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Best Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Gloriane Mangindin - June 02, 2022


Mechanical engineering is one of the most challenging yet desirable career paths for engineers. Several schools offer fantastic online master’s degree programs in mechanical engineering for the convenience of working professionals. If you want to learn new technical skills without giving up your other commitments, the best online mechanical engineering master’s degrees are the answer.

Earning an online Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering will provide you with many great opportunities for professional growth. In this article, we’ve provided a breakdown of the best online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs in the country, as well as the jobs you can apply for after completing one.

Where Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online?

The best colleges where you can get a mechanical engineering master’s degree online are Penn State World Campus, Johns Hopkins University, Kansas State University, Michigan Technological University, and Iowa State University. These schools are also included in US News and World Report’s rankings of the best universities and best online engineering programs.

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What Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degrees?

  • Penn State World Campus
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kansas State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Iowa State University

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

The admission requirements for an online mechanical engineering master’s degree are different for each school, but commonly include submitting your unofficial or official transcripts, having a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or any equivalent field, competitive GRE test scores, a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and letters of recommendation.

When applying, prospective students must complete an online application form and upload all these required documents before the cutoff date. Carefully review all the requirements and criteria set by the institution you are interested in attending to see if you are eligible to apply for the program you chose. It’s also better to start your application package as early as possible to avoid stress.

Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Official or unofficial transcripts
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or the equivalent
  • Competitive GRE scores
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Recommendation letters

How to Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online

You can get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering online by fulfilling all of the graduation requirements. The specific requirements will differ from one school to the next, but commonly include completing 30 credits from core, elective, and mathematics courses. Some programs require the completion of a thesis or capstone project. Most programs also include passing a comprehensive exam.

Mechanical Engineering Degree Requirements

  • Thesis
  • Core courses
  • Electives
  • Mathematics courses
  • Capstone project
  • Comprehensive exam

Best Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Columbia University in the City of New York Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Iowa State University Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online Higher Learning Commission
Johns Hopkins University Mechanical Engineering Master’s Program Online Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Kansas State University Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Higher Learning Commission
Lehigh University Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Michigan Technological University Online Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering Higher Learning Commission
Mississippi State University Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Pennsylvania State University – World Campus Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Villanova University Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Online New England Commission of Higher Education

Best Schools for Mechanical Engineering: Top Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs

The best online schools for a mechanical engineering master’s degree come in all shapes and sizes. Below, we’ve included a list of the best online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs including details such as the school to enroll in such as the admissions process, admissions requirements, tuition fees, and more to help you with your school search.

1

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

Columbia University in the City of New York is a private research university founded in 1754 that currently has more than 31,000 graduate and undergraduate students. This private institution is ranked second in US News’s national university rankings and offers degree programs in several fields including architecture, engineering, sciences, arts, and technology.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree

The school’s department of mechanical engineering offers this 30-credit program wherein students can select subjects such as fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, control systems, thermodynamics, and robotics. You can also choose your mechanical engineering specialization from biomechanics, robotics and control, energy systems, and macro and nanoscale engineering.

To successfully complete this online program, students must complete the required credit hours and maintain a GPA of at least 2.5. The department of mechanical engineering also conducts events to help students find internships, employment opportunities, and valuable professional experiences such as career fairs, alumni connections, and more.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $2,272/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 96%

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Three recommendation letters, resume, transcripts, personal essay

Applying to Columbia University in the City of New York

  1. Create a school account and complete the online application form.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your official transcripts and standardized test scores.
  4. Submit your letters of recommendation, resume, and personal essay.
2

Iowa State University

Ames, IO

Iowa State University is a public land-grant university founded in 1858. With over 30,000 students, it’s the largest university in Iowa in terms of the student population. This school offers an immense variety of graduate programs, undergraduate majors, doctoral programs, and online courses.

Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online

This is a non-thesis degree program requiring the completion of 30 credit hours. This online program can be completed in one year and allows students to select from its various online courses in advanced topics in mechanical engineering. This is a coursework-heavy degree requiring the completion of electives, mathematics, research, and mechanical engineering courses.

Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $5,070/semester, over nine credits (in-state); $12,842/semester, over nine credits (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 75%

Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation

Applying to Iowa State University

  1. Create your school account on the school’s official website.
  2. Complete the online application form.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit your official transcripts, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.
3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University is a private institution in Baltimore home to over 24,000 current students and was founded in 1876. The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering is a division of the school overseeing nine different engineering departments and offering several master of engineering programs.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree

This master’s degree is an online and part-time program with two options, which include the all-course option and the thesis option. The first is a non-thesis option that includes 10 courses, while the second includes eight courses and a thesis requirement. The curriculum includes focus area courses covering computational fluid dynamics and thermal and fluid sciences.

Mechanical engineering programs offered at the Johns Hopkins engineering school are ranked sixth among US News and World Report’s list of best online mechanical engineering master’s programs. The flexibility of this mechanical engineering program allows students to earn their degrees while working. The school also offers a mechanical engineering post-master’s certificate program.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $5,872/course
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 94%

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.3 or higher (recommended)
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT (optional)
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with at least three semesters of college calculus courses, two semesters of college physics courses, and a course related to programming
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, resume

Applying to Johns Hopkins University

  1. Create an application account on the school’s graduate application portal.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts and resume.
  4. Submit your financial aid application.
4

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS

Kansas State University is a public research university that was established in 1863 and currently has nearly 22,000 students. It’s a land-grant institution that offers plenty of online degree programs in the sciences, business, engineering, education, economics, and technology fields.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree

This Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering program at Kansas State University is a 30-credit hour program with a flexible schedule for working adults. Although classes are done online, you will need to take an oral exam at the Manhattan campus at the end of the program. Some of the program’s courses include intermediate fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and finite elements.

After completing this mechanical engineering degree program, you’ll be eligible to apply to various in-demand and challenging jobs in the aerospace, electronics, product manufacturing, construction, and automotive industries. According to US News and World Report rankings, Kansas State University is ranked 109th among all online engineering schools.

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $800.30/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES Grad Rate: 68%

Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Nuclear Engineering
  • Other Requirements: Resume, personal statement, recommendation letters, unofficial transcripts

Applying to Kansas State University

  1. Fill out and submit the online application form on the school website.
  2. Submit your standardized test scores and unofficial transcripts.
  3. Submit your resume, personal statement, and recommendation letters.
  4. Pay the application fee.
5

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University , founded in 1865, is a private research institution with over 7,000 students offering various online master’s degree programs in fields such as biological chemical engineering, chemical engineering, and healthcare systems engineering.

Online Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree

The online Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University requires the completion of 30 credit hours in courses covering solid and fluid mechanics, manufacturing, control systems, and thermodynamics. This online program is designed to help working professional engineers needing a Master’s Degree in Engineering to achieve their career goals.

Online Mechanical Engineering Master's Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,500/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 88%

Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75 (entire undergraduate degree) or 3.00 (final two semesters of an undergraduate degree)
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT (recommended)
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Unofficial transcripts, recommendation letters

Applying to Lehigh University

  1. Submit your completed application form on the school portal.
  2. Submit your unofficial transcripts.
  3. Submit your standardized test scores (optional).
  4. Submit your letters of recommendation.
  5. Pay the application fee.
6

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI

Michigan Technological University is a public research institution founded in 1885 with over 7,000 enrolled students. Located in Houghton, Michigan, the school provides over 140 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including 33 online graduate engineering programs.

Online Master or Science in Mechanical Engineering

This 30-credit online master’s degree lets you choose from three options for your plan of study including a thesis option, report option, and coursework option. The thesis option uses 10 of the 30 credits for your thesis work, the report option uses two to six credits out of 30 for a report on an independent study project. The coursework option is simply 30 credits of coursework.

Students can choose between different mechanical engineering focus areas such as computational fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, thermofluid systems, biomechanical engineering, and space systems engineering. The school also offers an online accelerated master's program where students can earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years.

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $12,087/semester
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2.5 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 72%

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 (recommended)
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, statement of purpose, personal statement, resume

Applying to Michigan Technological University

  1. Create your graduate application account and provide your personal information and contact details.
  2. Complete and submit your free online application.
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Submit your letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, personal statement, and resume.
7

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

Mississippi State University is the flagship university of the state of Mississippi and was founded in 1878. With over 23,000 students, this public institution offers several online graduate engineering degrees such as the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This program of study offers a non-thesis program and thesis program, both of which require the completion of 31 credits. The thesis option will require you to complete a thesis equivalent to six credits, 24 credits of coursework, and a one-credit graduate seminar. The non-thesis option will only require you to complete 30 credits of coursework and the one-credit graduate seminar.

