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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

People with careers related to ME tech were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for ME Tech Majors

ME Tech majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

When studying ME tech, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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 you progress with your ME tech degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with ME tech:

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 early-career salary of mechanical engineering technology students with a master’s degree is $81,400 a year according to 2017-2018 data 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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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in ME tech, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $43,730 to $68,970 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to ME tech. 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 careers associated with ME tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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
Engineering-Related Fields 4,157
Quality Control Technology 714
Industrial Production Technology 413
General Engineering Technology 341
Engineering Technology (Other) 320
Computer Engineering Technology 272
Environmental Control Technology 219
Construction Engineering Technology 188
Drafting & Design Engineering Technology 178
Electronics Engineering Technology 143
Nanotechnology 77
Electromechanical Engineering Technology 33
Architectural Engineering Technology 21
Engineering-Related Technologies 15
Nuclear Engineering Technology 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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