The pandemic and threats to global health have shown that online education may be the future, even for hands-on STEM disciplines like mechanical engineering. Schools offering the best online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degrees have made efforts to ensure that online students have all the resources they need to optimize their learning experience.
Online learning offers more than just a convenient and flexible way to get an education. Our guide to online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degrees explores these benefits and more. Read on for the details on how to get an online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and then learn about the best mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree jobs, salaries, and job outlooks.
Where Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online?
Some of the best schools where you can get a mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree online include accredited four-year institutions in the United States. However, first, you need to gain admission into the school’s online mechanical engineering program, and then you need to complete all the degree requirements specific to that particular mechanical engineering program before you can be awarded the degree.
Not all accredited four-year institutions offering mechanical engineering degrees offer them online. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best schools that do. Some of the schools you’ll find on our list include Arizona State University, the University of North Dakota, the University of Alabama, East Coast Polytechnic Institute University, and DeVry University.
What Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees?
- Arizona State University
- University of North Dakota
- University of Alabama
- East Coast Polytechnic Institute University
- DeVry University
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
The admission requirements for an online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering are unique for each school. Some schools require students to create an admissions account on the school’s website and obtain an identification card to use during the application process, while other schools prefer that prospective students schedule an interview with an admissions advisor to confirm admissions requirements.
In most cases, the next stage will be to complete an online application form. For undergraduate programs, this form can be accessed directly from the school’s website or through an application service such as the Common Application. The form contains contact information and details about the student’s preferred program. An application fee may accompany this stage.
Other admission requirements include submitting high school transcripts, or the equivalent official transcript from accredited US educational institutions attended, and standardized test scores such as the ACTs or SATs. If you are an international student, you may need to submit your credentials through the World Evaluation Service and provide TOEFL or IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency.
Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Admission Requirements
- An admissions account or an interview with an admissions advisor
- A completed online application (including payment of any associated fee)
- Official high school and post-secondary transcripts
- Minimum GPA of 2.0
- Standardized test scores, such as the SATs or ACTs
- Proof of English proficiency, usually via IELTS or TOEFL
- Program-specific assessment test
How to Get a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online
The best way to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is by meeting the degree requirements. A typical requirement for mechanical engineering students is the completion of up to 30 credit hours in core and elective mechanical engineering courses. If you are an associate degree graduate, you’ll most likely be allowed to transfer your credits toward the degree.
Mechanical Engineering Degree Requirements
- Acquirement of the necessary credits
- Successful completion of core and elective courses
- Attending labs in person
- Successful completion of final exams
Best Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Arizona State University||Online Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering||Higher Learning Commission|
|DeVry University||Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Technology||Higher Learning Commission|
|East Coast Polytechnic Institute University||Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University||Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Indiana State University||Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology||Higher Learning Commission|
|Old Dominion University||Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering Technology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Trine University||Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Technology||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Alabama||Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Primarily Online)||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|University of Massachusetts – Lowell||Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|University of North Dakota||Online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering||Higher Learning Commission|
Best Schools for Mechanical Engineering: Top Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Some of the best schools for an online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree are Arizona State University, Trine University, and University of North Dakota. Because of the hands-on applications that mechanical engineering demands, most online schools don’t offer the degree entirely online. It is usually offered as a completion degree option, a hybrid program, or an applied engineering program.
We’ve compiled a list of ideal online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degrees to simplify your school search.
What Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
An online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree that is awarded to remote mechanical engineering majors who have fulfilled the academic degree requirements. Those who have completed the mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program may apply their college credits toward the acquisition of an advanced degree in a related field.
A mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program usually covers topics such as the principles of energy, thermodynamics, mechanical design and machine processes, automation and controls, and fluid mechanics in 120 to 128 credit hours. Most of the courses in this program can be completed online. However, the practicality of the field demands in-person lab exercises.
