciplines still being studied. That is because the basic principles and concepts haven’t changed in many years. While the technology and terminology continue to move forward, basic physics and material science laws remain the same as they were during the time of Sir Isaac Newton.

Students will be equipped to deal with problems that involve the operation of machinery and tools once they complete their undergraduate studies. They will then be ready to offer this expertise to any number of companies.

Although the ideas haven’t changed significantly for a number of years, this field has continued to advance due to the new discoveries that are constantly being made by researchers. Consequently, there are also new courses to study in order to keep up with changing technology. Advancements in the area of material science has lead to the new field of composites, while computer manufacturers continue to downsize their electronics, making nanotechnology college courses a hot item at this time. The possibilities are endless for degreed engineers.

Online Schools Offering Accredited Mechanical Engineer Degree Programs

There are a number of ways to obtain a Mechanical Engineering degree, and many opportunities exist online. As the growth of the Internet has forced more businesses to take a hard look at what they were doing, this idea has also trickled down to the college level.

More and higher schools of learning are offering classes and degree programs this way to save costs; allow greater flexibility with scheduling, and to meet the needs of the non-traditional student. Since more industries are constantly evolving; with layoffs at an all time high, it makes perfect sense to cater to those students that are seeking a new degree, or have to be re-trained for a second career.

An online college is the ideal fit for these individuals, and the majority of universities are coming to this realization also. In order to get a Mechanical Engineering degree from an online university, it is prudent to find a school that is offering the right program that will also fit the user’s needs. Sometimes that means a regular meeting for group forum discussion. There are other colleges that require semi-frequent trips to campus for an update.

A student has to not only complete the requirements of the coursework, but also gain the right experience as well. A number of accredited schools are now focused on offering the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering on the Internet.

These include the University of Illinois, and Purdue University, just to name a few. In addition, other schools include:


  • University of Idaho
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Old Dominion University

Top Colleges & Universities Offering Campus-based Mechanical Engineer Degrees

There is also the traditional way of earning the Mechanical Engineering degree, and that involves attending classes on campus, sitting in lectures, performing laboratory assignments, and meeting with professors. This can be troublesome for some students who aren’t disciplined enough to get up for an early morning class, but it does force the undergraduate to attend classes on a regular basis, because the information is only available during the scheduled lecture.

Also, being able to meet with the instructor during normal office hours and sit face to face, is a definite advantage to the student who is in a quandary over a homework assignment.

For those individuals interested in obtaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering from a campus location, there are several options.

Such famous schools as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, Purdue University and the University of Minnesota are just a small sampling of the choices that currently are available to anyone wishing to study in this area. They have been consistently ranked in the top 5% of all universities offering this type of degree program.

It is important also to make sure that any of the online schools being considered are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). All of the colleges that carry this designation have been approved for the specific program offered. They have all passed at least the minimum standards, and have been through the rigorous process performed by ABET.

These designations will help on a job application or resume, since the reputation of a quality engineering school is greatly preceded by the resume being submitted. It may be the best choice for the student right out of high school.

Famous Mechanical Engineering Students

There have been a number of famous people who have studied mechanical engineering down through the years. They come from all walks of life and many of the names are surprising – not because of the degree they obtained, but the field that they ended up being successful in later in life. There have been a number of astronauts who studied mechanical engineering as undergraduates. Henry Ford Engineer

These include such men as Mike Massimino, PhD — one of the astronauts, who fixed the Hubble telescope, and Rich Husband, who was one of the Columbia astronauts. Other notable names from the automotive world with this type of degree are Henry Ford (pictured right), inventor of the production line for automobiles.

Felix Wankel, inventor of the Wankel Rotary Engine, and Rudolf Diesel, who invented the diesel engine. There are even 2 NASCAR drivers in this group: Ryan Newman and Ashton Lewis.

Some other famous inventors who started out as Mechanical Engineers are Willis Carrier – invented the first air conditioning system, Nikola Tesla, a Serbian Physicist who developed many ideas relating to electricity and power, Eli Whitney – the cotton gin pioneer and Alfred Hitchcock, the famous film director.

Perhaps the man with the most influence and having the greatest impact on industry was James Watt, who developed the first steam engine, and helped to replace the horse as the method of getting work done. He is widely considered by many to be the father of mechanical engineering.

There is no shortage of ways to use this degree, as evidence by the number of successful men previously mentioned. According to the September 16-17, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition, about 20% of the CEO's of the top US companies have engineering degrees. Any student serious considering a career in industry should make every effort to learn more about the opportunities afforded to them with a Mechanical Engineering degree.

One of the best types of degrees to have in any economy is that of a Mechanical Engineer. There is the need for this type of individual in every industry, and trained persons can expect to find steady employment at all times. With the variety of skills learned, they can easily be applied to every sector of the marketplace; whether it is automotive, manufacturing, research and development, or technology.

The outlook is bright, with most graduates landing a full time position right out of school. Many students choose to continue their education with a Master’s degree that specializes in one area, leading to expert status, and the potential to earn more money.