The program’s curriculum includes courses on fluid mechanics, manufacturing engineering, mechanical design, energy systems, and solid mechanics. Admitted students should coordinate with a faculty advisor to discuss the class options for their plans of study and read the student resource guides on the school’s website to learn how they can access any lecture material provided by teachers.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $539.00/credit
  • Required Credits: 31 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 64%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, three recommendation letters, statement of purpose

Applying to Mississippi State University

  1. Submit your completed online application on the school’s graduate application portal.
  2. Submit your statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Pay the application fee.
8

Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

University Park, PA

Founded in 1998, Pennsylvania State University - World Campus is Pennsylvania State University’s online campus, which currently has over 20,000 students. This campus is ranked third among US News’s best online engineering master’s degree programs and offers several online graduate engineering programs, including master’s degree programs in mechanical and nuclear engineering.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This 32-credit program includes mechanical engineering courses in automatic control systems, advanced engineering thermodynamics, solid mechanics, and powertrain systems, as well as an Advanced Engineering Mathematics course. Online students also get to take an individual studies course where they write a paper on a topic agreed upon with a faculty advisor.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,121/credit; $13,452/semester, 12 credits or more
  • Required Credits: 32 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 73%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT (optional)
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Three references, official transcripts, resume, statement of purpose

Applying to Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

  1. Complete and submit your online application form.
  2. Submit your official transcripts.
  3. Submit your standardized test scores. (optional)
  4. Submit your resume, statement of purpose, and the contact information of your three references.
  5. Pay the non-refundable application fee.
9

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University is a Catholic school with over 10,000 students which was founded in 1842 in the city of Villanova, Pennsylvania. This private institution is ranked 49th best in the country according to US News and World Report and offers degree programs out of its six colleges encompassing the fields of arts, engineering, business, health, education, and law.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This program from the Villanova University College of Engineering is a 30-credit hour program with a thesis and non-thesis option. The degree requirements cover courses about biomechanical, engineering mechanics, and more. Students can complete the program entirely online or through a hybrid format.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,505/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2-5 years
  • Learning Format: Online, hybrid
  • NCES Grad Rate: 92%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum specified
  • Standardized Tests: GRE required for applicants with a bachelor’s degree earned from a non-ABET accredited school
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Unofficial transcripts, statement of purpose, resume, two recommendations

Applying to Villanova University

  1. Complete and submit your online application form.
  2. Submit all your unofficial transcripts.
  3. Submit your GRE scores (if applicable).
  4. Submit your statement of purpose, resume, and the contact information of your two references.
  5. Pay the application fee.
10

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private research institution located in Worcester, Massachusetts, founded in 1865. With over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students, this private institution offers various online engineering programs such as aerospace engineering, environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and robotics engineering.

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This program is a non-thesis track requiring the completion of 30 credit hours divided between elective, mathematics, and mechanical engineering courses. Students get specialized training through essential courses in biomechanical engineering, computational fluid dynamics, mechanical vibrations, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and more.

WPI encourages collaboration by prioritizing team projects and assignments. The program’s online courses are offered asynchronously and synchronously. Asynchronous classes allow students to access the learning materials anytime while synchronous courses are taught in real-time through video conferences.

Online Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,610/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES Grad Rate: 89%

Online Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 (recommended)
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • Other Requirements: Unofficial transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose

Applying to Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  1. Create an admissions account on the school’s Graduate Admissions Application portal.
  2. Complete and submit your application form.
  3. Submit your unofficial transcripts.
  4. Submit your letters of recommendation and statement of purpose.

What Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

An online mechanical engineering master’s degree is a graduate credential. Graduates of the master’s degree program develop advanced mechanical engineering skills in an online format. Most of these programs offer a flexible schedule, enabling working professionals to keep their jobs while studying. Online programs are typically more coursework-heavy, with most offering a non-thesis track.

These are typically 30-credit programs that can be completed within a year or two, but allow part-time students to take longer. Online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs often require non-thesis students to complete a research paper or additional classes to earn their degrees.

Online vs In-Person Mechanical Engineering Degrees

The main difference between online vs in-person mechanical engineering degree programs is the format in which lessons are taught, with both its benefits and disadvantages. The type of program you should choose depends on your current obligations, career goals, and preferences. An online program can be just as good as an in-person program.

