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Mechanical Engineering Major

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Mechanical Engineering

164 Master's Degrees Annually
1 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#216 in Popularity (Master's)
$58,240 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Mechanical Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many mechanical engineering technology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 164
Graduate Certificate 21
Doctor’s Degree 1

What Mechanical Engineering Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to ME tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for ME Tech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in ME tech should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for ME Tech Majors

ME tech majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for ME Tech Majors

As a ME tech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Mechanical Engineering Major?

People with a ME tech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians 6.6% $67,010
Automotive Engineering Technicians 5.0% $56,250
Mechanical Engineering Technicians 5.0% $56,250

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?

164 Master's Degrees Annually
16% Percent Women
15% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major tends to be male dominated. About 84% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of ME tech majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of ME Tech Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 12
Black or African American 3
Hispanic or Latino 7
White 55
International Students 80
Other Races/Ethnicities 7

Geographic Diversity

ME Tech appeals to people across the globe. About 48.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Kuwait

How Much Do Mechanical Engineering Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in ME tech was $81,400 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $81,400 (25th percentile) and $81,400 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to ME tech.

Salaries According to BLS

ME Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $43,730 to $68,970 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Mechanical Engineering Major  ( 43730 to 68970 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with ME tech may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for ME tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 18.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 32.6%
Some College Courses 3.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 21.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 21.6%
Master’s Degree 3.5%

Online Mechanical Engineering Programs

In 2018-2019, 332 schools offered a ME tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 95 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 80 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 0
Associate’s Degree 257 3
Bachelor’s Degree 7 3
Post-Baccalaureate 95 2
Master’s Degree 4 2
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a ME tech grad is $58,240 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 46% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $366,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to ME tech.

Major Number of Grads
Industrial Production Technology 14,313
Drafting & Design Engineering Technology 10,756
Electromechanical Engineering Technology 10,702
Environmental Control Technology 10,042
Electronics Engineering Technology 9,875
Engineering-Related Fields 5,997
Quality Control Technology 4,315
General Engineering Technology 4,212
Computer Engineering Technology 4,180
Construction Engineering Technology 3,824
Engineering Technology (Other) 1,786
Architectural Engineering Technology 1,362
Engineering-Related Technologies 840
Nuclear Engineering Technology 388
Nanotechnology 123

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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