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Best Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Sana Uqaili - May 17, 2022


The best online mechanical engineering associate degrees can help you learn in-demand skills and prepare you for mechanical engineering jobs. In as little as two years, you can earn a degree that will qualify you to work as an engineering technician for a business, a research facility, or the government.

An online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering will also help you prepare for future educational success. It could be your first step toward earning an engineering bachelor’s degree and getting an engineering certification. Read this article to find out more about mechanical engineering associate degree jobs and the best online mechanical engineering associate degrees.

Where Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Online?

Some of the best schools where you can get a mechanical engineering associate degree online include the University of Massachusetts Lowell, ECPI University, Thomas Nelson Community College, and Seminole State College of Florida. These institutions provide an online learning environment that will help you successfully complete your engineering degree.

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What Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Associate Degrees?

  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Thomas Nelson Community College
  • ECPI University
  • Northcentral Technical College
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

The admission requirements for an online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering are a high school diploma or GED and either test scores from a standardized college preparedness test like the ACT or SAT or a school-specific placement test.

To prove that you meet these requirements, you’ll need to submit your diplomas, transcripts, and test scores, in addition to filling out an online application. Most online mechanical engineering associate degree programs do not have a minimum GPA requirement.

Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degrees Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • High school transcript
  • SAT or ACT score
  • School-specific placement test

How to Get a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Online

The best way to get an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering online is by fulfilling all the graduation requirements in your mechanical engineering program. This includes completing the number of credits required for graduation, taking required courses, completing any research projects, and complying with the online school rules and regulations.

Mechanical Engineering Degree Requirements

  • Complete a total of 60 to 70 credits of coursework
  • Earn a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Complete general education requirements in English, world languages, and social sciences
  • Complete lower-level, basic courses like calculus and physics
  • Complete higher-level, core or major courses like CAD, material science, fluid dynamics
  • Submit graduation paperwork

Best Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Central Texas College Associate of Science in Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
ECPI University Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Harrisburg Area Community College Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Technology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Ivy Tech Community College Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Production and Operations Higher Learning Commission
Kentucky Community and Technical College System Associate of Applied Science in Marine Technology, Marine Engineering Track Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Northcentral Technical College Associate Degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology Higher Learning Commission
Northcentral Technical College Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology Higher Learning Commission
Seminole State College of Florida Associate in Arts Mechanical Engineering Pathway Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Thomas Nelson Community College Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
University of Massachusetts Lowell Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology New England Commission of Higher Education

Best Schools for Mechanical Engineering: Top Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Programs

Some of the best schools for an online mechanical engineering associate degree are Central Texas College, Ivy Tech Community College, and Thomas Nelson Community College. Below we provide you with an in-depth overview of some of the top online engineering programs listed in the table above, including details about each mechanical engineering associate degree, admissions requirements, and how to apply.

1

Central Texas College

Killeen, TX

Central Texas College was founded in 1965 and today has 18,674 students attending its online programs on campuses in Texas. It offers over 30 online associate degrees across six program areas.

Associate of Science in Engineering

This 60-credit Associate of Science degree covers the basics of engineering over a two-year program. This engineering program prepares students to transfer into a four-year engineering bachelor’s degree or become engineering technicians.

Associate of Science in Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $100/credit (in district); $124/credit (in state); $250/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 15%

Associate of Science in Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: N/A
  • Standardized Tests: SAT with 480+ in Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, 530+ in Math or ACT with 19+ in English and 19+ in Math or take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI) after applying
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Minimum Education: High School or Equivalent
  • Other Requirements: TSI if other standardized test scores do not meet minimum

Applying to Central Texas College

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Submit your residency documentation.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
  4. Take the TSI assessment (if required).
2

ECPI University

Virginia Beach, VA

ECPI University , also known as East Coast Polytechnic Institute, is a private school that was formed in 1966 in Norfolk, Virginia. It offers accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs that are available for on-campus students, online learners, and hybrid scholars at its campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas.

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

This 120-credit Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology covers material science, processes of manufacturing, graphics and analysis engineering computer programs, and electro-mechanical technologies. Courses are taken in intensive 5-week terms. This program prepares graduates for jobs like support technicians or plant managers.

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $8,712/semester
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 to 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online with hybrid options
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 43%

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: N/A
  • Standardized Tests: Not Required
  • Application Fee: $15
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: College preparedness assessment

Applying to ECPI University

  1. Schedule a meeting with an admission advisor.
  2. Take a college preparedness assessment.
  3. Submit an online application.
  4. Submit your transcripts.
3

Harrisburg Area Community College

Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) was founded in 1964 and today offers more than 100 programs to over 14,000 degree-seeking students. HACC has five campuses in Pennsylvania and also offers fully online programs. It has flexible class schedules that allow 73.7 percent of students to study part time.

Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Technology

The 61-credit Associate in Applied Science Degree in Industrial Technology at HACC prepares students for jobs in manufacturing, machine design, and automotive technologies or to transfer into a four-year bachelor’s degree program. This program covers general education requirements in English, communication, and social sciences, as well as education courses in math, electrical engineering, and manufacturing.

Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees: $285.50/credit (in state); $338.25/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 61 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: Online or in-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 16%

Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 to be exempt from placement test
  • Standardized Tests: SAT with 530+ in Math and 480+ in Reading and Writing or ACT with 21+ in Math, 18+ in Reading, and 21+ in English to be exempt from placement test
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Certificate of Residence, placement test if required

Applying to Harrisburg Area Community College

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
  3. Submit transcripts and your Certificate of Residence.
  4. Schedule a placement test (if required).
4

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, IN

Ivy Tech Community College , founded in 1963, is part of the Indiana public community college system. Ivy Tech has 45 locations around Indiana and offers online programs. Over 148,000 students took classes at Ivy Tech in 2020-21, and 73 percent of students received financial aid.

Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Production and Operations

Ivy Tech’s AAS in Manufacturing Production and Operations is designed to teach students current techniques in the manufacturing industry. This degree prepares students for machine operating jobs or to transfer credits to a four-year program.

Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Production and Operations Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $149.55/credit (in state); $292.57/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 28%

Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Production and Operations Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.6 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: SAT with 27+ in Writing and Language, 460+ in Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, 25+ in Reading, 500+ in Math or ACT with 17+ in English, 18+ in Reading, and 18+ in Math
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Knowledge Assessment if GPA and standardized test scores don’t meet the minimum requirements

Applying to Ivy Tech Community College

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Upload assessment documents (SAT/ACT scores, high school transcripts) to the online application.
  3. Schedule a Knowledge Assessment (if required).
5

Kentucky Community and Technical College System

Versailles, KY

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has 16 colleges with over 70 campuses and a strong online learning platform with over 140 programs. Online students need to choose a Home College, through which they will get access to student and financial services.

Associate of Applied Science in Marine Technology, Marine Engineering Track

The Marine Engineering track of this AAS degree gives students an introduction to marine engineering technology, geographic information systems (GIS), and marine machine maintenance. The degree prepares students to work as technicians on ships or transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program.

Associate of Applied Science in Marine Technology, Marine Engineering Track Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $179/credit hour (online students)
  • Required Credits: 61-64 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 51% (West Kentucky Community and Technical College, not overall KCTCS)

Associate of Applied Science in Marine Technology, Marine Engineering Track Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.2
  • Standardized Tests: Optional through Summer 2022
  • Application Fee: Free
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Choose a Home College (online only programs)

Applying to Kentucky Community and Technical College System

  1. Choose a Home College.
  2. Fill out the online application.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
  4. Submit standardized test scores.
  5. Apply for financial aid.
7

Northcentral Technical College

Wausau, WI

Northcentral Technical College (NTC) is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System and was founded in 1912 as Wausau Industrial School. It offers over 190 technical diplomas, associate degrees, and certificate programs in business, agriculture, information technology, and human services. An incredible 95 percent of graduates are employed within one year of graduation.

Associate Degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology

This 62- to 64-credit manufacturing engineering technology associate degree program prepares students for careers like manufacturing engineering technician, quality engineer, and assistant industrial engineer. The curriculum includes foundational courses in manufacturing processing, project management, ergonomics, problem resolution, CAD, and process safety.

Associate Degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $141/credit (in state); $221.50/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 62-64 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 36%

Associate Degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Northcentral Technical College

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts.

Northcentral Technical College | Wausau, WI

Founded in 1912 as Wausau Industrial School, Northcentral Technical College (NTC) is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System with six campus locations. NTC has programs in business, agriculture, information technology, and human services, offering over 190 technical diplomas, associate degrees, and certificate programs.

Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology

After completing a mechanical design engineering technology associate degree, students can continue on to a four-year mechanical engineering degree or find work as a product designer, design drafter, or CAD technician. During this 63- to 65-credit program, students take coursework that trains them on the design and development of engineering drawings for a variety of equipment and products.

Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $141/credit (in state); $221.50/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 63-65 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 36%

Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Northcentral Technical College

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
8

Seminole State College of Florida

Sanford, FL

Seminole State College of Florida was founded in 1966 and is ranked in the top 20 public colleges and universities by US News & World Report. It offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and professional certificates to 25,476 students. Programs are available at four campuses around Florida or online, and 83 percent of students attend classes online.