Online vs In-Person Mechanical Engineering Degrees
There are several differences between an online and an in-person Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. However, these differences are all related to the degree learning formats. In-person mechanical engineering bachelor programs are advantageous because their mode of course delivery facilitates practical demonstrations, which is essential in the real world.
In an online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program, students enjoy the convenience and flexibility of working and studying when it best suits them, as course materials have been digitized and classes can be attended remotely through scheduled webinars and teleclasses. We’ve expanded on the benefits of each of these program formats below.
Top 5 Benefits of an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering
- Flexibility of program. Online programs make it easy for students to accelerate their learning speed or slow it down. This is beneficial for busy professionals or others with time constraints.
- Robust student support. Online learners are often given access to a wide range of learning resources, including things like dedicated academic advisors, tutors, career coaches, and a virtual research library to boost the learning experience.
- Cost-efficiency. All things being equal, the overall cost of attending an online degree program is less than that of an in-person degree program. The tuition rate of online degree programs may be equal to or more than that of the in-person programs, but online students don’t have to pay for things like transportation and parking, on-campus housing, or even cafeteria food.
- Ease of credit transfer. Online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degrees allow you to easily transfer college credits into or outside the program. Some schools make it possible for students to simultaneously complete associate degrees or master’s degrees while completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. You can also enjoy benefits such as guaranteed enrollment in an online degree program if you’re an associate degree holder.
- Location convenience. An obvious benefit of online degree programs is that you don’t have to be physically present in a classroom, as you can attend classes from just about anywhere. Some schools even provide remote learners with pre-recorded lectures that can be watched at their convenience.
Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering
- More program options. Given the technical, hands-on nature of the mechanical engineering degree, there will be many more in-person than online engineering programs from which to choose. This provides prospective students an opportunity to be pickier about their specific program.
- Ability to participate in lab work and simulations. Most on-campus mechanical engineering programs encourage full participation in hands-on laboratory exercises and simulations. On-campus students can develop better lab partnerships and receive guided instructions to help them master skills.
- Hands-on coaching. Both part-time and full-time students in on-campus programs can easily access the services of academic coaches. You don’t have to wait for digital feedback when you can receive it face-to-face. The physical interactions between faculty and students can go a long way in shaping students’ mechanical engineering careers.
- Access to standard facilities. On-campus programs offer students access to a good study space, research laboratories, and a full library, all of which can boost their learning experience.
- Full college experience. Attending college on-campus allows you to build viable social and business connections. It is also an opportunity to experience a different culture and people, all of which can broaden your knowledge and career opportunities.
What Types of Online Bachelor’s Degrees Can You Get in Mechanical Engineering?
The two main types of online Bachelor’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering you can get are the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering degrees. Each degree type determines your course combinations and career options. Most Bachelor’s of Science degrees focus more on science courses.
The Bachelor of Engineering focuses on applied engineering courses. Students are taught how to design, build, and manage mechanical components and systems.
Is It Better to Get a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering?
It is better to get a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering if you’re interested in exploring the theoretical aspects of the field. You’ll learn the concepts and principles of mechanical designs. Although most of your work will be done on paper, your research and ideologies can lead to the development of sophisticated industrial and commercial machines.
However, if you choose to complete a Bachelor of Engineering degree in this discipline, you’ll focus more on applying existing theories hands-on in the development of functional machines. It is a more technical degree. Both degree programs share similar courses and career paths, so choosing either of them will help you become a mechanical engineer.
How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Cost?
The online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering costs an average of $9,349 per year in tuition and fees at public institutions, judging by recent data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Students enrolled in a four-year, private, for-profit institution pay an average of $14,957 for the same, while those attending a four-year, private, non-profit institution pay an average rate of $35,807.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online
It takes four years to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering online. During this period, students are expected to complete 120 to 128 credit hours, typically within eight semesters. An average course in a mechanical engineering degree program is three credits.