Online programs are typically more convenient and flexible, while in-person programs usually provide a better academic experience and a more dedicated learning environment. In the section below, we’ve compared the differences between online and in-person programs to help you determine which one suits you better.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering

  • Flexible schedule. Online students can more easily access course content and study during their preferred time. An online Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering program fits the schedule of working professionals.
  • Cheaper tuition. Online programs are typically cheaper than in-person programs because they use fewer university resources. As an online student, you also get to skip certain expenses like transportation and student housing.
  • Accessible learning material. In an online program, you can easily review classes and discussions at any time. If you miss a class or didn’t fully understand a discussion, you can easily re-watch them later. Most online programs are taught by the same experienced faculty as the in-person programs.
  • Flexible learning environment. Online classes allow you to study from anywhere and at your convenience, as long as you have access to the Internet and the right software, tools, and computer specifications.
  • Better work-study balance. You don’t need to worry about quitting your job if you want to earn a master’s degree online. Virtual classes and online learning materials allow you to more easily work during your studies.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering

  • Academic experience. In-person learners often have better academic experiences than distance learners. In-person courses are often more collaborative, allowing you to easily interact with other students and faculties.
  • Dedicated learning environment. The dedicated learning environment of an in-person Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering allows students to more easily remain focused during their classes.
  • Fewer technical issues. In in-person classes, you have fewer technical issues to worry about as your learning experience is less reliant on your own hardware. Universities also have competent technical crews who can help you with any issues that may come up.
  • Hands-on learning experience. Laboratory work and practical projects are more accessible in in-person programs. Students learning mechanical engineering benefit greatly from hands-on training.
  • Increased motivation . Students are often more motivated when they can study with their friends and classmates. In-person classes also allow students to establish good relationships and meaningful connections with other students and faculty.

What Types of Online Master’s Degree Can You Get in Mechanical Engineering?

The types of online master’s degrees you can get in mechanical engineering are a master of science (MS) and a master of engineering (ME). MS programs typically require online students to finish a thesis requirement or a research project and are more academically focused, while ME programs utilize technical coursework to develop students’ practical skills.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering?

It’s better to get an online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering because you can earn a higher salary and more easily land a management or leadership job position. This is due to master of engineering programs being more focused on teaching the specialized engineering skills needed to work in high-paying technical positions.

That being said, if you are planning on taking a licensure examination or applying for PhD programs, a master of science program will be better because the coursework will be more focused on learning how to properly conduct research while also providing you with more theoretical knowledge than a master of engineering.

How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Cost?

Mechanical engineering master’s degrees cost an average of $19,314 , according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of your mechanical engineering program can vary significantly depending on whether it’s offered by a private or public research institution. Scholarships or grants are a great way to help you pay for your mechanical engineering program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online?

It takes an average of two years to get an online Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Full-time students taking 15 credits per semester can finish the program within a year, while students in a part-time program can typically take up to five years to complete their master’s program. You can always talk to your school’s academic advising team to pick the option that’s right for you.

Are Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees Respected?

Yes, online mechanical engineering degrees are respected. According to research by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 37 percent of American students are enrolled in fully online courses , a number which has increased significantly in recent years. This increase in online learners has also led to an increase in acceptance by employers.

Is Mechanical Engineering Hard to Learn Online?

Yes, mechanical engineering is hard to learn online. This field is one of the hardest engineering programs to study, requiring hands-on projects and lab activities, which can be hard to do in an online format. You need to be able to work independently and have strong communication and time-management skills to succeed in an online mechanical engineering master’s program.

Why You Should Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online

You should get a mechanical engineering master’s degree online if you want to advance your career while having enough flexibility to keep working. An online Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering allows working adults to get a higher education without giving up their current job, thanks to the ability to study on their own schedule.

Earning a master’s degree will also open you up to a much wider range of opportunities for career growth. Employers hiring mechanical engineers have extremely high standards and applicants with a higher degree will stand out during the hiring process.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Master’s Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?

The courses you need to take in an online master’s degree program in mechanical engineering often vary from one school to another. That being said, there are some common courses you will find across all programs which will give you the foundational knowledge and skills you need for a long career in mechanical engineering. Below are some of the courses you can expect to take in your mechanical engineering master’s degree program.