Associate in Arts Mechanical Engineering Pathway

This mechanical engineering associate in arts degree prepares students for a four-year mechanical engineering program. The curriculum is 60 credits and covers basic math and science that engineers need, as well as general education requirements in the humanities and world languages.

Associate in Arts Mechanical Engineering Pathway Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $104.38/credit hour (in state); $381.87/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate in Arts Mechanical Engineering Pathway Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT or PERT after application
  • Application Fee: Free
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) required for some students

Applying to Seminole State College of Florida

  1. Fill out an online application.
  2. Submit your transcripts.
  3. Submit residency forms.
  4. Schedule a PERT exam (if required).
  5. Apply for financial aid.
9

Thomas Nelson Community College

Hampton, VA

University Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) is a public community college that is part of the Virginia Community College System. TNCC provides approximately 60 certificate programs in addition to 50 associate degree programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

The Mechanical Engineering Technology students study design, development, testing, and manufacturing of industrial machinery, consumer products, and engines. The curriculum provides foundational knowledge in science, mathematics, and engineering principles and teaches real-world applications of computer-aided drawing.

Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $70.67/credit (in state) and $158.95/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 67-68 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 28%

Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT optional
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Placement exam if SAT/ACT scores and GPA do not meet guidelines

Applying to Thomas Nelson Community College

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Provide proof of residency.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
  4. Meet with an enrollment specialist.
  5. Meet with an academic advisor.
10

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell, MA

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is part of the University of Massachusetts System. It offers asynchronous online, live online, hybrid, and on-campus course options for 148 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

This Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology program will teach you essential mechanical engineering skills to work with mechanical systems, from installation to maintenance. Graduates of this 68-credit degree work in areas such as plant management, product testing, quality assurance processes , or engineering or can apply those credits to an engineering bachelor’s degree. This degree can be completed in as little as one year.

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $380/credit (online courses)
  • Required Credits: 68 credits
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 69%

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT required if your high school graduation was 3+ years ago and you haven’t attended a college yet
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to University of Massachusetts Lowell

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Pay the $60 application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
  4. Submit SAT/ACT scores (if required).

What Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

An online mechanical engineering associate degree is a program that teaches students technical knowledge and skills in engineering in one or two years. Engineering associate degree programs focus on basic math and physics as well as machine components, electronics, and computer-aided design.

Candidates enrolled in an online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering take the same college courses as an in-person degree but without physically attending at a college campus. This degree’s adaptability makes it excellent for students who want to continue working while attending classes or who are the primary caretaker of a family member.

Online vs In-Person Mechanical Engineering Degrees

The main difference between an online and in-person Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering is that classes for online degrees can be fully asynchronous. This means they are made up of pre-recorded lectures that you can watch whenever you want. Online Associate Degrees in Mechanical Engineering are as good as in-person programs, as online students must complete the same assignments and tests.

Flexible schedules and recorded lectures that are easy to review make online degrees an attractive option for prospective students. In-person programs have the advantage of real-time interaction with the teachers and fellow students to enhance the learning process.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering

  • Flexible schedule. Online classes allow you to watch lectures and complete assignments at a time that works best for your schedule.
  • Recorded lectures. You can review the recorded lectures as many times as you want so you can take the time to really learn the material.
  • More affordable. Online programs often cost less than in-person programs, and you don’t have to spend money on moving or commuting.
  • Increased earning potential. Adding a degree to your resume can help you land jobs with higher salaries.
  • Respected education credentials. An accredited associate degree is a widely accepted credential by potential employers or future universities.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering

  • Real-time interaction. Many students prefer campus-based degree programs because of the real-time, face-to-face interaction with teachers and other students.
  • Access to facilities. Students attending in-person classes can use laboratories, libraries, and research centers to enhance their learning experience.
  • Better social connections. Attending school in person gives you the chance to interact with fellow students and participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Scheduled learning. Many students prefer the more structured schedule that an in-person course requires.
  • Collaborative study environment. Learning in the same room with other students is a great motivator. It will help you work harder and study longer.

What Types of Online Associate Degrees Can You Get in Mechanical Engineering?

The two most common types of online Associate Degrees in Mechanical Engineering you can get are an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science. A few schools offer an Associate of Arts in Mechanical Engineering, but this is rare.

Is It Better to Get an Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering?

It is better to get an Associate of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering if you are looking for an early employment opportunity. An associate degree is shorter, cheaper, and job-specific training makes it an easy choice for students with financial constraints.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is more comprehensive and prepares you for multiple career paths with higher salaries. Deciding whether to do an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree depends on your goals after graduation.