To complete the degree within the eight-semester schedule, students will need to take about 15 credit hours per semester or five classes. However, with an online program, the schedule might be more flexible. Some schools allow you to extend your credit load past the standard academic schedule to suit your work-life balance or even shorten it by taking more credits per semester.
Are Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees Respected?
Yes, online mechanical engineering degrees are respected by employers and other industry professionals. As long as you graduated from an accredited school and program, such as the ones on our list, your degree will be respected. Plus, there isn’t any distinction on your degree that shows you used an online format.
According to the 2022 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn, employers acknowledge the benefits of online learning for their employees. Also, many accredited schools in the US, such as the University of Central Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Florida, and the University of Wisconsin, now have high levels of online enrollment, based on a recent survey by Statista.
Is Mechanical Engineering Hard to Learn Online?
No, mechanical engineering is not hard to learn online if you have the right guidance. However, before pursuing an online degree in this field, consider building a strong foundation in mathematics and physical sciences. This will reduce the complexities of the program.
Also, the online school you choose should provide adequate student support, including full-time tutoring and a robust virtual research library to ease the learning process.
Mechanical Engineering Bootcamp vs Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree: Which Is Better?
An online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is better than a mechanical engineering bootcamp. For one, there are very few mechanical engineering bootcamps available. However, you can learn some of the same skills and build a foundation in machine learning bootcamps and robotics bootcamps. Below are some of the benefits of choosing either pathway.
Top 5 Benefits of an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree
- Broad and in-depth curriculum. Mechanical engineering programs include a broad range of courses that help students explore the depths of the field. You don’t just build job-ready skills through a degree program. You build skills that can be applied to any career.
- Industry recognition. A Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering has greater recognition than a mechanical engineering bootcamp certificate, especially if you’re applying for a job in the engineering industry.
- Wide range of career opportunities. You don’t just train to become a mechanical engineer in a mechanical engineering degree program. There are many interrelated disciplines you can pursue through this study, especially in areas such as robotics, manufacturing engineering, and computer-aided design.
- Opportunity to specialize or advance knowledge. Most online mechanical engineering programs allow you to specialize in a branch of engineering, including automotive engineering and nuclear engineering, through course concentrations. If you choose to advance your knowledge, you can easily apply your credits to a master’s or doctoral program.
- Ample study time. Four years is ample time to build expertise in the mechanical engineering field. During this period, you can explore several concepts and principles in the field of mechanical engineering.
Top 5 Benefits of a Mechanical Engineering Bootcamp
- Short timeframe. The major benefit of a mechanical engineering bootcamp is its short timeframe. Most bootcamps range from three to 12 months. If you’re eager to launch your mechanical engineering career, a bootcamp can help you achieve that.
- Market-led curriculum. The courses you’ll learn in a bootcamp are driven by what is in demand in the industry. Most bootcamps in this field help you build job-ready skills for immediate careers in the engineering technology field.
- Real-world applications. Coding bootcamps are known for their hands-on approach to learning. Your program structure will include several simulation exercises and hands-on lab projects that are based on real-world problems.
- Dedicated career services. A major advantage of attending a coding bootcamp is the availability of dedicated career services. Coding bootcamps provide student access to career coaches, resume review, portfolio guidance, interview training, and networking events. Some even offer student job placement assistance and job guarantees.
- Lesser tuition cost. Most bootcamps cost between $5,000 and $20,000, according to the State of the Bootcamp Market Report 2021 by Career Karma. This makes them more affordable than a degree program. However, the actual cost depends on the institution you’re enrolled in.
Why You Should Get a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online
You should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering online if you want to pursue a career involving mechanical systems and processes but have a restricted schedule. This degree helps you build in-demand design and problem-solving skills that can be applied to the development of innovative mechanical systems and devices that can improve the human standard of living.
You’ll enjoy a flexible and autonomous learning schedule while you build skills for lucrative mechanical engineering careers. Paying for your degree might be less of an issue since the online format allows you to hold a part-time or even a full-time job.