Aerospace

Aerospace is a discipline that applies mechanical engineering to spacecraft and aircraft systems. This course prepares students who want to work in the aviation industry and covers topics such as aeronautical engineering, space systems engineering, and astronautical engineering.

Solid Mechanics

Solid mechanics is part of engineering mechanics that studies the structure of solid materials and how they deform when acted upon loads. In solid mechanics, you will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of biomechanics, dynamics modeling, and computational mechanics.

Dynamic Systems

Dynamic systems is a mechanical engineering discipline that studies the systems that change due to active forces. Mechanical engineering students who take this course learn about topics such as autonomous systems, mechatronics, vibrations, kinematics, control systems, and robotics.

Thermal Science

This is a common course across all of the best online mechanical engineering master’s degrees and is the study of heat energy and heat transfer. The curriculum of this course typically includes classes on fluid dynamics, thermofluid systems, heat transfer, fuel cells, and combustion.

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing engineering is a popular course for students wanting to work as industrial or manufacturing engineers. This course teaches students about the aspects of machines, equipment, and quality control processes used in manufacturing. Students learn to design and construct manufacturing tools and about quality engineering, the manufacturing process, and biomaterial manufacturing.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates

The best path for online mechanical engineering master’s degree grads to take is to pursue a PhD program after obtaining their Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. A master’s degree program is also a great way to prepare for the licensure examinations required for mechanical engineers.

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What to Look For in the Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best mechanical engineering master’s degree programs are the program’s specialization options, admissions requirements, course content, and employment outcomes, as well as the career services offered by the school offering the program. Knowing what to look for during your school search will help you find the perfect school for you.

Mechanical Engineering Specialization

Different mechanical engineering schools will offer different areas students can specialize in, such as solid mechanics, energy and thermofluid systems, manufacturing, and control systems. Knowing which specializations a program offers will help you select the one that caters most to your professional goal.

Admissions Requirements

When applying to college programs, pay close attention to the admission requirements set by each university you intend on applying to. Each program of study will have its own specific requirements such as prerequisite courses and GRE score minimums. Make sure to start the application process early so that you are less likely to forget anything or make mistakes.

Course Content

You want to make sure that the mechanical engineering degree program you are applying to teaches a broad set of relevant skills. When checking the academic programs, have a look at the courses they offer as well as whether or not they offer thesis and non-thesis options. You want to make sure that you’ll be learning what you want to learn.

Employment Outcome

The best online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs often have high employment outcomes thanks to their academic rigor and high standards of excellence. It’s a good idea to check the employment outcomes of the different programs you’re interested in attending as it will help you identify whether or not the school or program has a high quality of education.

Career Services

Aside from the academic experience, you should consider what opportunities for students are provided by schools to help them reach their career goals. A school’s career services can help students prepare for their job applications, connect with alumni, and provide mentorships and career coaching. Schools like Michigan Tech also conduct career fairs.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

The most affordable online mechanical engineering master’s degree is the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering offered by Mississippi State University. This 31-credit-hour online mechanical engineering master’s degree program costs $539 per credit, meaning you’ll only need to pay around $16,700 for the entire program.

Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online for Free?

No, you cannot get a mechanical engineering master’s degree online for free. However, colleges and universities have scholarships and financial aid programs to help students pay their tuition. Your school’s financial aid advisor can help you figure out what scholarships or other financial aid opportunities you’re eligible for.

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates

a man fixing mechanical components.
With a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, you’ll be qualified for several high-level job positions.

The best online mechanical engineering master’s degrees start you on your path toward a rewarding and stable career. Your master’s degree will prepare you for the job market. In the next section, we’ve detailed the best mechanical engineering master’s degree jobs, as well as their salaries, benefits, and professional development opportunities.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

It is not very hard to get a job with a mechanical engineering master’s degree because you’ll have plenty of job options. You’ll be qualified for top-notch positions, most of which require a higher level of education. Schools also offer career services to help graduate students prepare for their job interviews, create their resumes, and connect with companies that are hiring.

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

The average salary for someone with an online mechanical engineering master’s degree is $87,000 per year, according to PayScale. The salary may vary depending on your work experience, the company you are working for, and your job position, but you can very easily earn more than this as you gain more experience.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

The jobs you can do with an online mechanical engineering master’s degree include working as a mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer, manufacturing engineer, biomedical engineer, or automotive engineer. You can learn mechanical engineering by developing your STEM skills, earning a degree in mechanical engineering, and passing any licensure examinations.