How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Cost?

The online associate degree program in mechanical engineering cost is $11,391 per year between 2019-2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This number included tuition, fees, and room and board.

Consider a public, state, or community college with lower degree costs if you want a more affordable degree. If you live in the same county or state as the school, you may be eligible for a lower resident rate.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Online?

It takes two years to get an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering online, though some schools have accelerated options where you can earn your degree in just a year. Most Associate Degrees in Mechanical Engineering require 60 to 65 credits to complete. An average full-time student takes 12 to18 credits per semester, spread over four semesters.

Are Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees Respected?

Yes, online mechanical engineering degree programs are respected. According to the NCES, there were 3,450,125 students enrolled in fully online degrees in the fall of 2019. As long as you choose an accredited program, future employers or higher education institutions will accept your degree.

Is Mechanical Engineering Hard to Learn Online?

Yes, mechanical engineering is hard to learn online. Like all fields of engineering, mechanical engineering is easier to learn through laboratories and hands-on experience. Mechanical engineering, in particular, focuses on physical machines, and it can be hard to really understand the concepts through online learning alone.

Why You Should Get a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Online

You should get an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering because you can have access to many career choices. An associate degree can lead to an entry-level job, or you can continue your studies and earn a bachelor’s degree.

An online associate degree saves you valuable time and money since it only takes two years or less to complete. You can easily fit an online mechanical engineering associate degree into your schedule because most programs are very flexible, and you don’t need to worry about transportation costs.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Associate Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?

Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering online courses include mechanical design, power, thermodynamics, material science, and engineering modeling. These are foundational courses for learning mechanical engineering .

Engineering Design and Graphics

This course teaches students how to design components of machines. There are lessons on how to take measurements, read prints, and represent different kinds of gears and screw threads. Students will learn the design process through projects.

3D Modeling

This course introduces 3D modeling tools. Students will learn about advanced rounds and tweaks, sophisticated patterns and tables, user-defined features, layers, advanced drawing functions, and finite element analysis. Students will be able to create, assemble, and sketch more complex parts after completing this course.

Manufacturing Processes

In this course, students will learn about the different kinds of manufacturing procedures that are available for metal, ceramic, and plastic materials. They will also learn how these materials respond to manufacturing processes and learn about mechanical testing and reactions to stress at different temperatures.

Materials Science

This course focuses on material properties, selection, and processing for specific applications, including metals and alloys, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Case studies are used to show what can go wrong when you don’t choose the right material.

Applied Fluid Mechanics

This course covers fluid properties, hydrostatics, and fluid flow kinematics. Students will learn how to analyze real-time fluid flow in pipes, ducts, and open channels, as well as ways to measure flow.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Graduates

The best path to take with an online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering is to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) in Mechanical Engineering. If you want to advance from an undergraduate degree to a graduate degree , you can take a mechanical engineering master’s degree program after completing your BS.

Some colleges offer accelerated master’s programs or options to complete your bachelor’s degree while earning credits toward your master’s degree. With this kind of program, you can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.

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What to Look For in the Best Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best mechanical engineering associate degree programs are the reputation of the school, program format and flexibility, graduation rate, accreditation, and the cost. If you enroll in a school that matches your learning style, interests, and professional aspirations, then you will be on your way to a successful career in mechanical engineering.

Reputation of the School

The reputation of the college or university that is offering the associate program is important because a good reputation establishes credibility in professional or academic circles. Since you will spend time and money on your degree, you want to make sure it is respected by professionals in your field.

Program Format and Flexibility

The program flexibility and format can vary a lot in different online associate degree programs. Some offer classes on a fixed schedule, while others are recorded lectures that you can watch whenever is most convenient for you. You also have to consider whether the program offers completely remote study or has an option where you can participate in classes on-campus.

Graduation Rate

The graduation rate of a school should play an important role in your decision. Higher graduation rates show that a school has lots of resources to support students and help them finish their degrees. A lower graduation rate could indicate that the programs are difficult to finish or don’t fit into students’ schedules.

Accreditation

Choosing a curriculum that is accredited is vital. Federal financial aid is only available to students enrolled in programs that are accredited by a certified accreditation organization.

Cost of the Program

Comparing costs will help you identify the best return on your investment. Expensive degrees don’t necessarily lead to better employment, and a low-cost degree doesn’t necessarily mean it’s low quality.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

The most affordable online mechanical engineering associate degree program is the Associate in Arts Mechanical Engineering Pathway offered by Seminole State College of Florida. Yearly tuition and fees are only $3,131 for in-state students. The total cost of this associate degree is $8,262 for in-state students, including books and supplies but not housing and meals.

Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Online for Free?

No, you can’t get a mechanical engineering associate degree online for free. However, you can get federal financial aid for accredited online degree programs, and many schools offer additional financial aid, or you can look for engineering scholarships .

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Graduates

A man seated at a computer looking at a model of a machine component
There are a variety of mechanical engineering occupations at all levels to help you find your dream career in the mechanical engineering field.

Mechanical engineers earn a median salary of $60,460 per year , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first step after graduating with your Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering is to get an entry-level job, like a CAD technician or sales engineer.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

It is not very hard to get a job with a mechanical engineering associate degree. An online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering equips engineers with the technical skills they need to apply for entry-level positions. However, higher-level management positions with higher salaries require further academic qualifications and job experience.

What’s the Average Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Salary?

The average annual salary for someone with an online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering is $70,000 . Salaries vary by job location, company, and experience, and the range of salaries for mechanical engineers with an associate degree is from $33,000 to $77,000.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

The jobs you can get with an online mechanical engineering associate degree are many and can be found in a variety of industries. While an associate degree does not qualify you to be certified as an engineer, it does qualify you to work in this field as a technician. Not all engineering technicians work in manufacturing facilities. You could work for the government or in a laboratory facility.

Mechanical Engineering Degree Jobs

  • CAD Operator
  • Sales Engineer
  • Plant Manager
  • Support Technician
  • Research Assistant

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree?

You can make between $47,730 to $73,580 per year with an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Below is a list of several high-paying online mechanical engineering associate degree jobs, along with the median annual wage and common job responsibilities for each position.

Highest-Paying Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologist or Technician $73,580
Mechanical Engineering Technologist or Technician $60,460
Drafter $60,290
Industrial Engineering Technologist or Technician $60,220
Machinist $47,940

Best Jobs for Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Grads

The best jobs for online Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering grads are technologist and technician positions in different fields from aerospace engineering to industrial engineering. These professionals carry out basic engineering tasks as instructed by managing engineers.

1

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologist or Technician

Average Salary: $73,580

Technologists and aerospace engineering technicians install, operate, and repair equipment used in airplanes and spacecraft. Their work is vital in manufacturing and guaranteeing the safety of these vehicles.

2

Mechanical Engineering Technologist or Technician

Average Salary: $60,460

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians assist mechanical engineers in designing tools, engines, and machines. They create rough sketches, record and analyze data, and report their results.

3

Drafter

Average Salary: $60,290

Drafters prepare layouts for a wide range of machinery and mechanical tools and devices, such as medical equipment. These layouts show dimensions and assembly requirements.

4

Industrial Engineering Technologist or Technician

Average Salary: $60,220

Industrial engineering technologists and technicians help engineers solve problems in the layout or production of a manufacturing facility. They create machinery and equipment layouts and workflows and analyze costs.

5

Machinist

Average Salary: $47,730

Machinists manufacture metal components of instruments and tools for both computers and mechanically controlled equipment. They use blueprints created by engineers to design the pieces and also test the quality of the components they make.

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Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree Worth It?

Yes, an online mechanical engineering associate degree is worth it because it will help you get your engineering career off to a good start. You can work as an entry-level machinist or mechanical engineering technician with this degree.

Some of the best universities in the US offer online engineering associate degree programs for working adults who cannot make it to campus. An online program is a flexible and affordable option to earn your Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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Online Mechanical Engineering Associate Degree FAQ

How hard is it to become a mechanical engineer?

Mechanical engineering is considered one of the most difficult subjects to study because of the advanced topics taught like math, science, and advanced technical coursework. It takes a lot of work to master these subjects.

How fast can I get a mechanical engineering degree?

On average, a full-time mechanical engineering student completes an associate degree in two years while a bachelor’s degree in around four years. Part-time students can take five to six years to complete their studies.

Are online engineering degrees respected by employers?

Yes, employers value online engineering degrees , as they do in most other fields where students can earn their diplomas through distance learning. Many companies believe that an online degree is just as good as traditional, on-campus education. Engineering is a broad field, so you will get several career opportunities when you graduate, and this will bring you closer to finding your dream job.

Can you finish a mechanical engineering associate degree online?

Yes, you can complete a mechanical engineering associate degree online. You can get an AS in Mechanical Engineering fully online while still receiving a top-notch education, thanks to advances in remote learning technology.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Sana Uqaili

About the author: Sana is a content writer who wants to use her work to spread knowledge and help others. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Binary University of Management & Entrepreneurship.

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