What Courses Do You Take in an Online Bachelor’s Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?
Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering online courses are designed for the exploration of the mechanical engineering field and related areas of study. This includes electrical engineering, civil engineering, and aerospace engineering. Some of the core courses in this discipline include the ones mentioned below.
System Dynamics and Control
The system dynamics and control course helps students build an in-depth understanding of mathematical modeling methods and tools. Students are taught how to understand the behavior of linear time-invariant mechanical systems and how to implement the experimental and computational engineering analysis of mechanical control systems.
Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids at rest and in motion. In this course, students learn the behavior of gasses and liquids and the distinctions between the two branches of fluid mechanics: fluid statics and fluid dynamics. They also learn how fluid mechanics influence the design of complex machines.
Engineering design is the systematic process that mechanical engineers use to discover and solve engineering problems. In this course, students learn about different types of engineering designs, including innovative and adaptive designs. Students learn how to structure a design process, as well as how to collaborate with teams to achieve process goals.
In this course, students tackle the quantitative and qualitative aspects involved in manufacturing physical objects. Some of the topics covered in this course include casting, molding of plastics, machining, steel treatments, and powder metallurgy. Students are also taught how to select composite materials and the economic and environmental impacts of large product manufacturing.
Heat transfer is an essential principle in mechanical engineering concerned with generating, converting, and exchanging thermal energy between two or more physical systems. Mechanical engineering students are required to understand how to apply the various mechanisms of heat transfer, such as convection, conduction, and radiation, to solve complexities in engineering.
Continuing Education Paths for Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
An online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is usually considered a starting point for students in this field. In most cases, your program will offer you opportunities to join acclaimed engineering organizations, acquire professional certifications, and accumulate transfer credits for a master’s degree in a related field while still pursuing your bachelor’s degree.
Ensure that the organization or certification you choose is in line with your desired career path. Some of the mechanical engineering certifications include Chartered Engineer (CEng), Quality Engineer Certification (CQE), Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), and Energy Manager Certification (CEM).
Related Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
The things to look for in the best mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree programs include the format of the course, how detailed the curriculum is, the reputation of the school and the financial aid options offered. College is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and professional network, so take your time when choosing a school for your degree program.
Conducting preliminary research on your prospective schools reduces your chances of rejection and allows you to identify the school that offers the right academic, social, and career fit. Below we have included some important factors to take in mind when looking for a school.
Availability and Format of the Program
If convenience is the driving force behind your need for an online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree, you should ensure that the schools you’re interested in have a fully online option for this degree. In most cases, schools don’t offer this discipline as an online degree, and the few that do have requirements for occasional campus visits for exams or labs.
Curriculum Depth and Availability of Program Concentrations
Make sure that the courses offered are in line with your academic and career goals. Each school has a unique program structure and unique concentrations, such as mechatronics, robotics, and manufacturing technologies. Look for the program that best allows you to build in-demand skills for the career you want.
Scholarship and Financial Aid
Most college students require some form of financial aid to help them pay for school. Keep in mind that private schools are typically more expensive than public schools and that your budget will need to include costs outside of tuition, including fees and living expenses. Ask about all the scholarships and financial aid programs your school provides.
The Reputation of the School
The school should have national and even possibly international recognition. Review the school’s rankings for its academic programs overall, its online programs specifically, and graduate outcomes. Look into the school’s partnerships, student-to-faculty ratio, job placement success following graduation, and other related factors.
Student Support and Career Services
Adequate student support can optimize your educational experience and boost your success. Things to look for include access to a tutoring center, academic advisor, or student coach and real-time faculty communication. Some schools offer a career center, where students receive help with practical elements of their job search, such as resume building and interviewing tips.
What Is the Most Affordable Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
The most affordable online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is the one offered by Old Dominion University. At a rate of $374 per credit hour, with 120 credits required, this degree will cost about $44,880 in tuition fees.
Can I Get a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Online for Free?