Mechanical Engineering Degree Jobs

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Automotive engineer

Potential Careers With an Online Mechanical Engineering Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?

You can make between $95,300 and $122,270 per year with an online mechanical engineering master’s degree. On top of their high salaries, mechanical engineers typically also have access to great benefits packages, which can often include health insurance, 401k plans, life insurance, and disability insurance.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the best online mechanical engineering master’s degree jobs you can land after graduating. These jobs all come with high salaries and have a positive projected growth over the next few years, meaning that you’ll have an easy time finding work in your field once you finish your studies.

Highest-Paying Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degrees Degree Jobs Average Salary
Aerospace Engineer $122,270
Biomedical Engineer $97,410
Mechanical Engineer $95,300
Industrial Engineer $95,300
Automotive Engineer $95,300

Best Jobs for Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Grads

The best online mechanical engineering master’s degree jobs are highly respected and offer plenty of stability, generous benefits, and competitive salaries. You should also know what skills are required to be qualified for each position. This will help you pick an online mechanical engineering master’s degree program that caters most to your career goals.

1

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing, constructing, and testing the mechanical systems of aircraft such as helicopters, airplanes, and other air and spacecraft. Aerospace engineers should be knowledgeable in using different software tools for 3D model analysis and visualization.

2

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers design and construct systems, devices, and equipment used in medicine and healthcare. They find technological solutions that improve patient care and address issues in the medical industry. Biomedical engineers should have a strong knowledge of different software and hardware tools such as MATLAB, implantable devices, CT scanners, and MRI scanners.

3

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers design machine components and systems such as refrigeration systems, combustion engines, turbines, generators, and air-conditioning systems. They use various software tools such as Mathcad, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and MATLAB for analysis and technical plans. Mechanical engineers conduct machine component testing and create technical documents.

4

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers design and create systems that improve production and manufacturing processes. They are responsible for ensuring that different products comply with industry standards. Industrial engineers should possess strong problem-solving skills, quality management skills, and project planning skills.

5

Automotive Engineer

Automotive engineers design, develop, and test vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, and trucks. To become an automotive engineer, you must be skilled with various CAD software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Rhino, and Inventor. You should also be up to date with the latest car or vehicle technologies, have excellent communication skills, and possess strong analytical skills.

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Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, a mechanical engineering master’s degree is worth it because it will qualify you for many challenging yet fulfilling career opportunities and help you land your dream mechanical engineering job. The best online mechanical engineering master’s degrees will give you a strong foundation of skills and knowledge and help you stand out to employers.

Your program choice still depends on your career plans. Before you choose which programs you want to apply for and enroll in, you should first decide what career path you want to pursue so you can select the most appropriate areas of interest for your study.

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Online Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree FAQ

What are the skills of mechanical engineers?

The skills of mechanical engineers are computational fluid dynamics, engineering mechanics and materials, thermofluid systems, manufacturing, robotics, and other foundational mechanical engineering skills. Mechanical engineers should be able to work under pressure using strong problem-solving skills, math skills, communication skills, and commercial awareness.

How to apply for a mechanical engineering job?

You can apply for a mechanical engineering job by searching on job boards, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Search for the available mechanical engineering jobs and carefully review the qualifications. You can also search for a job by looking directly on companies’ websites.

What companies hire mechanical engineers?

Companies that hire mechanical engineers include Tesla, SpaceX, Apple, Google, Ford Motor Company, GE Aviation, Johnson & Johnson, and many others. These prestigious companies also offer competitive salaries and benefits.

Is mechanical engineering hard to learn?

Yes, mechanical engineering is hard to learn because it requires deep knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and sciences. You need to master multiple technical disciplines and  be committed to your studies. The best online mechanical engineering master’s degrees offer high educational standards to help you gain the skills needed to become successful.

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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Gloriane Mangindin

About the author: Gloriane is a content writer who has previously worked as a systems analyst, college instructor, and SHS Teacher. Her professional interests include software engineering, cyber security, technical writing, and embedded systems. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering as well as Computer Hardware Servicing NC II and Technical Drafting NC II qualifications.

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