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|
What Mechanical Engineering Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, ME tech majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for ME Tech Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- 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:
- 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
ME Tech majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- 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?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of ME tech majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||3|
|Hispanic or Latino||7|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in ME Tech. About 48.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
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).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a ME tech 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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Mechanical Engineering
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.
|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%|
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|
|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!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to Mechanical Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to ME tech.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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