No, you cannot get a mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree online for free. All schools charge a tuition rate per credit or semester. However, you can subsidize your tuition payments with external and internal scholarships, government grants, and private loans. For those who want a headstart on their education, look into related courses offered for free by massive open online courses (MOOCs) and Coursera.
Salary and Job Outlook for Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
Acquiring a mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree requires a sizable financial commitment. As with any investment, it’s a good idea to estimate your potential returns before fully committing. This section contains information about mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree jobs, expected annual salary ranges, and job outlooks.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
It is not very hard to get a job with a mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree. Mechanical engineering is an innovative, growing field, making professionals in this field highly sought after. Plus, many schools offer access to career centers, academic coaches, a diverse alumni network, internships, career fairs, and more to make finding a job even easier.
What’s the Average Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Salary?
The average salary for someone with an online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is $82,000 per year, according to PayScale. PayScale also reports that the majority of professionals who earn this salary are in their early careers. The job satisfaction index shows that most mechanical engineers are happy with their jobs.
What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
The jobs you can get with an online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree include mechanical engineer, manufacturing engineer, project engineer, automotive engineer, aerospace engineer, construction engineer, and biomedical engineer. Each of these career paths offers candidates high salaries, even for an entry-level job and long-term industry prospects.
If you choose to become a mechanical engineer, you can even explore technology careers in CAD design, information technology management, robotics, and machine learning.
Mechanical Engineering Degree Jobs
- Mechanical Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- Biomedical Engineer
Potential Careers With an Online Mechanical Engineering Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?
You can expect to make between $70,000 and $110,000 per year with an online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. According to PayScale, most mechanical engineers make between $57,000 and $101,000 annually, based on factors such as their location, expertise, level of education, and in-demand skills. Note that these numbers include professionals without a degree.
If you are interested in pursuing your mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree but don’t know what is attainable in terms of a career path, job salaries, job outlooks, and ease of entry, check out the following comprehensive guide to five of the best jobs in this field for degree holders.
Highest-Paying Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Research and Development Engineer||$77,547|
Best Jobs for Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Grads
The best jobs for online Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering grads are aerospace engineer, instrumentation engineer, and mechanical engineer. Below we take a look at some of the highest salaries you can earn as a bachelor’s degree-holding mechanical engineer, depending on your specialization.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is an Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree is worth it. Online colleges provide you with an opportunity to explore careers in science, technology, health, and engineering. You can easily build in-demand tech skills for careers in lucrative fields such as robotics and mechatronics if you complete an online mechanical engineering degree program.
Based on the 2022 Global Market Report on Engineering Services, the engineering field, of which mechanical engineering is a major player, is projected to grow from $991.38 billion to $1071.59 billion in 2022, which is an 8.1 percent compound annual growth rate. This shows that the job market is likely to remain hot for mechanical engineers.
Additional Reading About Mechanical Engineering
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Online Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
You can get your mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree in as little as 2.5 years if you pursue an accelerated degree program. Be sure to note that this exceeds a full-time student schedule, so make sure that your schedule can accommodate it. Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete, whether online or in-person.
Yes, you can study mechanical engineering from home. By enrolling in an online mechanical engineering degree program, you’ve eliminated the location barrier to education. Most schools provide remote students with online learning resources and tools to boost their productivity and learning experience.
Yes, it is possible to become an engineer without a degree. It is even possible to specialize in a specific engineering field and access high-paying engineering jobs without a degree. Alternatives to a degree include engineering bootcamps and self-guided online courses. However, some employers require a degree even for entry-level jobs as well as for mid-career positions.
No, 40 isn’t too old to become an engineer. You can go back to school at 40 if you have a passion for engineering and have devised a good financial plan to pay for your education. With online degrees, it’s easier to achieve this goal. Most of your courses are billed by credit hour, and you can pace them to suit your finances and personal schedule. When you complete your degree, you can gain access to several job opportunities.
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.